COVID-19 Resources for North Carolina Life Science Companies and Researchers

Given the role North Carolina's life science community are playing in response to the COVID-19 virus, and the effect the outbreak is having on business operations, this page compiles resources and news relevant to local life science companies and researchers.

This page is actively being maintained by Life Science Intelligence at NCBiotech. If you have something to submit, please email research@ncbiotech.org. Follow NCBiotech on Twitter for updates.

Last update: August 10, 2020

North Carolina Covid-19 News

Kepley Biosystems develops process to clean air of viruses like Covid-19

A person sneezes, coughs or produces spittle while talking. The droplets then land on the sleeve of the listener, who carries with him or her for the rest of the day the potential to infect friends or family members with a deadly virus or disease. Thus the need for social distancing, mask wearing and other means of transmission prevention during the current pandemic.

But imagine if, rather than carry around for several hours a ticking time bomb, the listener’s clothes –– infused with a functionalized molecule –– were able to absorb and destroy the microbial material or virus on contact. 

Here’s how Triangle life science industry is working overtime to defeat COVID-19

By Ryan Combs, Executive Director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership
As the world continues to recover and look for solutions to address COVID-19, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the incredible contributions the state of North Carolina has made toward one of the world’s biggest challenges to date.

Grifols Produces First Batches of Potential COVID-19 Therapeutic for Testing

Grifols, a global biotherapeutics company with major operations in North Carolina, has delivered the first batches of a therapeutic product manufactured in Clayton that could help prevent and treat COVID-19 infection. Doses of the company’s hyperimmune globulin are ready for clinical trials that will test the product’s safety and effectiveness in combating SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Offers COVID-19 Test Kits

Greensboro diagnostics and drug screening company Carolina Liquid Chemistries (CLC) is now selling COVID-19 test kits. CLC said it offers two real-time RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) tests that detect nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in people who have contracted the coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. The diagnostics can identify the macromolecules in nasal and throat swabs and sputum.

Durham’s Velocity Clinical lands 5 contracts for Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials

Velocity Clinical Research is playing a big part in the global race to find a COVID-19 vaccine. The Durham-based clinical trial company has received multi-site awards for five of the phase III COVID-19 vaccine studies announced to date. It will conduct 14 studies in total across eight sites in Ohio, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Utah, Idaho and Oregon.

Heat Biologics: Covid-19 vaccine candidate shows promise in animal testing

A Triangle drugmaker pursuing a Covid-19 vaccine is reporting that pre-clinical testing of its vaccine candidate is showing early success. On Wednesday, Morrisville-based Heat Biologics (Nasdaq: HTBX) announced that "successful pre-clinical testing" of the company's vaccine for Covid-19 demonstrated " in-vivo confirmation of vaccine immunogenicity in animal models" including the expansion of a T-cell response against the virus.

Pence praises speed, safety of coronavirus vaccine work

For the second time in three days, the Trump administration focused its attention on coronavirus vaccine development work being done in North Carolina. Following in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, who toured a Morrisville plant on Monday where a vaccine candidate is being produced, Vice President Mike Pence met Wednesday with researchers conducting clinical trials on a second potential vaccine. Wake Research is enrolling thousands of volunteers to test a vaccine developed by Moderna, which entered Phase III trials this week, the final stage before possible approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Patent Issued for 9 Meters Biopharma’s Potential COVID-19 Treatment

Thinking outside the gut, a Raleigh pharmaceutical upstart is landing support for exploring its tissue-tweaking technology as a possible extension from gastrointestinal disorders to lung problems. That’s why 9 Meters Biopharma has secured patent protection for its potential approach to treating lung disease. 

IQVIA Initiative Gives COVID-19 Researchers Free Access to Global Data

Research Triangle Park-based contract research giant IQVIA has launched a program that waives licensing and access fees for approved academic researchers as part of its efforts to accelerate research on how COVID-19 is impacting the healthcare industry and related treatment.

NC's COVID-19 Biomanufacturing Prowess Draws Presidential Visit

North Carolina’s global leadership in biomanufacturing has drawn another spotlight with a White House announcement that President Donald Trump will be visiting the Triangle on Monday, July 27, to a company involved in producing COVID-19 vaccine.

North Carolina Policy Collaboratory distributes $29 million for COVID-19 research

The North Carolina Policy Collaboratory based at UNC-Chapel Hill will distribute $29 million toward 85 research projects focused on treatment, community testing and prevention of COVID-19. These research projects are intended to provide new data and information to North Carolina lawmakers and policymakers to help guide the state’s pandemic response. The collaboratory will be required to provide an update to the North Carolina General Assembly in September about the status of its research projects, which will be occurring across 14 UNC System campuses.

Duke to start trial of promising COVID antibody treatment

The Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) has been given approval to launch a Phase 1 clinical trial of one of its most promising antibody treatments for COVID-19. This would be a temporary treatment until a vaccine is developed.

Chapel Hill’s Path BioAnalytics Joins COVID-19 Battle

Chapel Hill-based Path BioAnalytics (PBA) has joined forces with Australian researchers to study a new drug to fight SARS-related Coronoavirus-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

UNC-Chapel Hill scores $433,000 grant to speed up COVID-19 research

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recently awarded a $433,000 grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) for laboratory equipment that will accelerate research to address the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially saving lives. The equipment will go to the lab of Ralph Baric, PhD, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

WRAL TechWire, 7/14/2020

Iqvia teams with AstraZeneca for COVID-19 vaccine project

 Life sciences giant Iqvia is teaming with international pharmacerutical firm AstraZeneca in an attempt to accelerate development of a COVID-19 vaccine.The AstraZeneca-Iqvia partnership will be included in the “Operation Warp Speed” COVID-19 vaccine effort launched by the Trump Administration.

Biotherapeutic company Grifols developing COVID-19 treatment

An inside look at the making of a new COVID-19 treatment is playing out in Johnston County. The biotherapeutic company Grifols is hoping to send the first doses of their new medication to clinical trials sometime in July. The treatment uses donated plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19.  The antibodies are then extracted from the plasma that’s purified before it’s then given to patients by transfusion.

Medicago and GSK Collaborating on Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccine

An ancient relative of tobacco is at the heart of a new COVID-19 vaccine under development by Medicago and GSK. The two biopharmaceutical companies are working together to create a COVID-19 therapy that combines Medicago’s plant-based recombinant Coronavirus Virus-Like Particles (CoVLP) with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system.

LabCorp Launches Another COVID-19 Solution

Burlington-based LabCorp is offering a new home-based testing service to screen patients for COVID-19 infections before they proceed with surgeries and other important medical treatments. The At Home COVID-19 Test Collection Service received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on July 1.

Kepley BioSystems Developing Air Sterilization Masks Targeting COVID-19

Greensboro-based Kepley BioSystems, Inc. has joined the growing number of North Carolina life sciences companies refocusing their wits resources to combat the spread of COVID-19.

LabCorp’s New Test May Aid Vaccine, Therapy Development for COVID-19

Burlington-based LabCorp has launched a new test that it says may be helpful in battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The test is a neutralizing antibody assay that assesses the capacity of antibodies in patient plasma to inhibit SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infections.

Experimental RedHill COVID-19 Drug Logs Positive Results

RedHill Biopharma is reporting positive early results from one of its potential treatments for COVID-19. The Israeli company, which has its U.S. headquarters and commercial operations in Raleigh, says five Israeli patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infections showed substantial benefit from its novel drug, opaganib​ (Yeliva, ABC294640).

Duke launches COVID-19 research project in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County

Duke’s MURDOCK Study has launched a COVID-19 research project to follow the health of hundreds of North Carolina volunteers for several months. The study will also test a sub-group for COVID-19 infection and potential immunity to the novel coronavirus that causes the disease.

Duke, partners expand project tracking COVID-19 via smartwatches, phones

Researchers at Duke University are expanding a recent study intended to help identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This expanded effort will help the team establish a more comprehensive method of early-symptom detection and provide more information about how the virus can spread through a community.

Bio Products Laboratory USA Launches Plasma Therapies, Enters COVID-19 Fray

BPL has joined the recently formed CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, a partnership of world-leading plasma companies that are combining their research and resources in the hunt for a COVID-19 plasma treatment. The Alliance hopes to develop an immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy, CoVIg-19, that could help protect vulnerable groups until a vaccine can be successfully developed, clinically tested and supplied.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics Pivots to Humans for COVID-19 Test, With NCBiotech Boost

Advanced Animal Diagnostics, as the name suggests, makes tests for animals, not humans. However, in the age of coronavirus, this small ag tech company from Morrisville finds itself “repurposing” its QScout blood test platform -- designed to detect disease in cattle -- to now be used for screening COVID-19 in humans.

Going Virtual: Triangle CROs have long seen the value in virtual trials. The pandemic made that a reality.

Virtually overnight, the most basic business model of one of the Triangle’s largest industries collapsed. In the course of just weeks, the contract research organizations (CROs) that create thousands of Triangle jobs, and billions in revenue, by running clinical trials across the globe saw nearly all of their sites shutter.

NC A&T, WSSU each receive $1 million to fight Covid-19

Winston-Salem State University and North Carolina A&T University will both receive $1 million to put toward fighting Covid-19. The money, to be awarded July 1, is part of a total $6 million the UNC board of governors has awarded to each of the state’s university system historically minority-serving schools.  N.C. A&T said it plans to use the funding for multiple projects, from studies in both food and animal testing, affordable fever detection in K-12 schools, ways to cut down death rates among the elderly in assisted living facilities and the development of a nanoparticle that can kill the virus. 

UNC researchers create new type of COVID-19 antibody test

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with many thousands of new infections reported each day, there is a need for widely applicable surveillance testing to gain a better understanding of infection rates, especially the number of infections in people with mild or no symptoms, who can still be carriers. UNC School of Medicine scientists and colleagues developed a new kind of antibody test – a simplified experimental assay that could be ramped up to test thousands of blood samples at labs that do not have the resources of commercial labs and large academic medical centers.

Grifols begins manufacturing potential COVID-19 treatment at Clayton facility

Grifols, a global biotherapeutics company with major operations in North Carolina, has begun producing the first specific COVID-19 drug at its manufacturing campus in Clayton. The company is producing hyperimmune immunoglobulin with specific antibodies, using the plasma of people who have overcome COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Built Around Collaborations, Now Targets COVID-19

If you want to know what Collaborations Pharmaceuticals is all about, start with its name. The Raleigh-based startup is in the business of collaboration. It partners with the academic community, foundations and other companies to develop drugs that treat rare and neglected diseases. The goal is to advance promising new therapies from early stage development to clinical trials. The company has been  working on possible solutions for COVID-19 since early this year.

Accelerated award funding helps cleantech startups maintain momentum during COVID-19

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator is awarding $900,000 to help clean technology and sustainable agriculture startups retain staff and stay on track to bring environmental solutions to market. For many recipients, the award will provide needed capital for their day-to-day operations and ongoing research projects. However, some awardees like Advanced Animal Diagnostics are using the funding to support a pivot to efforts directly tied to containing the spread of COVID-19.

NC startup secures FDA authorization for ‘low cost’ ventilator, brings NASCAR teams onboard

Half a year into a global pandemic, a small North Carolina life sciences startup has gotten fast-track approval to start producing “low-cost, high-value” ventilators. Meet BioMedInnovations (BMI), headquartered outside Charlotte with a research lab in Research Triangle Park. This week, it received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its device called the SuppleVent, a back-pressure regulator-based ventilator.

BioMedInnovations Lands FDA OK for New SuppleVent COVID-19 Ventilator

Half a year into a global pandemic, a small North Carolina life sciences startup has gotten fast-track approval to start producing “low-cost, high-value” ventilators. Meet BioMedInnovations (BMI), headquartered outside Charlotte with a research lab in Research Triangle Park. This week, it received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its device called the SuppleVent, a back-pressure regulator-based ventilator.

Atom Bioworks Gets NSF Grant to Work on COVID-19 Diagnostic

Cary-based startup Atom Bioworks plans to use artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to design a rapid diagnostic for COVID-19. That initiative just got a big boost.  The National Science Foundation has awarded the company a $248,000 grant under its Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program. 

LabCorp Helps People Connect with COVID-19 Research Trials

If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial to solve some of the riddles of COVID-19, LabCorp can help you make that connection. The Burlington-based corporation’s Covance drug development business has created COVID-19 Clinical Trial Connect in the U.S., a website designed to help people find information about how they can take part in coronavirus research.

UNC study: Face masks may help since coronavirus often infects nasal cavities first

In a major scientific study published in the journal Cell, scientists at the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have characterized the specific ways in which SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – infects the nasal cavity to a great degree – replicating specific cell types – and infects and replicates progressively less well in cells lower down the respiratory tract, including the lungs.

Biomedical Engineering COVID-19 Response: Primed for pandemic innovation

From developing face masks to vaccines, ventilators and diagnostics, a joint department at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State fights COVID-19 by blending the best of medicine, engineering, teaching and more.

Duke Today, 5/27/2020

Duke Launches National Network to Bring COVID-19 Support Directly to People

The PRN is a network of organizations aligned to serve the needs of individuals and communities during the pandemic, especially those that are hardest-hit by COVID-19. PRN partners serve essential service workers and individuals who work in long term care; advocate for Hispanic communities and communities of older adults; provide medical care to vulnerable communities; and provide software products focused on employee information security and social service referrals.

Read More

Durham Medical AI Leader TeraRecon Makes Quick Shift to COVID-19 Imaging

The last few years have been good to TeraRecon, a Durham company that builds comprehensive medical imaging software using artificial intelligence. In 2017, it released a large algorithm marketplace, and a year later it launched a “results explorer,” which displays the AI-processed images in an interactive and efficient dashboard that gives physicians optimum control.

Durham-based IQVIA to Manage Clinical Trial of Hydroxychloroquine Vs. COVID-19

Durham-based IQVIA (NYSE: IQV) has been selected to manage COVID SHIELD, an Australian clinical study of hydroxychloroquine, the drug President Trump said he has been taking to prevent a COVID-19 infection.

Duke's one-hour coronavirus antibody test could be a 'game-changer'

As the world hunts for effective means for testing and screening populations for Covid-19, Duke University researchers have developed a test to detect antibodies for the virus – in less than an hour. In partnership with private industry, researchers at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore have developed a new blood test that will detect the presence of neutralizing antibodies for Covid-19.

Article behind paywall.

Orion Plans AI Strategy to Design Vaccines Against COVID-19

Orion Integrated Biosciences, a Kansas-based biodefense company with a growing presence in North Carolina, plans to use artificial intelligence to design vaccines to fight COVID-19. The company says its vaccine design strategy will use powerful AI algorithms it developed from very large datasets of genomic information.

Grifols Expands Plasma Collection Centers in Search for COVID-19 Treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus and have recovered, you can help researchers find a potential treatment for the disease. Grifols, one of the leading producers of plasma-based medicines, is expanding its plasma collection program in North Carolina and beyond. The goal is to develop an immunoglobulin that can treat COVID-19.

A Star Medical Researcher Looks at the Coronavirus

Dr. Tony Atala—an international leader in the field of regenerative medicine, which creates tissues that can replace failing body parts—discusses COVID-19.

What they’re trained for: Biomedical engineers at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State respond to COVID-19 by teaming to speed the development of an emergency ventilator

The Carolina Respiratory Emergency – Ventilator (CaRE-Vent) team is advancing knowledge in the biomedical design community about how to create emergency ventilators. Biomedical engineering student Kathlyne Bautista always knew that her coursework and training would set her on a path to make a life-changing difference for people. But before the coronavirus pandemic, she didn’t realize just how soon that opportunity would arrive. 

RedHill Approved for US COVID-19 Study

Fresh off a small – but successful – COVID-19 study in Israel, RedHill Biopharma has received approval to test its investigational drug, opaganib, in the United States.

UNC-CH Ranks Tops Among US Universities in Coronavirus Research

If you’ve gotten the impression that North Carolina is a hotbed of research and development to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus, you’d be right. Nowhere is that more evident than at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, home to some of the top coronavirus experts in the world and the highest-ranked U.S. university for coronavirus research. 

LabCorp making COVID-19 antibody tests available to individuals

LabCorp is making its recently launched COVID-19 anti-body test available to individuals. Interested individuals can visit LabCorp.com for more details.

“With the addition of this latest offering, individuals have the ability to receive the COVID-19 IgG antibody test from their doctor, in person or through a telemedicine program, and now directly using LabCorp.com,” the company says.

Grifols To Develop Plasma-Derived Treatment for COVID-19

Grifols, one of the world’s leading producers of plasma-based medicines, is collecting a blood product from recovered COVID-19 patients to develop a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease.

All hands on deck: COVID-19 engineering response team assembles from every corner at Duke

At the beginning of 2020, Dr. Alejandro Pino’s attention was focused on designing and patenting feeding tubes that can unclog themselves while also pursuing a pulmonology and critical care fellowship in the Duke University School of Medicine. Just a few months later, a novel coronavirus turned the world upside down, and feeding tubes were no longer Pino’s most pressing project.

Golden LEAF offers another $125M in COVID-19 disaster loans for small businesses

Golden LEAF, a statewide economic development group, is making another $125 million in loans available to small businesses across North Carolina following the N.C. General Assembly’s passage of a COVID-19 pandemic relief bill that was signed into law Monday by Gov. Roy Cooper.

The UNC System Contributes to Combating COVID-19

The UNC System’s response to COVID-19 offers a vivid reminder that higher education is about much more than delivering information. Collectively, our institutions serve North Carolina through instruction, research, and service. The UNC System’s contributions to the state’s efforts to combat this pandemic underscore the long-term value of supporting this mission.

This page compiles stories about how the UNC System is responding through research, service and driving economic growth.

 Durham’s Chimerix Gets FDA Nod to Test Cancer Drug in COVID-19 Patients

Chimerix has gotten the green light to test an investigational cancer drug to treat COVID-19 patients. The Durham-based biopharmaceutical company announced it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a Phase 2/3 study ofdociparstat sodium (DSTAT) in COVID-19 patients with acute lung injury (ALI).

‘A game changer’ — Drug tested in UNC labs shows positive results for COVID-19 treatment

A treatment that reduces recovery time for patients with COVID-19 showed positive results in clinical trials, UNC-Chapel Hill announced Wednesday. The medication, called remdesivir and originated in the labs at UNC-CH, has been a critical piece of the effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the nation’s coronavirus task force shared the positive results that it accelerates recovery.

Feeling the Heat from COVID-19? Heat Biologics May Have an Answer

For those feeling the health and economic heat from COVID-19 – and that’s just about everyone – Heat Biologics says it could soon offer up a potential solution. The Morrisville-based clinical-stage biotech company specializes in disease-fighting therapies that activate patients’ immune systems. So it is working on a vaccine that tackles the COVID-19 coronavirus on two fronts.

MedPharm Expands Testing Models to Target Coronavirus

MedPharm has expanded its testing models to support pharmaceutical development programs targeting Coronavirus treatments. These models allow companies to assess therapeutic effectiveness in nasal, airway (bronchial) and deep lung (alveolar) epithelia against members of the Coronaviridae family. 

LabCorp Expands Reach of COVID-19 Antibody Test

A LabCorp blood test that helps identify individuals who’ve been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus is now broadly available. The Burlington-based life science company, which originally targeted the antibody blood analysis to healthcare workers, now offers it to anyone recommended for testing by a doctor or healthcare provider.

RedHill Experimental Drug Shows Promise As COVID-19 Treatment

Finally, a little encouraging news on the COVID-19 coronavirus front. RedHill Biopharma, an Israeli specialty company with U.S. commercial headquarters in Raleigh, reports that all six COVID-19 patients who recently received its investigative drug, opaganib, got better. 

Duke Gets Grant to Develop ‘Fast, Simple, Low-Cost’ COVID-19 Test

Duke University biomedical engineers are hoping a rapid testing platform originally designed to detect Ebola can now be used to catch antigens to COVID-19. Now thanks to a $119,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the team is getting to put it to the test.

Metabolon Study to Provide Better Understanding of COVID-19

Why do some patients die from the COVID-19 coronavirus, while others have symptoms so mild they may not even realize they’re sick?  How can treatments for the disease work in some cases, while having no positive effect in others? These are just a couple of the questions Metabolon, a Morrisville-based precision health company, hopes to answer during a year-long COVID-19 study it is conducting with the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB).

Recovered COVID-19 Patients Can Donate Plasma at UNC, Some Grifols Plasma Centers

Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 may help save others from the disease by donating their convalescent plasma at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, or at plasma donor sites operated elsewhere around the country by the global biotherapeutics company Grifols.

LabCorp Offers Home Testing Kit for COVID-19

Healthcare workers and first responders who have symptoms of COVID-19 now can use a LabCorp kit to self-test for the coronavirus at home. The Burlington-based life sciences company has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration, which allows patients  to collect nose swab specimens with LabCorp’s Pixel COVID-19 kit. It is the first coronavirus diagnostic test authorized by the FDA that has a home collection option.

Why a North Carolina facility could soon be mass producing a coronavirus treatment

Grifols (NASDAQ: GRFS), a Spanish pharmaceutical company that calls Johnston County home to its largest manufacturing site, has begun the process of identifying, screening and selecting recovered coronavirus patients to donate plasma. The collected plasma will be used to produce a therapeutic — specifically a hyperimmune globulin — that Grifols hopes will be an effective treatment for the disease.

Article behind paywall.

RedHill Pursues Two Potential COVID-19 Treatments

RedHill Biopharma is another step closer to getting one of its potential treatments for COVID-19 tested.The Israeli company, which has its U.S. headquarters and commercial operations in Raleigh, got the green light to provide its investigational drug, RHB-107 (upamostat, WX-671), for testing in non-clinical studies against the coronavirus.

NC State Students Make Shields to Protect Medical Workers from COVID-19

Healthcare workers on the coronavirus frontline continue to risk their own lives to care for the sick. However, a group of graduate student volunteers at North Carolina State University’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department are determined to protect them.

BioCryst to Test Anti-Viral Treatment for COVID-19 in Brazil

Durham-based BioCryst Pharmaceuticals will conduct a clinical trial in Brazil to see if its investigational anti-viral drug is effective in treating the COVID-19 coronavirus. The therapy, galidesivir, will be used in a two-phase study of hospitalized adults who have moderate to severe COVID-19 infections. 

Open science drug discovery partnership aims to invest $125 million to prevent future pandemics

On Wednesday, the Structural Genomics Consortium, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Eshelman Institute for Innovation announced the launch of the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative, a global organization aimed at discovering and developing drugs to put “on the shelf” for clinical trial testing in anticipation of future viral pandemics.

Cellex Cleared to Market Antibody Test for COVID-19

Cellex, a medical diagnostics company with U.S. headquarters and labs in Research Triangle Park, has launched a new antibody test for detecting COVID-19 infection.The company’s qSARS-COV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test is permitted for distribution and use under the public health emergency guidance issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

UNC researchers playing key role in development of potential COVID-19 treatment

Scientists are hopeful that a new drug, called EIDD-2801, could change the way doctors treat COVID-19. The drug shows promise in reducing lung damage, has finished testing in mice and will soon move to human clinical trials.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics Prepares COVID-19 Test for Humans

Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) usually makes tests to help farmers monitor the health of their livestock. But in the age of coronavirus, the Research Triangle Park company is pivoting. The young ag tech firm is “repurposing” its QScout blood test platform, which is usually used to detect disease in cattle, to now be used for humans in the fight against COVID-19.

BioMedomics Teams with BD to Launch Rapid COVID-19 Test

Morrisville-based BioMedomics, a small diagnostics company supported by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, has partnered with BD (Becton Dickinson & Co.) to launch its new blood test for COVID-19 that can detect the infection within 15 minutes.

Duke to Lead $50 Million Study of COVID-19 Prevention in Healthcare Workers

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has funded up to $50 million to evaluate hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a preventive drug for the novel coronavirus.

Brii Biosciences, Chinese Partners Set to Develop COVID-19 Antibodies

Brii Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company with a Durham presence, is collaborating with Chinese scientists to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize monoclonal antibodies to fight COVID-19.

NC Startup Awaits FDA OK for ‘Low-Cost’ COVID-19 Ventilator

As the world grapples with a shortage of ventilators for COVID-19 patients, a small North Carolina life science startup has designed a low-cost option. BioMedInnovations (BMI), headquartered outside Charlotte with a research lab in Research Triangle Park, hopes to get federal fast-track approval this week to manufacture and distribute its uniquely simple device to help people breathe.

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Introduces Tests for COVID-19, Norfentanyl

Carolina Liquid Chemistries – a Greensboro diagnostics and drug screening company – has introduced two new immunoassays to test for COVID-19 and for norfentanyl, the major metabolite of the synthetic opioid pain reliever fentanyl.

Triangle Business Journal, 3/30/2020

Novan explores potential COVID-19 treatment, raises $8 million

A Triangle company that's struggled to develop its lead asset has brought in $8 million through a new public offering as it unveils plans to explore potential applications of its platform in the fight against COVID-19.

Article behind paywall

Q2 Solutions, U of Texas Medical Branch Team Up to Help Find COVID-19 Vaccines

Q2 Solutions, a clinical trial laboratory services organization headquartered in Morrisville, has teamed up with the University of Texas Medical Branch to develop an assay for analyzing COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Grifols Developing Potential Treatments for COVID-19

Grifols, a global biotherapeutics company with more than 2,000 employees in North Carolina, will produce and test a potential COVID-19 therapy derived from the blood plasma of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus infection.

NC's Gilero Uses Ingenuity, 3D Printing to Expand COVID-19 Protective Equipment, Ventilators

Using 3D printers, Morrisville medical device manufacturer Gilero has begun a three-tiered response to the shortage of COVID-19 protective equipment for healthcare workers.

Duke Starts Novel Decontamination of N95 Masks to Help Relieve Shortages

Facing a critical shortage of N95 face masks that block the coronavirus, Duke Health research and clinical teams have confirmed a way to use existing vaporized hydrogen peroxide methods to decontaminate the masks so they can be reused.

Duke joins first national effort to test potential COVID-19 therapy

Adults with severe symptoms of the novel illness will have the opportunity to participate in Duke University Hospital’s test of an investigational treatment with an antiviral agent known as remdesivir. Remdesivir is an antiviral agent that was previously tested in humans with Ebola virus disease and has shown promise in animal studies against MERS and SARS, diseases that emerged from different strains of the coronavirus.

Heat Biologics, University of Miami Developing Quick Point-Of-Care COVID-19 Test

Heat Biologics, a publicly traded North Carolina biotechnology company, is adding a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic test to its product development pipeline. The new test is in addition to the provisional patent application the Morrisville company filed March 3 to apply its immune system activating technology to prevent and/or treat COVID-19. 

LabCorp Able to Perform 20,000 COVID-19 Tests Per Day 

LabCorp says it’s ahead of schedule in ramping up its capacity to conduct COVID-19 tests, and is now able to perform more than 20,000 of the tests per day. The Burlington-based company says it has doubled its COVID-19 testing capacity in one week at its labs in North Carolina, Arizona and New Jersey. 

NCCU Awarded Grant to Help Detect Biological Threats at the Border

North Carolina Central University has received a $330,000 grant to develop tools that help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security predict and spot risks at the border from biological threats such as COVID-19, African swine fever, and insect pests.

UNC Health deploys coronavirus test

A coronavirus test developed by Melissa Miller, director of the Clinical Molecular Microbiology Laboratory at the UNC School of Medicine, was being deployed by UNC Health on Monday, officials said. The test should help reduce some of the burden on North Carolina’s public health lab regarding testing, they said.

Medicago Vaccine Could Help Smoke Out Coronavirus

An ancient relative of tobacco, much maligned for the damage it has inflicted on public health, is key to a new vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus. Medicago – a Canadian company with a biomanufacturing facility in Durham –  has used it to produce an experimental plant-based vaccine for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease that has now reached a global pandemic level. 

BioMedomics Seeks FDA OK for COVID-19 Rapid Diagnostic

Morrisville-based BioMedomics, a small diagnostics company supported by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, has developed a new test for rapidly detecting COVID-19, the coronavirus infection that is spreading rapidly throughout the world.

Biotech firm bioMerieux, which has an HQ in Durham, working on 3 coronavirus tests

France-based bioMerieux, which has a big Triangle connection, is the latest biotech firm developing tests it says will help health officials detect the coronavirus. The company, which focuses on in vitro (test tube) diagnostics, operates its headquarters for the US, Canada and Latin America in Durham.

CDC awards North Carolina $13 million to combat coronavirus

North Carolina is set to receive more than $13 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of a federal initiative to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

LabCorp is performing ‘several thousands’ of coronavirus tests per day to meet surge in demand

Burlington-based life science conglomerate LabCorp says it is now performing “several thousands” of coronavirus tests per day in the wake of an increasing number of new coronavirus infections in the United States. Meanwhile, it is rapidly adding new equipment and staff to create additional capacity for patients who should be tested across the country.

NC governor declares state of emergency as state deals with coronavirus

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Tuesday as leaders continue to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The state now has 7 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, health officials said.

For Duke researchers – 'Every virus has an Achilles' heel'

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, researchers are racing to create a vaccine to eradicate it, including those at Duke University who have spent decades – funded by billions of dollars– studying vaccine development for some of the world's most pressing diseases.

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What We've Learned About Coronavirus: Infectious disease experts on the spread, the science and the scenarios for the virus

Three Duke infectious disease experts talked with the media Tuesday to discuss the origins and spread of COVID-19 and the global and U.S. response. Duke plans a series of briefings on the way the novel coronavirus is affecting the world.

Keep reading for highlights from the briefing.

An air-locked lab at UNC is leading research on cures for the coronavirus

For scientists working in laboratories across the world, their names usually won’t become well known outside of the subsection of people reading academic journals. But the outbreak of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has spread from China around the globe this year — has pushed researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill, specifically Dr. Ralph Baric, into the spotlight.

RTP firm BioMedomics says it has ‘quick and easy’ coronavirus test

BioMedomics, a medical diagnostic company based in RTP, says it has developed a novel coronavirus test that can turn around results in less than 15 minutes, potentially offering a fix to the current testing backlog.

LabCorp Launches New Test for Coronavirus

Burlington-based life science conglomerate LabCorp is the latest company to provide a test for COVID-19. This coronavirus has gained a foothold in more than 84 countries so far as it continues its unrelenting march across the globe.

 

NC Researchers, Companies Help Lead Coronavirus Battle

The rapid global march of the coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China several months ago could be slowed by researchers and biotech firms 7,770 miles away – in the Research Triangle of North Carolina.

Morrisville-based Heat Biologics joins global effort to discover coronavirus vaccine

The Morrisville-based biotechnology company announced today that it has formally launched a program within its wholly-owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., to develop a vaccine using its immune activating gp96 vaccine platform for treating or preventing infection from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19.