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Countervail, HepatoSys Win Five Ventures

Charlotte Research Institute's Five Ventures Competition last week named two North Carolina biotechnology companies and a student-run non-profit as winners in its annual competition.

Countervail Corporation of Charlotte won the Biotech — Pharmaceutical division. The company's products provide protection from and treatment of exposure to chemical and biological weapons.

The Biotech Device competition was won by HepatoSys Inc. The Charlotte-based company restores the function of donor livers for use in transplantation. The company's systems also evaluate the integrity of donor livers prior to initiation of the recipient operation.

Countervail, HepatoSys and three other winners were chosen from 10 finalists who presented to the selection committee at the Five Ventures Conference on April 9. The winners share $100,000 in business services.

Also taking a top spot is Entogenetics, a student-run non-profit in Raleigh. The company is working on producing spider silk in the common silk worm. Spider silk is stronger, and the company's discovery will enable large-scale production of the fiber inexpensively.

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