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Luck of the draw

Charles Sanders knows a doc can't always pick his patients.

Biotech develops formula that nurtures job growth

Several times a week during much of the last year, Monica Doss answered her phone to find someone from the West Coast calling to ask about the state’s life-sciences industry. Most were California biotech veterans. About half told her they planned to move to North Carolina — whether a job was waiting or not.

The Atkins Diet has business cooking

John Troy’s experience with the Atkins Diet mirrored that of many Americans. He got spectacular short-term gains but couldn’t maintain them.

Reign maker

While Charlotte calls itself the Queen City, the rest of North Carolina calls it other names: The Great State of Mecklenburg is the nicest. Why the hard feelings? That’s what Senior Editor Arthur O. Murray asked five leaders who live and work in Charlotte or its surrounding counties: Walter McDowell, North Carolina president of Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp.; Joan Lorden, UNC Charlotte provost; Jerry Orr, aviation director of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport; Lynne Scott Safrit, president of Atlantic American Properties Inc. in Kannapolis and the person overseeing development of California billionaire David Murdock’s proposed biotechnology project there; and Ronnie Bryant, chairman and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Grow your own

Tony Atala is on the hot seat, though he’s fielding easy questions. He struggles to recall he’s 46, was born in South America and grew up mostly in Boca Raton, Fla. Asked when he got his bachelor’s from the University of Miami, he tilts his eyes toward a spot near where the ceiling meets a wall. “I got a bachelor’s there in, uh, uh — I forget the year, but it’s on my CV.”

Money proves to be real pill for industry

Executives at life-sciences companies in North Carolina have at least one thing to be thankful for: Their industry’s popularity with venture capitalists isn’t fading as fast as it has for some others. Through three quarters of 2004, they had grabbed 29% of the venture capital received by North Carolina companies, compared with 14.4% during the first nine months of 2000.

Firm returns from the grave a profit

Imagine Perry Mason confronting a wife who has bumped off her husband for the insurance money. “He was worth more to you dead than alive, wasn’t he?” Durham’s Volumetrics Medical Imaging Inc. is like that. It was buried in February 2001, but thanks to a lawsuit, it’s worth more than ever.