NCBiotech News

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National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience), a technology-focused biomanufacturing company dedicated to broadening access to complex medicines, announced the expansion of the company’s clinical and commercial drug product manufacturing capabilities across its network, which includes a biomanufacturing plant in Durham the company acquired in 2021. 

In 2023, North Carolina attracted several life sciences investments, continued developing a trained workforce for the growing industry, and won national accolades as a top place to do business.

“2023 was a year of expansion for North Carolina’s life sciences ecosystem with major forward momentum to ensure the state has the necessary infrastructure and engagement to enable its future success,” said Laura Rowley, Ph.D., North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s vice president of life science economic development.

Durham-based Locus Biosciences has received $23.9 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to begin a blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial of its CRISPR-enhanced bacteriophage therapy, LBP-EC01. The product kills targeted bacteria by irreversibly destroying their DNA while leaving the many species of beneficial bacteria in the body unharmed.

The ELIMINATE trial will evaluate LBP-EC01 for treating urinary tract infections caused by drug-resistant E. coli.

Jaguar Gene Therapy – which arrived in North Carolina in 2021 – is creating a new company to manage its chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) capabilities.

Durham-based gene editing company Precision BioSciences has cut a second deal in six months involving its leading off-the-shelf CAR T candidate, Azercabtagene Zapreleucel (azer-cel).

North Carolina’s booming biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry will need at least 8,000 new workers by the end of 2026.

Will the state be able to provide that workforce? And how so?

A recent article, “Bibliometric analysis of global research trends in adeno-associated virus vector for gene therapy (1991-2022),” published earlier this month in Frontier in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, recognized R. Jude Samulski, Ph.D., as the most cited and co-cited expert for AAV gene therapy advancements.

Life sciences manufacturing is getting a $30 million boost in Eastern North Carolina, thanks to a state budget appropriation to develop a biologics training center in Wilson.

The center will provide customized training and education for life sciences manufacturing across the region. Wilson is home to a large manufacturing presence, including global companies Merck, Fresenius Kabi and ABEC.

North Carolina State University is bolstering its global reach through an expanded partnership for biotechnology research and education with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

In a news release, DTU said it would expand the exchange of researchers and students between the two institutions. NC State and DTU - which have been working together on biotech research and development - are creating new opportunities for continuing education and greater collaboration with DTU’s new master’s program in biomanufacturing, DTU said.

New developments at BioSkryb Genomics are positioning the Durham startup for future growth and a higher profile in the rapidly advancing field of genomics.

BioSkryb, which develops amplification tools for single-cell analysis, announced four agreements and milestones since early August. The five-year-old company, which secured an $11.5 million seed round in January 2020, has been building its core technology and its global distribution agreements.

Kriya Therapeutics Inc., with dual headquarters in Durham and Palo Alto, Calif., has acquired a gene therapy startup that Kriya says will align with its approach to treating metabolic disease.

North Carolina is home to some of the world’s leading life sciences companies, renowned research universities, and workforce development programs to support growing demand for STEM-trained employees. North Carolina State University’s latest project, the Integrative Sciences Initiative and Building, highlights a key strength of the state’s life sciences ecosystem: an understanding of the convergence of disciplines at the heart of life sciences innovation.

Precision BioSciences has the need for speed.

Less than a month after the Durham-based clinical-stage gene editing company announced plans to look for strategic partners for its cell therapy assets, Precision has found one. It has reached a deal – potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars – with Imugene Limited for the global rights to its lead allogeneic CAR T candidate, Azercabtagene Zapreleucel (azer-cel).

BioSkryb Genomics, a Durham developer of amplification tools for single-cell analysis, has signed an agreement with a Dutch company to expand distribution of BioSkryb’s genomic and multiomic technology in Europe.BioSkryb logo

Kincell Bio, a new company formed to develop and manufacture cell therapies for biotechnology companies, may be based in Florida, but it has North Carolina fingerprints all over it. 

Kincell, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), was spun out of Inceptor Bio of Morrisville and has raised $36 million in Series A venture capital led by Raleigh-based Kineticos Ventures

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