Here’s a recap of top headlines from the last week in North Carolina biotech, tech, and cleantech news.
—Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX) ran into another setback for its lead drug. The Durham company reported that its antiviral brincidofovir failed in a late-stage trial that studied the drug’s ability to fight adenovirus in transplant patients. The open-label study compared the treatment group against historical data of adenovirus cases. Chimerix said that it will use information from the clinical trial failure to guide the design of a new study, this one comparing the antiviral in a placebo-controlled clinical trial.
The Chimerix drug had previously failed in a Phase 3 trial last December, a study evaluating the drug’s efficacy against a different virus, cytomegalovirus. Based on that failure, Chimerix announced in February it would stop separate late-stage studies of the drug in kidney transplant patients.
—Surgical robot developer TransEnterix (NYSE MKT: TRXC) is shifting its focus to ALF-X, a decision that follows the FDA’s rejection of the company’s first surgical robot, SurgiBot. Executives for the Research Triangle Park-based company say they plan to file for FDA clearance on ALF-X in the fourth quarter.
—BioDelivery Sciences International (NASDAQ: BDSI) licensed U.S. rights to Onsolis, the Raleigh company’s treatment for breakthrough cancer pain, to Collegium Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: COLL). The deal includes $2.5 million up front to BDSI, $4 million upon first commercial sale in the United States, and up to $17 million in potential milestones tied to sales, plus royalties. Canton, MA-based Collegium adds Onsolis to a drug portfolio of pain treatments.
—G1 Therapeutics raised $47 million in a Series C funding round. The Research Triangle Park-based company will use the new capital to continue two clinical trials of its lead drug in lung cancer, and start a new trial in breast cancer.
—Randall Woodson, chancellor at NC State University, was named the chair of a new Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities commission focused on global food security. The APLU says this commission will identify ways that land-grant universities can improve access, availability, and consumption of food. The commission expects to release a report with recommendations in early 2017.
—Software analytics giant SAS is teaming up with the Duke Clinical Research Institute on heart disease research. Cary-based SAS will use its analytics tools to dive into 45 years of anonymized cardiovascular data collected by the Duke University Health System. Duke says that its data set includes information from more than 100,000 procedures performed on more than 50,000 patients.
—-In other Duke news, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) announced plans for a 21 megawatt combined heat and power facility that will be constructed on the campus of Duke University. Combined heat and power, also referred to as cogeneration, captures the heat from electricity generation that would ordinarily be lost as waste. Duke Energy will build and own the new facility, which still needs approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
—The Council for Entrepreneurial Development unveiled the inaugural class entering the North Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Heading into the class are: Dennis Dougherty, founder and managing partner of Intersouth Partners, and co-founder of CED; Dennis Gillings, founder and former executive chairman of Quintiles (NYSE: Q); Fred Hutchison, founder and attorney at the Hutchison law firm and the founding president of CED; and Bob Young, CEO of PrecisionHawk, founder and CEO of Lulu.com, and co-founder and former CEO of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT). All four will be feted on Tuesday at CED’s first annual Founders Day celebration.
Photo of downtown Durham courtesy of Flickr user David Mooring under a Creative Commons license.