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.

Nearly 200 scientists who specialize in RNA research are getting a treat this afternoon - a keynote presentation from the woman who just won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work in this discipline.

The promise of nanotechnology was weighed with its unknowns and potential downsides during a recent gathering of some 150 invited guests for the 2009 Summit on Environmentally Responsible Development of Nanotechnology, hosted by the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty surgeon Thomas Egan, M.D., M.Sc., has just added a $1.47 million federal grant to his recent spate of activity.

This year's Charlotte Biotechnology Conference was everything a one-day conference event should be. It started at a time where attendees could travel to Charlotte from elsewhere in the state, it brought in some impressive and engaging speakers, and it had a diverse attendance list that made networking fun. Oh, and the food was some of the best I've had at a conference.

Durham start-up Catena Pharmaceuticals, bootstrapped last year with a $50,000 low-interest loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, will strut its stuff on the main stage of the 2009 SEBIO Investor Forum being held Dec. 3 and 4 in Charleston, S.C.

Catena, which is focused on developing an anti-cancer therapy, is the only North Carolina company picked for a main stage presentation this year. Another dozen firms from the seven-state region also made the cut, from among dozens of applicants.

Robert Schotzinger, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Viamet Pharmaceuticals, has replaced Eric Ward of CropSolution as chairman of the NCBIO Board of Directors.

NCBIO is the trade association for North Carolina's bioscience industry. It has more than 150 members doing business in human and animal therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and agricultural and industrial biotechnology.

Raleigh's Micell Technologies has drawn the attention--and a $15 million investment--from global medical technologies giant St. Jude Medical.

Micell, which employs 10 people, is developing coating systems that can be used to deliver drugs via medical devices such as the wire-mesh stents now in routine use to open clogged arteries in the heart.

Wes Bonds, Ph.D., a recently retired biotechnology instructor at Western Carolina University who gained nationwide accolades as a creative developer of instructional lessons in genomics, proteomics, DNA sequencing and genetic analysis, died Monday of an apparent heart attack.

Opportunities in marine biotechnology, biofuels, and agricultural biotechnology are among the hopeful targets of North Carolina Public Television special.

The hour-long program aired Sept. 2 on UNC-TV.

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.

The academic and company laboratories in and around the North Carolina Research Campus will need workers trained in a range of specific techniques.

Enter Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, which today broke ground on a 62,000-square-foot training facility. The community turned out in force for the ceremony, two blocks from the Research Campus' famed core-laboratory facility.

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).

Sajith Wickramasekara, a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, is one of two Southeastern regional finalists in an international competition of high school biotechnology research projects, held in Atlanta on Monday.

Wickramasekara and the other regional finalist, Johnny Fells III of Georgia, were competing in the Sanofi-Aventis International BioGENEius Challenge, conducted by the Arlington, Va.-based Biotechnology Institute.

Gwyn Riddick, regional director of the Piedmont Triad office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, was recently appointed to serve on the Science Advisory Board (SAB) at UNC Greensboro.

The board's mission is to assist the science departments, research centers and laboratories at UNCG to achieve their goals in government/community relations, professional/industry relations, communications and resource development. Members advise, advocate, and open doors on the university's behalf.

All service businesses are hurting for revenues these days, including Contract Research Organizations.

Yonnie Butler, the Biotechnology Center's business development director, had some insight that he thought would help. This issue of Tablets & Capsules contains his advice.