Business briefs

Apr. 11, 2013 @ 06:07 PM

AgBiome secures $14.5 million

DURHAM – AgBiome, a start-up company looking to develop agricultural products to improve crop productivity, has raised $14.5 million for research and development and to support the launch of its first products.

The company is looking to find micro-organisms or genes in those microbes that could be used to boost plant productivity, increase crop resistance to disease and pests and increase tolerance to stress.

“Microbes associated with agriculture ecosystems are a nearly infinite source of useful new genes and biologicals,” said Dan Tomso, the company’s chief scientific officer, in a release. “AgBiome aims to become the world leader in agricultural discovery centered around these resources.”

The founders of the company include Jeff Dangl, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill biology professor, and Paul Schulze-Lefert, director of the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Germany.

The company has two co-CEOs. Scott Uknes recently served in a senior role at Bayer CropScience and was also formerly vice president of development at Athenix, a biotechnology company acquired by Bayer CropScience. Eric Ward was previously co-president of agricultural biotechnology for Novartis in the Research Triangle Park.

Investors in the Series A financing round were Polaris Partners with Arch Venture Partners, Harris & Harris Group, Innotech Advisors, and others.

Nuvotronics adds manufacturing facility in Durham

DURHAM – Nuvotronics, a Virginia-based radio frequency hardware and defense technology company, is opening a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Durham, according to a news release.

The company plans to use the space for research and development and design, as well as to house a 10,000-square-foot clean room for an eight-inch wafer fabrication line.

“We are also excited about our expansion into a state-of-the-art clean room facility in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina,” said David Sherrer, president of Nuvotronics, in the release. “This facility will be the fourth and largest location for Nuvotronics, which also maintains design centers in Boston and Los Angeles.”

It plans to create 30 jobs this year at the Durham facility on Presidential Drive, and could add another 60 in three years.

Quintiles announces agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb

DURHAM –Quintiles, a company that provides contract services for drug companies including management of clinical trials, has a five-year deal with the global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The company announced Thursday that it was chosen to provide global support for the company’s central laboratory work, biomarker testing, and assay development for the next five years.

“We look forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to bring personalized medicine into mainstream drug development,” Thomas Wollman, senior vice president of Quintiles global laboratories, said in a news release.

Dilweg closes on Raleigh shopping center purchase

RALEIGH—The Durham-based real estate company The Dilweg Companies has bought the four-building Raleigh shopping center Shoppes at Greenway, according to a news release.

Three buildings in the center are occupied by O2 Fitness, Sherwin Williams, Family Eye Care Center and Barnes Chiropractic.

The center is Dilweg Companies’ third acquisition in the Triangle in the past year. Additionally, Dilweg purchased two office properties, according to the release. The company also expanded its reach last year with acquisitions in the Atlanta area.

Anthony Dilweg is chairman and CEO of the company. He is a former Duke University football player who went on to play in the NFL for three years as a quarterback with the Green Bay Packers and for the Raiders.