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REGIONALREPORT Triangle

Going public comes back to life sciences
 
Investors interested in life-science IPOs are in short supply, says Eric Linsley, a partner at Pappas Ventures, a Durham venture-capital firm that invests only in this kind of company. New drugs and medical technologies must endure rounds of expensive testing and clinical trials. Even then, the FDA might not approve them. “The underlying macro vectors are still very challenging for early-stage life-science companies.” Still, he thinks two Research Triangle Park companies could soon follow the trio’s lead: Liquidia Technologies Inc., which engineers vaccines and therapies (it’s part of Pappas’ portfolio), and Metabolon Inc., which develops technology for drug-safety, toxicology and consumer products. “There’s quality science here, quality scientists, and at least with LipoScience, we are showing we can turn good
science into good business opportunities.”

https://asoft10294.accrisoft.com/businessnc/clientuploads/Archive_Images/2013/05/Triangle.jpgChimerix Inc.
Its public offering April 11 followed a licensing deal with Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co. worth up to $151 million for rights to its drug that treats HIV-related infections. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has fast- tracked Chimerix’s CMX001, proven in two clinical trials to reduce the likelihood of fatal infections in immune systems affected by cancer, drug use and other ailments.
Headquarters Durham
Raised $102 million
Revenue N/A
History Founded in 2002, chairman George Painter ran it until 2010, when Ken Moch, who joined the company a year earlier, became CEO and president.
Employees 46
IPO proceeds will pay for sales and marketing and CMX001’s third clinical trial.

LipoScience Inc.
Its share price had risen 10% by late March since an underwhelming IPO Jan. 30 of 5 million shares at $9 per share. It had hoped to fetch $13 to $15 per share. LipoScience has sold more than 9 million diagnostic cholesterol tests that provide doctors and patients information to manage the risk of heart disease.
Headquarters Raleigh
Raised $45 million
Revenue $54 million in year ended September 2012
History Founded in 1997 by N.C. State University professor James Otvos, it planned to go public in 2002 but didn’t because of poor market conditions.
Employees 200
IPO proceeds will pay for research and development, additional sales and marketing staff and dividends to shareholders.

Quintiles
The largest biopharmaceutical contract-research organization in the world, it filed an IPO proposal Feb. 15. Having doubled sales since 2003, Quintiles expects business to grow as R&D spending on health care increases and the market for clinical-trial outsourcing expands.
Headquarters Durham
Anticipates raising $600 million
Revenue $3.7 billion in 2012
History Founded in 1982 by Dennis Gillings, then a biostatistics professor at UNC Chapel Hill, the company went public in 1994, but poor performance led to a leveraged buyout in 2003 that took it private again. Thomas Pike, formerly a consultant with Dublin-based Accenture PLC, took over as CEO last year.
Employees 27,000
IPO proceeds will pay down $2.4 billion of debt.

Briefs

SMITHFIELDJohnston Health will partner with Chapel Hill-based UNC Health to cut costs and help management, though terms are still being negotiated and are expected to be finalized by summer. Officials cited UNC Health’s experience improving community hospitals for the decision.

SOUTHERN PINES —  First Bancorp, parent of First Bank, will move its headquarters here from Troy. The company will keep about 150 of its 190 corporate jobs in Troy by leaving back-office operations and a data-processing center there.

RALEIGH First Citizens BancShares named Glenn McCoy chief financial officer. He joined the bank in December 2012 as executive vice president of finance and replaces Ken Black, who retired at the end of March. McCoy previously was CFO of the former RBC Bank in Raleigh.

MORRISVILLE —  Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle will buy Tekelec for an undisclosed amount. The telecommunications company, which provides data management and network-signaling devices, was taken private last year by New York-based private-equity firm Siris Capital Group in a $780 million deal.