NCBiotech News

We work hard to bring you news about North Carolina’s wide-ranging life sciences community. Please feel free to share it with others. And let us know if you have something we should know about.

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.

More than 250 women recently gathered in Research Triangle Park for the inaugural Women in Research Conference hosted by Black Women in Clinical Research (BWiCR). During the event, attendees learned about the dangers of clinical trials that lack equitable representation and what they can do to expand diversity in the research field.

BWiCR CEO and Founder Danielle Mitchell launched the organization in 2019 to grow diversity in the field. The event was held at the conference center at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park.

Soybeans are sometimes called magic beans due to their wide utility. They are used as livestock feed, in human foods ranging from tofu to salad oil, in crayons that are non-toxic and safer for children, in biodiesel fuel, in household cleaners and in countless other products.

Three Triangle area public school systems, in partnership with community college systems and several supporting companies, have stepped up to offer their students a certificate program to help them prepare for careers in biomanufacturing.

Starting in Spring 2024, Johnston County Public High Schools and Durham Public Schools will offer BioWork, a statewide certificate program that teaches the fundamentals of working as a process technician in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or chemical manufacturing facilities. 

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.

A tailored treatment for dry eye and other ocular surface diseases – delivered fast – that is accessible and super convenient for patients.

That’s what Merakris Therapeutics promises to provide with its Opticyte Autologous Serum Tears program.

From eating utensils to coffee pods, many of us use plastic products daily. PlantSwitch has a mission to make these items more sustainable by replacing traditional petroleum-based plastics with compostable plastics made from plants. 

The bioplastics company, which was previously based in Dallas, recently moved its headquarters to Sanford, where it also opened a manufacturing facility. The facility will turn at least 30 million pounds of agricultural waste into 50 million pounds of bioplastic pellets each year. 

Cambrex, a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), celebrated this week the completion of its $38 million capacity expansion at its small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in High Point.

“We are extremely excited about this expansion in North Carolina, which would not have been possible without the support of the state’s leadership and economic development programs, and their focus on nurturing the region’s skilled and diverse workforce,” said Dan Bowles, Vice President and General Manager, Cambrex High Point.

This summer, five community college instructors had the opportunity to learn what it is really like to work at a biotech company or institution through the Biomedical Emerging Technology Applications (BETA) Summer Fellows Industry Program. 

The eight-week program pairs each fellow with a company or institution to gain experience in a corporate environment and learn the biotech skills and traits needed to better prepare their students for this workforce.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad Office is welcoming five new thought leaders to its regional advisory committee.

The new advisory committee members include Ken Russell, Gordon Vail, Ph.D., Eric Muth, Ph.D., Summer McGee, Ph.D., CPH, and Serena Guzman. These new members are from unique backgrounds and experiences, academic expertise and industry perspectives which will guide efforts to grow the region’s life sciences assets. Geoff Foster is the new Vice Chair of the committee. Details about each new member are below.

Durham-based Atsena Therapeutics, a gene therapy company developing novel treatments to prevent or reverse certain types of inherited blindness, has raised about $24.5 million in private investment and aims to raise about $7.5 million more.

The funding, detailed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was provided by 10 investors. The investment follows a $55 million Series A round of venture capital raised in 2020.

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.

Sequence Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The continued growth of North Carolina’s life sciences sector serves as a springboard for one Triangle company that’s accelerating how highly skilled talent is trained.

Asensus Surgical

Asensus Surgical is turning to technology giant Nvidia to accelerate the development of its digital tools that give surgeons more insights in the operating room and beyond.

Informing Innovation 2023

On September 20, librarians, business development professionals, consultants, and students gathered at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s headquarters for its Informing Innovation 2023 conference. 

Led by NCBiotech’s team, the day-long event provided attendees with the latest information on life sciences resources, search strategies, and copyright and research basics, among others. One hot topic was artificial intelligence (AI), which was top of mind for many attendees.  

scroll back to top of page