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.

Metabolon, a Research Triangle Park company that develops biomarkers for disease detection, has begun offering, as a research tool, a test based on its discovery of a molecule in urine that may indicate a man's level of prostate cancer aggressiveness.

Metabolon, a Research Triangle Park company that develops biomarkers for disease detection, has begun offering, as a research tool, a test based on its discovery of a molecule in urine that may indicate a man's level of prostate cancer aggressiveness.

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have for the first time isolated an important antibody in human serum that could potentially play a key role in the design of an AIDS vaccine.

The Duke researchers say the antibody, never before found in the blood of infected patients, provides a target for vaccine development because previous research has shown it can successfully neutralize 80 percent of transmitted HIV viruses.

Muscadine Naturals, headquartered in the Forsyth County community of Lewisville, has launched a new product containing Muscadine grape skins and seed powder which the firm says it expects to prove useful against heart disease.

Biocomposites, a privately held international developer, manufacturer and distributor of synthetic tissue-regeneration products with U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, N.C., has received marketing approval for a bone graft product from by the State Food and Drug Administration of the People's Republic of China.

The 12-year-old firm, headquartered in the British city of Keele, Staffordshire, said its Shanghai subsidiary has been given marketing approval for the company's unique bone graft substitute geneX.

Duane Larick, Ph.D., interim dean of North Carolina State University's Graduate School and a professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, has been named dean of the Graduate School, effective March 1.

As dean, Larick will provide leadership for a graduate program serving more than 7,400 full- and part-time students from across the U.S. and from 85 other countries. NCSU's graduate program administers 220 different graduate degrees (master's, Ph.D. and Ed.D.) across all 10 of NCSU's academic colleges.

Duane Larick, Ph.D., interim dean of North Carolina State University's Graduate School and a professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, has been named dean of the Graduate School, effective March 1.

As dean, Larick will provide leadership for a graduate program serving more than 7,400 full- and part-time students from across the U.S. and from 85 other countries. NCSU's graduate program administers 220 different graduate degrees (master's, Ph.D. and Ed.D.) across all 10 of NCSU's academic colleges.

Technomark Life Sciences is looking for opportunities to co-develop products with biotechnology and life-science companies.

Technomark, with headquarters in Research Triangle Park, plans to work with partner companies on a risk-sharing basis to advance product development.

"We are very excited to be in a position now to partner with biotechnology and other life science companies on their preclinical or clinical product development," said Allen Hakimi, managing director of Technomark.

Greater Charlotte took time Thursday night to celebrate its successes in biotechnology.

The BioNight celebration highlighted achievements in economic development, research and education.

Dr. Simon Pedder, CEO of Chelsea Therapeutics talked about why he chose to build the now public company in Charlotte - talent, airport hub, quality of life and cost of doing business.

The event also honored:

Joan Siefert Rose, president of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), announced that the City of Raleigh has issued a proclamation dedicating Monday, Feb. 16 as Biotechnology Day to honor CED's Biotech 2009 conference, Feb. 16 and 17 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Biotech 2009, CED's 18th annual biotech conference, will unite the Southeast's life science community to celebrate one of the biotech industry's most dynamic regions.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have merged a $147,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center with the tools of nanobiotechnology to build NanoVector in Raleigh, one of the state's newest biotech stars.

NanoVector's technology involves the successful modification of a common plant virus so it delivers drugs only to specific cells inside the human body, without affecting surrounding tissue.

Morrisville clinical research software firm Clinipace is among 40 young companies chosen to participate in the Southeast Venture Conference, to be held March 11 and 12 in Atlanta.

The 40 showcase companies from North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. will be presenting to an audience representing more than $60 billion in private equity capital.

Metabolon, a Research Triangle Park company that develops biomarkers for disease detection, has reported finding a molecule in urine that may indicate a man's level of prostate cancer progression.

Metabolon and fellow researchers at the University of Michigan say the discovery could lead to simple, non-invasive tests for men to determine how or whether to treat the disease.

Wilmington-based contract research firm PPD is getting $5 million in milestone payments from Janssen-Cilag, an Alza Corp. affiliate, thanks to successful regulatory approvals in Finland and Sweden for PPD's drug Priligy that treats men with premature ejaculation.

PPD licensed the development rights for Priligy to Alza, calling for PPD to receive a $2.5 million milestone payment for each of the first two national approvals.

Wilmington-based PPD will acquire AbC.R.O., Inc., a contract research organization that operates in Central and Eastern Europe.

As a result, PPD will gain immediate entry into Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, and will strengthen its existing staff and operations in Poland, Russia and Ukraine.