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NCBiotech Help Preps G1 for Gee-Whiz $33M

A $33 million Series B infusion of venture capital has put money where the promise is for a young Chapel Hill biopharmaceutical company.

It started in 2008 with a company name of G-Zero, but changed its name to G1 Therapeutics, and now holds “Gee-Whiz” status among North Carolina’s rising life science stars.

G1 has made good use of $500,000 in early loans and of ongoing support from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to draw attention -- and multiple investments -- to its technology: an unusual biopharmaceutical “shield” that protects bone marrow from chemotherapy and radiation damage.

NCBiotech awarded the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill spinout the loans in 2011 and 2012 to help it advance its applications in biodefense and cancer treatment. G1 has since repaid both loans.

The company was also among those participating in a trip to Boston organized by NCBiotech in the fall of 2014 to help investment-ready North Carolina life science execs meet with major venture capital investors. NCBiotech also provided a grant to support an industrial internship at G1.

The G1 drug, code named G1T28, is now in clinical trials as an intravenous fluid for chemotherapy protection. The company plans to start testing an oral version by the end of 2015.

The approach attracted a $12.5 million Series A round of financing in October 2013 from MedImmune Ventures, with Hatteras Venture Partners and Mountain Group Capital as co-investors. 

The February 5, 2015 Series B round was led by new investors Eshelman Ventures and RA Capital Management, joined by Lumira Capital, Boxer Capital and the three Series A backers.

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