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.

Biotage, a Swedish pharmaceutical instrument manufacturing firm that was reportedly attracted to North Carolina's vibrant bioscience community, in part, from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center's Web site, is relocating its United States headquarters from Virginia to Charlotte.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced in a news release that the company, which develops and manufactures instruments and consumables for pharmaceutical research, plans to invest in facility upgrades and create 21 new jobs in Mecklenburg County.

Students from the life-science programs at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University crowded into the Biotechnology Center today to learn how to make the challenging leap from an academic environment to an industry job.

The attendees got to network with post doctorates currently in the Center's Industrial Fellowship program and mingle with top industry executives from North Carolina's biotechnology companies.

Athenix, an 8-year-old Research Triangle Park agricultural biotechnology company whose early research was advanced by a $150,000 Small Business Research loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in 2002, is being purchased by German-based Bayer CropScience.

Investors, entrepreneurs and attorneys discussed everything from the idea to the management team today at the Biotechnology Center.

The event - Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur - took center stage at the Biotechnology Center today. About 100 people from across the state joined the discussion.

See a slide show from the event

Charlotte-based Diagnostic Devices Inc. (DDI), which makes Prodigy blood glucose monitoring systems, said it is adding robots and some 200 employees to its Charlotte workforce, in an unusual shift of jobs to the United States from Southeast Asia.

The company issued a news release saying it plans to double the previously announced increase of 100 people in its Mecklenberg County workforce during the next 18 months.

Oxygen Biotherapeutics, a Durham pharmaceutical company, has received approval in Switzerland to begin Phase II testing of its lead prescription product, Oxycyte, to transport damage-limiting oxygen to traumatic brain injury sites.

Chris Stern, chairman and CEO of the publicly traded company, said the first of 128 emergency head-injury patients is expected to be enrolled in the Swiss study next month by PFC Pharma Focus AG, a contract research organization.

Durham's Inspire Pharmaceuticals has netted $109 million from the sale of more than 25.5 million shares of its common stock in a recent public offering.

The company is to use the cash cushion to fund its development of treatments for various respiratory and eye diseases caused by malfunctions in hydration of the body's mucosal tissues.

Scientists from three Triangle research institutions have teamed up in a contract with the National Cancer Institute to identify promising cancer therapy molecules and translate their laboratory findings into clinical trials.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University and the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences are among five teams across the country working with the National Cancer Institute as part of a national effort to bring more targeted cancer therapies to patients as quickly as possible.

A team of students from West Johnston High School in the Johnston County community of Benson took home the $20,000 second-place prize last Friday in the 2009 Canon Envirothon, a weeklong North American environmental education competition held at UNC Asheville.

More than 260 teenagers from 45 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces studied environmental issues and resource conservation, while competing for a share of more than $125,000 in scholarships and Canon products in the event sponsored by Canon U.S.A.

Research Triangle Park-based Metabolon has been awarded a patent on its Ion Tracker software, which provides a mechanism for creating new chemical library entries.

The 9-year-old privately held firm has more than 75 discoveries related to its specialized field of diagnostics, drug discovery and therapeutics called metabolomics.

Wilmington-based Cortech Solutions, a privately owned sales and support firm serving neuroscientists conducting advanced brain research, has signed an agreement to distribute an electroencephalography (EEG) system made by Kappametrics, of Chantilly, Va.

The device, called fEEG, is a unique instrument designed to measure tiny electrical signals from the brain through EEG even as the patient undergoes a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) procedure.

Durham-based biotechnology company Chimerix has completed a $16.1 million Series E round of financing from venture investors Canaan Partners, Alta Partners, Sanderling Ventures and Asset Management Company.

Durham drug development firm Addrenex has licensed Korean rights to manufacture and sell its lead product, Clonicel, to one of Korea's top 10 business conglomerates, Dream Pharma, a division of the Hanwha Group.

The 3-year-old Addrenex was founded with the help of $160,000 in loans from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of a non-prescription polymer-based liquid bandage product developed by Durham-based Chesson Labs.

The 3-year-old company said the clearance allows it to sell its first FDA-approved product, Nuvaderm, to treat minor cuts, scrapes, burns and skin irritations, while also keeping the wounds clean and dry.

Morrisville-based Kowa Research Institute (KRI), a subsidiary of Kowa Co., Ltd., one of Japan's largest privately held companies, was instrumental in this week's marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Livalo (pitavastatin), a low-dose version of the cholesterol-fighting drugs known as statins.

The FDA approved the maximum 4 milligram dose for people unable to reduce their cholesterol levels through diet and exercise.

KRI was established in 1997 in California and moved to the site near Research Triangle Park in 2003.