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NCBiotech News

  • Research Triangle Park-based Liquidia Technologies and pharmaceutical company Abbott have signed a collaborative agreement to use Liquidia nanotechnology to deliver cancer therapy. Liquidia, a privately held nanotechnology company co-founded in 2004 on the discoveries of Professor Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, uses a protein particle fabrication method licensed from UNC.
  • Novozymes, which employs more than 465 people at its North American headquarters in Franklinton, has received a $28.4 million federal tax credit to help the Danish firm build a new biofuel enzyme plant in Nebraska. Novozymes said the new plant will employ more than 100 people. The company intends to invest $160 million to $200 million on the facility by the time it's completed in mid 2012. The tax credit is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, designed to foster investment and job creation in clean energy manufacturing.
  • Bio Briefs with names making news
  • Raleigh-based BioDelivery Sciences has scheduled a March 17 meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help ensure smooth sailing for its planned Phase I clinical testing of its product candidate, BEMA Granisetron, aimed at treating nausea and vomiting. BDSI is pairing the drug granisetron into its proprietary BioErodible MucoAdhesive (BEMA) delivery technology, which consists of a small, dissolvable wafer made of a special polymer film placed against the inner lining of the cheek.
  • Do you know a North Carolina university research lab with cutting-edge science that your company might be able to commercialize? The North Carolina Biotechnology Center can help grease the skids -- especially for small bioscience researchers and companies across the state who can meet a Feb. 17 grant application deadline.
  • Durham-based Chimerix has started Phase II clinical trials of its oral anti-viral drug candidate, CMX001, after finding positive results in Phase I tests involving 84 healthy volunteers.
  • The kudos continue to roll in for Biogen Idec, which makes its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri at its manufacturing plant in Research Triangle Park.
  • The North Carolina Department of Commerce is coordinating North Carolina's pavilion for the BIO 2009 show, May 18-21 in Atlanta. The North Carolina pavilion will showcase North Carolina and its biotechnology and life science assets.
  • PPD has purchased a state-of-the-art laboratory and hired 80 employees from Merck as part of a vaccine-testing agreement announced Monday. Financial terms were not released for deal, which calls for Wilmington-based PPD to develop tests that measure the effectiveness of Merck vaccines.
  • The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has awarded a $30,000 low-interest Company Inception Loan to a young Asheville medical therapeutics company, Venafair. Vascular surgeon Richard Bock, founder of the firm, said the loan is key for the company's plans for commercial development of vascular agents for treatment of varicose veins, usually in the legs.
  • Germany's Merz Pharma Group, whose U.S. subsidiary is Greensboro-based Merz Pharmaceuticals, has announced plans to buy BioForm Medical in a deal worth about $253 million. BioForm, a privately owned San Mateo, California company, produces a variety of products including the dermal filler called Radiesse. Merz said it will create a new Merz Aesthetics subsidiary in San Mateo to make cosmetic products. The unit will also include BioForm Medical operations in Wisconsin, Asia and Europe.
  • Raleigh-based BioDelivery Sciences has sold another round of marketing rights for its lead product, ONSOLIS, allowing its Swedish commercial partner, Meda, to sell the drug everywhere but Taiwan and South Korea. The sale, for a one-time cash payment of $3 million, expanded an earlier marketing agreement giving Meda rights to sell ONSOLIS, a pain therapy using BioDelivery's proprietary delivery system involving a drug-impregnanted film held against the inside of the cheek.
  • The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has granted Metabolon a patent that extends the firm"s use of metabolomics technology beyond basic disease biomarker discovery, and into areas of drug discovery and development.
  • One of the newest faculty scientists at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte hit the big time this week. Jessica Schlueter, Ph.D., assistant professor of bioinformatics, is one of the key scientists who made headlines by revealing the genetic secrets of the soybean. They sequenced the soybean genome. And published their findigs.
  • Bio Briefs with names making news
  • Liquidia Technologies, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, has another $20 million in the bank. The firm's new C-round venture funding lifted total capital so far for the 6-year-old University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill spin-out beyond $50 million.
  • Algae-based bio-products firm Alganomics, of Southport, is among 15 emerging companies to win free business-support services from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kim Jones, CEO and senior research scientist of the firm, will get a variety of support services from the university's Kenan-Flagler Business School as part of its Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (BASE) program.
  • EntoGenetics, a Charlotte biotechnology company started with the help of a $25,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, is worming its way into a high-fiber profile. It was featured in the financial publication Forbes as one of the top 10 "Breakout Technology" firms, thanks to its technology that's been turning North Carolina's textile industry into high-interest water-cooler chatter.
  • There may be a pharmaceutical company at CED's Biotech 2010 that's looking for what your company has to offer. It could be one of the region's numerous big pharma players needing your unique corner of intellectual property to close a gap in its pipeline. If you're with one of the big pharma firms, maybe there's a start-up right under your nose, but under the radar -- protecting that IP you need, keeping it under wraps while finalizing patent protection and all those other new-company issues.

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