Triangle

Transenterix slashes jobs after FDA rejects surgical robot

May 12, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

TransEnterix laid off about a third of the workforce at its Morrisville headquarters following the FDA's rejection last month of its SurgiBot system. The 10-year-old company is now shifting its focus to a second robot for general surgery, the ALF-X, which it acquired last year for $100 million. TransEnterix is seeking to develop and market an alternative to the da Vinci system, a surgical robot that has dominated the field for the last 15 years.

Raleigh's Republic Wireless adds Samsung phones, new cellular network

May 12, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Republic Wireless will expand the line of products available to customers of its low-cost phone service to include Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus. The company, a spinoff of Bandwidth.com, uses Wi-Fi as its primary network. Raleigh-based Republic is also adding a second cellular partner (it currently partners with Sprint), though the company won't say who it is. Bloomberg and other media identified the carrier as T-Mobile.

Report: Raleigh-Durham No. 4 place for startups

May 12, 2016

(WRAL.com)

The Raleigh-Durham area ranks No. 4 on a list of startup hubs, trailing only Boston, the San Francisco Bay area, and Denver. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce measured metro areas based on quality of life, education, types of startups and exits, and other criteria.

Desperate Raleigh homebuyers chase sellers

May 12, 2016

(WRAL.com)

The Raleigh housing market has become so desirable that prospective buyers are targeting homeowners in certain neighborhoods with flyers and messages offering to buy their homes, even though they aren't listed for sale. More than 10,000 new homes are slated for construction in the Triangle this year.

Jackson named president of Harnett Health

May 12, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Kevin Jackson, interim president of Harnett Health since October, has been named to the permanent position. Harnett Health includes 101-bed Betsy Johnson Hospital in Dunn and 50-bed Central Harnett Hospital in Lillington. Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health manages the system.

Fujifilm opens biotech innovation center in Morrisville

May 11, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

On Monday, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies opened a new 62,000-square-foot manufacturing center in Morrisville, where it will develop and make recombinant pharmaceuticals including proteins, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. The company is a unit of Tokyo-based Fujifilm Holdings.

Southern Company completes PowerSecure purchase

May 11, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Georgia-based Southern Company has completed its $425 acquisition of PowerSecure, the Wake Forest-based company that makes distributed-energy systems. Stockholders received $18.75 a share. PowerSecure's headquarters will remain in Wake Forest.

Durham's Chimerix reports disappointing clinical-trial results

May 10, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Durham drug developer said brincidofovir, its experimental antiviral drug, failed to improve patients' survival rates in a clinical trial. The company reported a net loss of $26.3 million in the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $22.3 million a year ago. A contract with BARDA provides revenue for Chimerix, which had $315.7 million in cash at the end of the quarter. Chimerix's shares have fallen more than 90% since last August.

Ag tech accelerator launches at RTP

May 6, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new accelerator that will provide seed funding, office space, labs and greenhouse space for agricultural tech startups opened on Thursday. The project has received $11.5 million in funding and expects to raise up to $30 million by year-end. The venture capital arm of Alexandria Venture Investments was the lead investor; Triangle-based Hatteras Ventures and Pappas Ventures also participated.

Mountaire Farms plans 500 jobs at Siler City chicken plant

May 6, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Delaware-based Mountaire Farms will acquire the former Townsend poultry processing plant in Siler City, which employed more than 1,000 people before shutting down in 2011. Mountaire plans to renovate the plant and says it will eventually create more than 500 jobs.

Blue Cross fines will be 'in the millions,' insurance commissioner says

May 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says technology-related problems at Blue Cross and Blue Shield are ongoing, and he called the insurer's response to the problems "unacceptable." Goodwin's agency has received 13,596 calls from disgruntled customers. He expects to report results of the commission's investigation on May 27.

GSK selling RTP real-estate holdings

May 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

GlaxoSmithKline plans to sell 1.8 million square feet of space the company owns in Research Triangle Park and lease back the three buildings it currently uses. The pharmaceutical giant employs about 2,600 in the Triangle, down from 5,000 a few years ago, and only occupies about 600,000 square feet. The company said the move doesn't mean it has plans to leave North Carolina.

Quintiles merging with IMS Health to form $17.6B company

May 3, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Durham-based contract-research organization Quintiles is merging with Danbury, Conn.-based IMS Health Holdings in a deal valued at $9 billion. The combined company will have a market value of nearly $18 billion. The new company will be called Quintiles IMS Holdings and will maintain dual headquarters. Quintiles CEO Tom Pike will become vice chairman of the new company.

Raleigh drug developer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

May 3, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

NephroGenex said Monday it has hired an investment banker to help sell its assets. The drug developer completed its initial public offering in February 2014 at $12 a share; its stock was trading at 18 cents a share on Monday afternoon. The company was in the midst of a restructuring and had been attempting to complete a reverse merger.

Jim Blaine handing off top job at SECU

May 3, 2016

Jim Blaine, one of the most important financial executives in North Carolina over the last 40 years, is retiring as CEO of State Employees' Credit Union. The group grew by more than 100-fold during his tenure.

INC Research reports 17.7% growth in service revenue

May 3, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based INC Research posted service revenue of $249 million in the first quarter, up from $211.5 million a year ago. Despite the strong results, the company laid off 3% of its workforce, or about 175 people worldwide, due to a realignment of its therapeutic business units. About 30 workers in Raleigh lost their jobs. CFO Greg Rush says the company is still growing, adding about 800 workers last year, including 100 in the Triangle.

BASF slashing 106 jobs at RTP

May 2, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

German biotech firm BASF is cutting its plant technology unit — its headquarters is at RTP — in half, with layoffs beginning June 30. About half of the affected positions are scientists. The company opened a $33 million, 80,000-square-foot expansion of its RTP research campus in 2013.

Co-founders of Durham's Bronto Software step down

May 2, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A year after selling Bronto Software to San Mateo, Calif.-based NetSuite for $200 million, Joe Colopy and Chaz Felix have left the email marketing company they co-founded. Carolyn Sparano, who has been with the company for nearly a decade and was most recently vice president of client services, was named general manager. Colopy and Felix say they plan to stay in the Triangle area.

Duke president stepping down in 2017

April 29, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke University President Richard Brodhead will take a year's sabbatical then return to teaching and writing. He has led the university for 12 years. During his tenure, he has overseen more than $1 billion in construction projects and the opening of a new campus in China.

Report: Ingram stepping down as chairman of Valeant

April 29, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Drugmaker Valeant's newly appointed CEO Joseph Papa is expected to assume the role of chairman, The Wall Street Journal reports. Current Chairman Bob Ingram is expected to give up his post as early as Friday. Ingram, a former CEO of Glaxo Wellcome and general partner at Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners, has been chairman or lead director of the Quebec-based drugmaker since 2010.