Sep 162013


Monday, September 16, 2013


Life science start-up companies, event sponsors, researchers and educators received $3.58 million in loans and grants from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center during the final quarter of the fiscal year ended June 30.

The awards, in 14 programs, went to successful applicants across the state to support life science entrepreneurship, technology commercialization and education. In total, NCBiotech provided 151 awards during fiscal 2013, worth more than $10.7 million. That compared to 127 awards the previous year, valued at just more than $8.6 million.

NCBiotech has been awarding this type of funding since it was established in 1984. Such awards have helped North Carolina become the nation’s third-largest biotech cluster. There are now more than 500 life-science companies in the state, with more than 58,000 employees and an average salary exceeding $78,000.

The loans and grants from NCBiotech include $495,930 for biotechnology research grants. Dianne Walters, an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at East Carolina University, received $100,000 for a study that will use inhalation exposure of Carbon nanotubes (CNT) to determine appropriate mouse models and identify susceptibility genes involved in CNT-induced lung disease that may be investigated as therapeutic targets.

John Wiley, also a professor at ECU, received $96,500 to investigate ways to change tumor cells so that they show a foreign, non-human molecule called alphaGal on their surface. This surface molecule will enable the tumor cells to be detected and destroyed by the patient’s own immune responses as a new type of cancer immunotherapy.

NCBiotech is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide.

via The Daily Reflector.


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