“When I grew up, tobacco was something you smoked or chewed or dipped.” — Gov. Beverly Perdue at the opening of Medicago USA Inc.’s headquarters and production plant in Research Triangle Park Nov. 14.
The subsidiary of Canada’s Medicago Inc. will produce pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines using tobacco plants, which is cheaper and faster than using chicken eggs, the norm. That appeals to the Department of Defense agency that supports technology to respond to biowarfare and similar disasters. It’s investing $21 million in the project. To get the money, Medicago must make 10 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine within 30 days, beginning Jan. 9, to prove it can respond to a crisis. The company hopes to sell vaccines to distributors and government agencies and license its technology.
CHAPEL HILL— Cempra Holdings, the parent of drug developer Cempra Pharmaceuticals, plans to raise as much as $86.3 million in an initial public offering of stock, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The proceeds will fund clinical trials of treatments for drug-resistant skin infections and pneumonia.
MORRISVILLE — The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority named Michael J. Landguth, former CEO of Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Tennessee, director of Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Landguth, 44, replaces John C. Brantley III, 69, who retired.
CHAPEL HILL — Strata Solar plans to add 100 construction and engineering jobs in 2012 if sales continue at current projections. The company is awaiting approval from the N.C. Utilities Commission to build solar farms in Robeson and Catawba counties that would produce enough power for about 1,000 homes.
RALEIGH — Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix Systems bought software company Novel Labs, which does business as ShareFile. Terms were not disclosed, but it will keep its 100 employees. ShareFile software allows companies to confidentially share large files over the Internet.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences and Charlottesville, Va.-based PBM Capital Group opened a contract-research laboratory, Triangle Research Labs, at the Hamner campus here. Ivin Silver, a former director at GlaxoSmithKline, will lead the lab. It will employ about 40 by mid-2012.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Life-sciences company Entegrion won a $43.7 million contract from the Department of Defense to continue development for up to four years of its dehydrated blood plasma. It says the product is safer and more effective than frozen blood plasma.
RALEIGH — Red Hat, which sells and services the Linux computer-operating system, will buy Gluster for $136 million. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, founded in 2005, makes data-storage software.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Drug researcher Patheon secured a three-year, $18 million contract from German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim to develop drugs for Type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Sequenom plans to open a lab here by mid-2012 that will employ 242 within five years. The San Diego-based company is developing a prenatal test for Down syndrome that avoids puncturing the womb, a procedure that increases the risk of miscarriage. If Sequenom meets and maintains hiring and investment goals, it will receive $2.3 million in state incentives. The average annual salary is $53,721.