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Novozymes, TranS1, Symberix, & More in NC Innovation News

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — 

Here are some of the top headlines in recent North Carolina biotech, tech, and cleantech news:

—Novozymes (NASDAQ OMX: NZYM) and Monsanto (NYSE: MON) set an ambitious target of having their agricultural microbials reach between 250 million and 500 million acres of U.S. farmland by 2025. Currently, microbial products from the two companies are used on approximately 65 million acres. Denmark-based Novozymes, which maintains its North American headquarters in Franklinton, NC, joined forces with Monsanto in 2013 to research, develop, and commercialize microbials for applications such as improving the ability of crops to resist pests and disease.

—A medical device developed on the North Carolina coast now has a new home in the Rocky Mountains. Last week, I wrote about how the AxiaLIF spinal fusion product was purchased out of a bankruptcy auction and is now being marketed by a Denver-based medical device startup now called TranS1. That’s the original name of the North Carolina company that developed the AxiaLIF 15 years ago.

—Symberix, a pharmaceutical startup spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was awarded two federal grants to support the company’s development of drugs targeting the microbiome. The Durham company says that the Small Business Innovation Research grants will support its work on drugs that block an enzyme thought to be responsible for side effects of certain pain and cancer medication.

—Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) plans to cut 1,000 jobs and spin off its GoTo division as a separate company, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The Santa Clara, CA-based software company is not breaking out where those jobs will be cut. Citrix employs about 600 in Raleigh, where the company established a presence with its 2011 acquisition of confidential file sharing company ShareFile. Citrix employs more than 9,000 worldwide.

Double Time Capital raised $14.9 million for its fund targeting solar and clean-energy projects in North Carolina, the Charlotte Business Journal reported. The fund, the Charlotte firm’s fifth, started fundraising in 2013.

—Jayant Baliga, an electrical engineering professor at North Carolina State University (pictured above), is slated to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The university says Baliga is being honored for his invention of the insulated-gate bipolar transistor, a power semiconductor device that is used as an electronic switch in applications ranging from transportation to medical devices. Baliga, the founder of four North Carolina companies, has been issued 120 patents.

Photo of Jayant Baliga courtesy of North Carolina State University.