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Intrexon, Pearl Among Fierce 15 Picks

Two private companies with North Carolina facilities are among the 2011 Fierce 15 innovative firms chosen in the annual beauty pageant of life-science technologies sponsored by the online daily biotechnology blog, FierceBiotech.

The companies are Intrexon, which has a division in Research Triangle Park, and Pearl Therapeutics, which has a facility in Raleigh.

The Intrexon AgBio Division in RTP is using button mushrooms to make proteins for vaccines. Pearl, headquartered in California, is working to create therapies to treat and prevent chronic respiratory diseases.

John Carroll, editor-in-chief of the publication, said the staff picked the 15 winners for their bold and innovative technologies.

“What you won't find are me-toos, tired retreads or timid business plans,” he wrote in announcing the winners. “The last three years have not been kind to biotech; venture cash has become harder to find while Big Pharma companies have merged and trimmed R&D empires. Making it today means actually meeting that unmet medical need, moving the dial on therapy in significant ways.”