Business Briefs

Jul. 03, 2013 @ 06:21 PM

GeneCentric raises $2.5 million

DURHAM – The Durham-based cancer diagnostics company GeneCentric Diagnostics Inc., which was founded based on discoveries at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center, has raised $2.5 million in financing, according to a regulatory filing.

Myla Lai-Goldman, the CEO of GeneCentric, said in an email that the company completed the fundraising round to advance its corporate mission of developing two technologies that are designed to help identify patients who would be the most responsive to certain cancer-fighting therapies.

One of its platforms is used to separate lung cancer patients into subgroups that are important for choosing the right therapy, according to GeneCentric’s website, The first application of the platform was licensed to and developed by LabCorp, and is available through the specialty testing business Integrated Oncology, according the website.

Lai-Goldman said the company has two employees, but anticipates adding more employees in the coming year.  

The company was founded based on intellectual property from the laboratories of Neil Hayes and Chuck Perou at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, according to the site.

Financial planning workshop to be held July 18

DURHAM – A workshop on how to create a financial plan in today’s economy is slated for July 18 in Durham.

The workshop is the Professional Placement Network Academy’s final event in its 2012-2013 workshop series for jobseekers.

The event will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Spring Hill Suites, 5310 McFarland Drive in Durham.

The academy is designed to provide opportunities for mid-to-upper level professionals who have earned at least $30,000 per year or have received higher education credentials or professional certifications to come together to share ideas, employment leads and current job market information. 

Participants interested in learning more about the academy or attending the July 18 event should go to the website or RSVP at

The 2013-2014 series is anticipated to begin in September 2013, with events occurring on the third Thursdays of each month.

Bioventus strikes deal to acquire Pfizer portfolio

DURHAM – Durham-based Bioventus is opening a research laboratory in Boston to pursue development and commercialization of assets acquired from Pfizer, according to a company news release.

The company announced an agreement with Pfizer for a license to acquire a portfolio of bone morphogenetic protein development programs and associated intellectual property.

The company also acquired an option to a bone morphogenetic protein program for soft tissue indications.

Pfizer agreed to transfer all existing development work for the bone morphogenetic protein assets and to undertake certain early-development activities relating to the next-generation bone morphogenetic protein, according to the release. Pfizer will also manufacture rhBMP-2 and supply it to Bioventus.

“As Pfizer continues to prioritize and actively manage our dynamic pipeline, we have looked for strong partners who are best suited to advance programs outside our core focus areas,” said Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, group senior vice president and head of biotherapeutics research and development at Pfizer, in a statement.

Bioventus was created from a division of the London-based Smith & Nephew through a deal struck with venture capital firm Essex Woodlands. Its products include orthopaedic healing devices, therapies and diagnostics.