Business briefs

Sep. 17, 2013 @ 05:00 PM

BioCryst to help develop Marburg treatment
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it will work with the federal government to develop a potential treatment for Marburg virus.
The company said it received $5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Including that payment BioCryst could get as much as $22 million over the next five years.
The company intends to conduct preclinical testing of a drug called BCX4430 and run an early stage clinical trial. It said BCX4430 is its most advanced experimental anti-viral drug.
The Marburg virus is indigenous to Africa and is spread through contact with infected animals or the bodily fluids of infected humans. Symptoms also include shock, delirium and multi-organ dysfunction. It is considered a bioterrorism threat.
Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. slipped 5 cents to $6.47 in afternoon trading.

Durham software development firm announces merger
DURHAM – The Durham-based software development company Relevance announced Tuesday its merger with New York-based Metadata Partners to form a single Bull City-based company called Cognitect.
The combined company has a workforce of 45 people, including contractors, and will be headed by Justin Gehtland, Relevance’s chief executive.
All staff will continue on as employees in the combined company, he said, but there will be a “slight shuffling” of the executive team.
Gehtland said in an email that Relevance has been an investor in Metadata since its inception and has contributed money and developers to its core product, Datomic, a transactional database.
The leaders of the two companies are looking to combine Relevance’s services, software development staff and processes with Metadata Partners’ products and open-source tools and to design products and services specifically for the cloud.

Showcase planned of NC ag-biotech companies
DURHAM -- Leaders of emerging agricultural biotechnology companies will make pitches to investors and others Oct. 10 at the 2013 Ag Biotech Entrepreneurial Showcase.
There are more than 80 agricultural biotech companies in North Carolina, according to a news release from the N.C. Biotechnology Center, but most of the firms are growing entrepreneurial ventures. 
In addition to pitches, NCBiotech’s showcase will include panel discussions.

CED conference launched Tuesday
RALEIGH -- The Council for Entrepreneurial Development, a support group for entrepreneurs, kicked off its 29th annual Tech Venture Conference on Tuesday in Raleigh.
The first day included pitches from a number of entrepreneurs behind start-up companies, as well as a panel discussion and networking opportunity.
The conference resumes today with more pitches from entrepreneurs, presentations by local technology companies, and a planned speech from Gov. Pat McCrory.

-- From staff and wire reports