Raleigh-Durham Roundup: Liquidia, TrueBridge, Citrix, & More

Here are this week’s headlines in North Carolina tech and biotech news.

—Nanotechnology company Liquidia Technologies spun out a second company and at the same time, announced a $10 million Series A round of financing for the new company.

Lq3 Pharmaceuticals will focus on oral health, though the new Research Triangle Park, NC, company did not disclose what its first product candidate will be. Canaan Partners led the $10 million round for Lq3. Canaan is an investor in Liquidia, as well as Envisa Therapeutics, a company Liquidia spun out last year to focus on developing new eye treatments. Liquidia also named Kyle Chenet CEO of Lq3. Chenet was formerly vice president of corporate development for Liquidia and Envisa.

Liquidia has commercialized a proprietary technology for manufacturing nanoparticles that it says makes the process customizable and scalable. The technology was originally developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Liquidia developed the technology into a way to improve vaccine delivery.

—TrueBridge Capital Partners has closed a $400 million fund focused on investing in other funds that invest in early-stage technology companies. The Chapel Hill, NC, investment firm says the financial commitments to this fund-of-funds, its third fund, exceeded the initial $325 million target.

TrueBridge manages more than $1.2 billion in assets. Limited partners invested in TrueBridge’s three funds include foundations and endowments, private and public pension funds, corporations, asset management firms, and high net-worth individuals.

—A Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) business accelerator program is expanding to Raleigh, NC, in partnership with co-working space HQ Raleigh.

The 10 startups accepted to the Citrix Startup Accelerator Innovators Program will have a three-month residency at the Citrix Sharefile office in the Warehouse District in downtown Raleigh. In addition to the work space, teams will also receive support, in-depth training, and mentoring and guidance from business executives and venture capitalists. HQ Raleigh and Citrix staff will facilitate the program.

The Citrix Innovators program concluded in Silicon Valley last month and is now expanding to other locations around the world.

—Oxygen Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: OXBT) has halted a mid-stage clinical trial of its experimental treatment for traumatic brain injury. The Morrisville, NC-based company says it had problems enrolling patients in the Phase 2b trial of its perfluorocarbon (Oxycyte).

“The Oxygen board of directors and management team has decided that completing this trial in a reasonable period of time is not feasible,” Ronald Blanck, Oxygen Bio’s chairman, said in a statement. “We will be considering strategic alternatives for Oxycyte moving forward.”

The intravenous emulsion was developed to work by enhancing the delivery of oxygen to injured tissues. The drug was Oxygen’s lead candidate until the company’s 2013 acquisition of certain assets of the former Phyxius Pharma. Those assets included the rights to levosimendan, a calcium sensitizer developed to treat patients with acutely decompensated heart failure. Levosimendan became Oxygen Bio’s lead drug candidate and earlier this year, the company started enrolling patients in a Phase 3 clinical trial for the drug.



Frank Vinluan is an Xconomy editor based in Research Triangle Park. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @frankvinluan

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