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NCBiotech News

  • Entrepreneur Andrew Schwab, Ph.D., has been named president of First Flight Venture Center, a Research Triangle Park-based technology and life science incubator. More
  • In 1994 Malcolm Campbell, Ph.D., got a $45,000 Educational Enhancement Grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to develop a molecular biology program at Davidson College.
  • Avery County is known for its beautiful Appalachian slopes, including Grandfather Mountain, and for its production of Fraser fir Christmas trees. But a grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center is connecting the region’s ancient forest-based heritage to the economic opportunities of biotechnology.
  • The Diosynth Biotechnology manufacturing campus in Morrisville is now officially Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. The name change results from Fujifilm Corp. of Japan’s acquisition of the 370-employee factory that makes ingredients used in biotechnology drugs. The Fujifilm shopping spree also included the MSD Biologics facility in Billingham, UK,, formerly Avecia Biologics.
  • One day after Research Triangle Park-based Tranzyme Pharma launched an initial public offering of stock, neighboring Aldagen decided to withdraw its plans for a similar move. Tranzyme, which is developing drugs for gastrointestinal motility disordersand other unmet medical needs, started with the help of a $150,000 Biotechnology Center loan in 2003.
  • Merck is buying Raleigh drug company Inspire Pharmaceuticals for $430 million, via a tender offer for all outstanding common stock of Inspire at a price of $5 per share in cash.
  • The Biotechnology Center is now accepting fellowship applications for the Industrial Fellowship program. This program provides North Carolina’s Ph.D. scientists with an opportunity to gain industry experience and companies to benefit from new talent and expertise. The program is for recent doctoral graduates and postdoctoral fellows who would like to transition from academia to permanent employment in the state’s life sciences industry.
  • A new biopharmaceutical company has been spawned in Research Triangle Park to commercialize a cancer-fighting technology licensed from its development-stage parent firm. Oncotide Pharmaceuticals was launched by Dale Christensen, Ph.D., vice president of research and business development with Cognosci, Michael Vitek, Ph.D., CEO of Cognosci, and Anil Goyal, Ph.D., an entrepreneur who has been involved in starting several successful life science companies.
  • Teachers, counselors and administrators from all over eastern North Carolina attended the 2011 Biotechnology Education Forum on Wednesday, March 23rd at the Vernon James Research Center in Plymouth. The Biotechnology Center’s Eastern Regional office hosted and sponsored this event.
  • Raleigh medical diagnostics company LipoScience, started with loan help from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, has named former Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina CEO Robert Greczyn Jr. and Woodrow Myers Jr., M.D., managing director for Myers Ventures LLC, to its board of directors. More
  • The United States ambassador from the Netherlands, Renee Jones-Bos, visited the DSM Pharmaceuticals campus in Greenville this week. Jones-Bos talked with managers of the contract manufacturing facility and with others at DSM’s adjacent Dyneema fiber plant.
  • Barbara Entwisle, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the NC Biotechnology Center board, has been appointed vice chancellor for research, succeeding Tony Waldrop, who left last summer to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Central Florida. More
  • Abdul K. Mohammed, Ph.D., chairman of the chemistry department at Winston-Salem State University, has been appointed dean of the College of Science and Technology (CST) at North Carolina Central University.  At the Durham campus, Mohammed oversees the college’s six academic departments: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences. 
  • Chapel Hill pharmaceutical company POZEN has sold some South American marketing rights to one of its two marketed products. POZEN agreed to let Cilag GmbH International, a division of Johnson & Johnson, develop and commercialize its migraine drug MT 400 in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The companies didn't disclose financial terms of the deal.
  • IMPACT, the quarterly magazine covering North Carolina’s biotechnology world, has added another major sponsor. BTEC, officially known as North Carolina State University’s Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center, has agreed to help fund articles about its programs, beginning with the spring 2011 issue.
  • President Barack Obama told a Charlotte TV reporter he loves the Queen City and admires North Carolina’s winning commitment to biotechnology as an engine of economic vitality. The comments came during an exclusive interview with WSOC-TV Eyewitness News Anchor Natalie Pasquarella, conducted at the White House last Friday.
  • Jason Shih, Ph.D. chairman and co-founder of Morrisville agricultural biotechnology company BioResource International, is the opening speaker in the first plenary session of the Asian Pacific Poultry Conference at the Taipei International Convention Center in Taiwan March 20-23, 2011. More 
  •  If you’re chasing money to help you start or build a new nano business in North Carolina, get your “elevator speech” dusted off for the real deal March 29 in Charlotte. The Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnolgy (COIN) is hosting its first private pitch and strategy coaching session with a team of seasoned investors as part of the 2011 North Carolina Nanotechnology Commercialization Conference in Charlotte March 29 and 30. 
  • Registration is now open for the 2011 Summer Biotechnology Workshops for Educators. Since 1987, the Summer Workshops have trained more than 1,700 teachers. These teachers have taken the latest biotechnology practices from the workshops back to their classrooms, reaching more than 600,000 students in North Carolina. Each workshop is one-week and features hands-on activities that engage students and improve learning. Registration is $75 and includes:
  • More than 130 attendees visited Forsyth Technical Community College last night to hear Targacept CEO Donald deBethizy give an outstanding talk on Targacept from the “Bench to the Bedside”, as part of the SciTech Lecture Series. The speaking event, presented by Forsyth Tech and the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, was in celebration of Forsyth Tech’s 50th anniversary.

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