Triangle

Raleigh's Valencell closes on $11M financing

March 9, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Valencell, which develops technology for wearable electronics, raised $11 million in a round of financing led by GII Tech, a venture fund started by Gulf Islamic Investments of the United Arab Emirates. The money will be used for R&D and business development, CEO Michael Dering said in a statement. Meanwhile, Fitbit on Tuesday filed a counterclaim to Valencell's patent infringement lawsuit against the company.

Charles & Colvard sheds home party business

March 9, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Morrisville gemstone maker Charles & Colvard said it has sold Lulu Avenue, its home party business, to Yanbal USA for $500,000. Yanbal USA is a division of Yanbal International, a Lima, Peru-based beauty products company. The home party business accounted for 12% of C&C's sales in the fourth quarter.

BioCryst drug shows promise as Zika treatment

March 8, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals said a preclinical study of its experimental antiviral drug showed promising results in combatting the Zika virus in mice.
Also: Here's why BioCryst stock is spiking today

Durham data-management firm raises $7.5M

March 8, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Zaloni Partners raised $7.5 million in a financing led by Sierra Ventures that included Baird Capital. The Durham-based company provides data lake management software and services. A data lake is a repository for large quantities of data.

First Bank to swap branches with Virginia bank

March 7, 2016

(The Pilot, Southern Pines)

First Bancorp, the Southern Pines-based parent company of First Bank, will exchange seven branches in Virginia for six First Community Bank branches in Winston-Salem and the Charlotte metro area. First Community is based in Bluefield, Va. The exchange will allow both banks to "achieve further concentration" of operations in their core markets, First Bank CEO Richard Moore says.

Durham's Hatteras Ventures to manage UNC startup fund

March 7, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Hatteras Ventures will invest up to $10 million in startups hatched at UNC Chapel Hill; also, the Durham-based venture-capital firm will manage the school's Carolina Research Ventures investment fund. Hatteras invests in early-stage life sciences companies and has about $350 million under management.

Raleigh's Rex Hospital in growth mode

March 7, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The $235 million Heart & Vascular Hospital, expected to open next year, is the latest sign of UNC Rex Healthcare's evolution from a community hospital to a major regional medical center. Once the new heart center opens in 2017, an extensive renovation of the original hospital will begin. President Steve Burriss said the health care system also owns 20 acres in northwestern Raleigh for future expansion.

SAS execs climb Forbes' billionaires list

March 3, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

With an estimated net worth of $8 billion, Jim Goodnight jumped 33 spots to No. 144 on Forbes' annual billionaires list. John Sall climbed to No. 392, up from No. 462 the previous year. Read the full list here.

IBM begins layoffs at RTP, workers say

March 3, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Posts on a Facebook site that serves as a forum for IBM workers show that the tech giant has begun issuing layoff notices to workers in Research Triangle Park and other U.S. locations. According to the site, the cuts were in IBM's cloud unit. A company spokesperson declined to comment.

Cancer care pays off for famed Raleigh investor

March 3, 2016

A Cary-based cancer-drug supplier was among two companies fetching $1.2 billion from McKesson Inc., a big health care products distributor. The sale marked a payday for Raleigh investor James Maynard, best known for his Golden Corral restaurant chain.

4 Triangle universities team up to boost startup funding

March 3, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. State and N.C. Central are forming the Triangle Venture Alliance, which will work with alumni to establish a network of angel investors for startups. The alliance has received a $250,000 federal grant to kickstart the effort.

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Pappas

March 3, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against A.M. Pappas & Associates by former Chimerix CEO Kenneth Moch. Moch's lawsuit contended he was the victim of an "extortion scheme" after the Durham venture-capital firm filed a libel lawsuit against Moch, claiming he sent disparaging emails to Pappas' investors. That case is still active.

Triangle CROs ramp up hiring, compete for workers

March 2, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Quintiles, INC Research and PRA Health Sciences added more than 5,000 workers worldwide last year, including several hundred in North Carolina, as biotechs and pharmas are discovering they can save money by outsourcing clinical trials and other services to contract-research organizations.

NC State alumnus gives $1M to launch startup fund

March 2, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Robert "Chip" Andrews and his wife, Lyn, have donated $1 million to launch a fund for entrepreneurs at N.C. State University. Additionally, an accelerator program is planned. Andrews is former CEO and chairman of FMI Corp. and is on the board of trustees at N.C. State.

Yadkin, NewBridge complete merger

March 2, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Raleigh-based Yadkin Financial completed its acquisition of Greensboro's NewBridge Bank, creating a combined company with assets of $7.3 billion and 110 branches in the Carolinas.

Chimerix slashes 20% of workforce after failed drug trials

March 1, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based drug developer Chimerix said it is refocusing development efforts for brincidofovir, its experimental antiviral treatment, after recent failed clinical trials. The company reported a $37.8 million fourth-quarter loss and plans to cut 20% of its workforce of about 130. Shares of Chimerix's stock are down 87% since Christmas.

Cowell named to ChannelAdvisor board of directors

March 1, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

State Treasurer Janet Cowell will receive a $50,000 retainer plus $150,000 in stock options to join the board of directors of Morrisville-based e-commerce firm ChannelAdvisor, according to a regulatory filing. Cowell, 47, was elected treasurer in 2008 and has said she will not seek re-election. She has worked for Corning, Lehman Brothers Holdings and SJF Ventures.

Blue Cross earns small profit, bumps exec pay in 2015

February 29, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina managed to post a small profit in 2015 despite huge losses from customers insured through the Affordable Care Act. CEO Brad Wilson earned $3.8 million in total compensation, a 34% increase over the previous year. Each of the insurance company's top 10 executives received raises.

UNC medical school opens Wilmington campus

February 29, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

UNC School of Medicine will open in March a branch campus at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where up to 24 third- and fourth-year students will train for an entire year.

Cary's Biologics sold to McKesson as part of $1.2B deal

February 26, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

San Francisco-based McKesson will acquire Biologics, a Cary-based pharmaceutical services firm, and Vantage Oncology, based in California, for a total of $1.2 billion. Biologics employs 365 people in Cary; a spokeswoman says the company doesn't expect any staffing changes as a result of the acquisition.