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Raleigh-Durham Roundup: RTP Park Center, Liquidia, Novan, & More

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — 

Here are the highlights in life science news as the Carolinas starts to dry out from a soggy 12 straight days of rain:

—The Research Triangle Foundation, which manages Research Triangle Park, secured $50 million from public and private sources to finance the first phase of Park Center, a redevelopment project that will bring a mix of residential, retail, and restaurant options to the Park, along with new startup, co-working, and corporate space. Construction is slated to begin in January.

— GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) will continue its research partnership with Research Triangle Park-based Liquidia Technologies. GSK exercised its option under a 2012 collaboration agreement with Liquidia to use the company’s technology to research, develop, and commercialize inhaled drugs. Liquidia’s technology makes nanoparticles in particular sizes and shapes, which improves drug delivery. Liquidia disclosed no financial details of its deal, other than to say it receives an option fee and continued R&D funding. But Liquidia says it keeps the right to develop its own inhaled drug.

—Novan Therapeutics reported positive Phase 2 clinical trial results for its experimental acne drug SB204. Durham-based Novan’s drug harnesses the therapeutic properties of nitric oxide in a stable, topical gel. Earlier this year, Novan closed on $50 million in funding, which the company applied toward its acne drug, as well as mid-stage trials of SB206, a topical antiviral that the company is studying as a treatment for human papillomavirus infection. The company plans to begin enrollment in Phase 3 trials of its acne drug early next year.

—Charlotte-based health IT firm Premier (NASDAQ: PINC) completed its third acquisition in two months with its purchase of physician practice software firm Inflow in a deal valued at up to $35 million. Premier, which provides software that manages hospital supply chains and measures healthcare quality, adds Inflow’s focus on managing the operations and finances of physician practices. In August, Premier acquired CECity for $400 million, then a week later, acquired health analytics software firm Healthcare Insights for $65 million.

—Icagen, the Cambridge, MA-based ion channel drug discovery firm formerly known as XRpro Sciences, is moving its headquarters to Durham, where it will consolidate with the company’s existing R&D site. In July, XRpro bought Icagen from Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) but said the combined company would remain headquartered in Cambridge while Icagen would continue operating from its Durham labs. Last month, XRpro announced it would change its name to Icagen. The company expects to complete the relocation by the end of the year.

—Phoundry Pharmaceuticals, a Research Triangle Park-based company that was the endocrine “discovery performance unit” of GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) before spinning out earlier this year, was acquired by Boston company Intarcia Therapeutics in a cash and stock deal whose value was not disclosed. Intarcia, which is developing an implantable medical device to treat diabetes, gains access to Phoundry’s diabetes- and obesity-focused peptides portfolio.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Heather Smithers under a Creative Commons license.