Business briefs, May 7

May. 06, 2014 @ 05:57 PM

United Therapeutics subsidiary makes $50 million investment

SILVER SPRING, MD. – A subsidiary of Maryland-based United Therapeutics Corp. has struck a research deal with California-based Synthetic Genomics Inc. to develop humanized pig organs.

United Therapeutics has four pulmonary arterial hypertension treatments on the market already. It had plans to build out facilities in the Research Triangle Park for research into genetic modification of pig lungs for use in humans and into the use of stem cells from patients’ blood to grow human lungs on the template of a lung from a pig.

 The deal announced Tuesday with Synthetic Genomics Inc. is a multi-year agreement to develop humanized pig organs using synthetic genomic advances.

The collaboration will focus on developing organs for human patients in need of a transplant, with an initial focus on lung diseases, according to a news release. The plan is for the California company to engineer primary pig cells with modified genomes and for United Therapeutics to use them to generate pig embryos that develop and are born with humanized lungs.

As part of the agreement, SGI will receive royalties and milestone incentives from development and commercialization of the organs. The United Therapeutics subsidiary, called Lung Biotechnology, is making a $50 million equity investment in Synthetic Genomics.

Appia announces app install milestone

 DURHAM – Appia, a Durham-based tech company behind technology for marketing mobile apps, announced Tuesday that it has more than 75 million installations on its mobile app installation network.

The company said it hit the milestone by working with new advertisers, through publisher partnerships and by making technology improvements.

Appia provides mobile ad solutions for developers, publishers and advertisers, and has offices in San Francisco, Singapore and Durham. It has global sales locations in the United Kingdom and Mexico.

Cree announces new products

DURHAM – Durham-based Cree Inc. has made two product announcements in as many days to announce that a more “true and natural” colored LED light bulb for consumers is now available nationwide and that it has a new LED replacement for commercial tube lighting.

The company announced Tuesday that its TrueWhite Series Cree LED Bulb, which was launched in California, will be sold in The Home Depot stores nationwide. The 40-watt replacement LED bulb is priced at $13.97 and the 60-watt replacement bulb at $15.97.

The bulb is designed to look and light like a light bulb and to give consumers light quality typically reserved for “specialty areas” like high-end retail stores, according to the release. It uses less energy and lasts longer than typical incandescent bulbs.

The company Monday announced an LED replacement for commercial fluorescent tube lighting. In a news release, the company said that companies that buy the LED fluorescent tube replacements are eligible for utility rebates. They come with a five-year warranty and have a suggested retail price of $30.