NCBiotech News

We work hard to bring you the stories about the life science community in North Carolina. Every once in a while, we add a little news of our own. Read some of those stories below, or check out some of our perspectives on our staff blog.

Research Triangle Park-based Metabolon has closed $5.3 million of an anticipated $11 million Series C funding round.


The developer of metabolomics for use as research and diagnostic tools said it closed the first portion of the funding on April 30, with the balance expected within the next 60 to 90 days.


Cornerstone Therapeutics has signed a deal with Italian pharmaceutical firm Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA that includes cash payments, a stock sale and U.S. marketing rights for Chiesi drugs.

Chiesi will purchase 11.9 million shares of newly issued common stock and 1.6 million shares from two Cornerstone executives. In exchange, Cornerstone will receive:

As part of its plan to scientifically expand and physically consolidate its plant biotechnology research, Bayer CropScience announced it will bring between 120 and 130 jobs to its Morrisville location.

"Bayer CropScience has strong roots in North Carolina and a clear intention to expand the business here," says Bill Buckner, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience's U.S. subsidiary Bayer CropScience LP.

Code Refinery, an Apex company specializing in the software development used in medical device, clinical diagnostic and lab automation products which are regulated by the FDA has formed a strategic alliance with The Realtime Group.

Morrisville-based contract research software company etrials Worldwide is being purchased by Bio-Imaging Technologies, a Pennsylvania medical data company that has recently changed its name to BioClinica.

The buyout is expected to close next month.

No information was released about the effect of the buyout on etrials' 100 or so employees.

Peter Benton, president of BioClinica's eClinical Services Division, joined BioClinica in 2008, after working for etrials in 2007 and 2008, most recently as its chief operating officer.

Northeastern North Carolina is celebrating the announcement this week that Micro Invasive Technologies Inc. will eventually bring 144 jobs to Plymouth in Washington County.

"We are tremendously excited about the number of jobs to be created by MITI's decision to locate their manufacturing and research and development operations here," stated Washington County Manager, David Peoples.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is co-sponsoring a day-long North Carolina Personalized Medicine Conference on May 11. The event will be held at the Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park.

The event brings together scientists, physicians, biomarker-based diagnostic companies, genomic services providers and others to discuss advances in the development and clinical implementation of personalized medicine approaches in North Carolina.

A group of state and federal agencies is sponsoring a day-long "Export University" for representatives of North Carolina companies interested in learning more about exporting their products.

The seminar is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, in the Scott Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. It will cover a variety of topics, including marketing and sales techniques, global risk assessment, international payment methods and developing an international marketing plan.

Morrisville-based Salix Pharmaceuticals has reported positive results from a Phase III clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of its antibiotic rifaximin for treating adults with hepatic encephalopathy -- a neurological disorder caused by chronic liver failure.

Salix, which has an exclusive license on rifaximin from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, markets the drug in the United States under the trade name XIFAXAN for the treatment of travelers' diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Winston-Salem-based Targacept has begun a Phase II clinical study of an experimental antidepressant drug to explore its potential for treating hypertension.

The company targets its R&D effort on neuronal nicotinic receptors -- cellular machinery seen as a key to regulating various functions within the nervous system.

Charlotte businessman Herman Stone, president of Stone Theaters and former owner of Consolidated Theatres, announced a $1 million lead donation today to a partnership campaign targeting multiple sclerosis research at the North Carolina Research Campus.

Approximately 40 people attended the Eastern North Carolina Education Forum yesterday at the Gateway Technology Center in Rocky Mount. The event, sponsored by East Carolina University, the North Carolina Community College system and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, brought in area educators and businesses from all over the region.

A panel discussion of area biotechnology industry leaders stated that there are current job opportunities for trained biotech workers. But efforts are still being made to bring more biotech jobs to the state and region.

Durham-based drug development firm Addrenex Pharmaceuticals has reported positive results from a second Phase III trial of drug candidate Clonicel, which it hopes to market to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Research Triangle Park-based Tranzyme Pharma, helped in its early development by a $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, has reported positive results from a Phase II clinical study of its experimental drug TZP-101 for treating gastroparesis, an inability of the stomach to empty food efficiently, which is especially troublesome for diabetics.

Morrisville-based Sicel Technologies, a privately held specialty medical device company whose technology was developed with the help of a $90,000 North Carolina Biotechnology Center loan in 2000, is adapting its health-care technology to help the national security effort.