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Statewide: Triangle region, May 2014

STATEWIDE Triangle Region


UNC gene work attracts Baxter

Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter International will buy Chapel Hill-based Chatham Therapeutics for $70 million, marking a payoff for the hemophilia research of UNC Chapel Hill professor Jude Samulski. He is president and co-founder of Chatham, holder of more than 20 patents and director of the Gene Therapy Center at UNC School of Medicine the past eight years. As a pharmacology professor, he had a $240,565 salary in 2013, university records show. Baxter in 2012 paid $25 million to develop Chatham’s treatments for hemophilia. UNC doesn’t have any equity ownership in Chatham, a UNC spokeswoman says, though the university is licensing technologies developed by the company and an affiliate, Asklepios BioPharmaceutical. Samulski declined to discuss UNC’s business ties to Chatham.



MORRISVILLE — Lenovo Group paid Reno, Nev.-based Unwired Planet $100 million for 21 sets of patents, including ones for mobile-phone technologies. In a separate deal, Lenovo acquired more than 3,800 sets of patents, mostly smartphone-related, from Tokyo-based NEC Corp. for an undisclosed amount. The patents will help the Beijing-based computer-maker, which has its North American headquarters here, develop its smartphone and mobile PC businesses.

RALEIGH — State Employees’ Credit Union is buying 8,000 PCs from Lenovo, which will assemble them at its plant in Guilford County. The computer-maker has about 300 of its 2,500 North Carolina employees at the Whitsett plant. The credit union will replace computers at all 253 branches and five operations centers.

DURHAM — Michelle Berrey was named president and CEO of Chimerix April 9. She joined the drug-development company as chief medical officer in 2012 and will retain that position. She replaces Kenneth Moch, CEO since 2010, who resigned abruptly a month after first refusing and then agreeing to provide a critically ill Virginia boy with an experimental anti-viral drug.

RALEIGH — Aseptia raised $28 million for an expansion at Wright Foods’ plant in Troy. The food-processor, based here, uses technology developed at N.C. State University to make fruit sauces, vegetables, soups and beverages that have a long shelf life without using preservatives or refrigeration. Investors include Raleigh-based Lookout Capital, Durham-based SJF Ventures and Prudential Social Investments, an asset-management group for Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Financial.

MORRISVILLE — Clinipace Worldwide acquired Hong Kong-based Choice Pharma, expanding its workforce from 520 to 640 in 30 countries. The digital contract-research organization, which
uses technology to cut costs of clinical trials, will keep its headquarters here and expects no layoffs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RALEIGH — Baxano Surgical raised $10 million from two unnamed investors to continue development of a surgical product to treat degenerative spine conditions. The medical-device company was formed in 2013 after Wilmington-based TranS1 acquired San Jose, Calif.-based Baxano.


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