Raleigh-Durham Roundup: Windsor Circle, Salix, CED, & More

8/12/14Follow @frankvinluan

Here are this week’s headlines in North Carolina tech and biotech news:

—Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of cable television giant Comcast, led a $5.25 million financing round for Windsor Circle. Durham, NC-based Windsor Circle has developed customer-retention software for online retailers. The startup says the new financing will help it expand and boost its market reach.

Other investors participating in the Series B round were IDEA Fund Partners, Triangle Angel Partners, and AOL founder Steve Case. With the funding, Andrew Cleland, managing partner at Comcast Ventures, joins Windsor Circle’s board of directors.

—An irritable bowel syndrome drug candidate from Raleigh’s Salix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SLXP) is moving closer to showing the clinical trial results needed for FDA approval. The company reported top-line results from a phase 3 trial of rifaxamin showing its drug hit secondary goals of the trial: the effect of the drug lasted through six weeks; also, those who responded to initial treatment continued to respond for another six weeks without additional treatment.

The results are important because the FDA initially declined to approve rifaxamin in 2011 after raising questions about the durability of the drug’s effect and other issues. The results come a month after Salix released top-line results showing rifaxamin’s efficacy treating IBS.

—Startup Weekend’s inaugural Triangle Health Startup Weekend was held in Durham, the first time the three-day event in the Research Triangle has had a digital health focus. The event was one of eight Startup Weekends held last weekend. Over the course of 54 hours, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, form teams, and then build a business plan or even a prototype around the idea. ExitEvent reported that the winning team was Women of Aura, which is developing a natural remedy for yeast infections.

—The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) announced 18 “showcase companies” that will each have six minutes to present themselves and their technologies at CED’s annual Tech Venture Conference in Raleigh next month. In alphabetical order, the companies are: Adzerk; AnyCloud; CrowdTunes; EyeScribes; FilterEasy.com; Guerilla RF; inMotionNow; KnowledgeTree; LIKECHARITY; nCino; Next Glass; Royalty Exchange; Stealz; Tethis; The Produce Box; Valencell; WedPics; and Windsor Circle.

Frank Vinluan is a contributing editor at Xconomy, based in Research Triangle Park. You can reach him at fvinluan@xconomy.com Follow @frankvinluan

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