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NCBiotech News

  • To most experts, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the tools of biotech must continue to be put to work in new ways if the world is to avoid future famine. One of them, Gwyn Riddick, MBA, vice president of agricultural biotechnology for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, will moderate a panel discussion at a global forum in June on the future possibilities of agbiotech.
  • Privately held Intrexon has raised $66.9 million from 82 investors, according to a recent regulatory filing. The Blacksburg, Virginia-based development-stage biotech company entered the North Carolina biotech scene in February with the purchase of Agarigen. With Intrexon's purchase, for an undisclosed sum, Agarigen was re-christened the Intrexon AgBio Division.
  • North Carolina State University has entered into an exclusive license agreement to sell technology for producing biofuels from fats and for making various products from genetically modified marine microalgae. The deal is with Pinehurst-based Avjet Biotech, which develops small distributive refining systems.
  • Biogen Idec broke ground April 28 on Bio26, the company’s new 180,000-square-foot Research Triangle Park office building. Besides administrative offices, the five-story building will house a cafeteria, auditorium and conference rooms when it opens in late 2012.
  • A $20 million endowment has been established at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering to foster research collaboration between bioengineers and clinicians, with the ultimate goal to develop new technologies to improve patient care. More
  • Biogen Idec is the recipient of the 2011 Business and Industry Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education for supporting NC STEM preK-12 education programs. The award is given annually to individuals and organizations to recognize their science, mathematics and technology education contributions to North Carolina. More information
  • Electric power failed around 2 p.m. today in Research Triangle Park, forcing the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to use temporary generator power as employees vacated the building. Numerous surrounding campuses were also dark, as were traffic lights.  Some Biotech Center employees who were outside the building said they'd heard at least two explosions, which sounded like power transformers failing. Utility workers said they didn't expect to have power restored until after 4 p.m.
  • Richard Kiral, Ph.D., has resigned as president and CEO of Morrisville-based biopharmaceutical development company Oxygen Biotherapeutics, which he will continue to serve under a two-year consulting agreement. More
  • Medicago, a Canadian company building a vaccine manufacturing plant in Research Triangle Park, was named "Best Early-Stage Vaccine Biotechnology Company" at the recently held World Vaccine Congress in Washington, D.C. The company's technology uses tobacco grown in greenhouses to produce the material used in vaccines. The company announced its RTP location in August.
  • Fast-growing Morrisville-based BioResource International is leveraging start-up support from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center by adding jobs in North Carolina and now, adding a manufacturing facility in China.
  • 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

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