North Carolina Roundup: BioCryst, Biotech Center, Validic, & More

8/19/14Follow @frankvinluan

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

—BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BCRX) is moving toward Phase 1 clinical trials of its experimental treatment for Ebola and Marburg viruses with $4.1 million in new funding. The money from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease is the latest award in a five-year contract valued at up to $22 million for the Durham company.

In addition to safety studies of the compound BCX4430 in humans, BioCryst will also assess dosing of the antiviral in tests in monkeys. To date, BioCryst has been awarded $13.5 million under the federal contract.

—The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has named one of its own to become the organization’s new president and CEO. Douglas Edgeton is currently the center’s president for financial planning and development. He succeeds Norris Tolson, who announced his retirement from the Biotech Center earlier this year. Before joining the Biotech Center in 2012, Edgeton was president of the Piedmont Triad Research Park and executive vice president for administration at Wake Forest Baptist Health.

—Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) added a new drug to its portfolio of multiple sclerosis drugs with the FDA’s approval of its MS drug Plegridy. The Cambridge, MA-based company says it will manufacture Plegridy at its Research Triangle Park manufacturing facility.

Plegridy is an injectable drug that needs to be administered only every two weeks. By comparison, Biogen Idec’s MS drug Avonex, which the company also makes in RTP, must be administered weekly. Plegridy’s U.S. approval follows recent regulatory approval of the drug in Europe.

—Health IT firm Validic closed a $5 million Series A round co-led by Greycroft Partners and SJF Ventures, VentureBeat reported. The Durham firm’s technology helps hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare players communicate with the growing array of healthcare software applications. Validic’s new funding follows its July acquisition of Silicon Valley-based Infometers. Validic’s early investors include Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.

 

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