Business briefs

Jun. 19, 2013 @ 06:35 PM

USDA officials tour Durham food hub

DURHAM – U.S. Department of Agriculture officials got a tour of the headquarters of a Durham-based wholesale organic produce distributor Wednesday as well as a look at the work at a Bull City distributor of North Carolina pasture-raised meat.

Acting Agriculture Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse and Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Anne Alonzo were slated to hold a roundtable discussion in Durham Wednesday on topics such as small business concern, immigration and the department initiatives to support regional food system development.

The discussion was at the Durham headquarters of Eastern Carolina Organics, a company that markets and distributes wholesale organic North Carolina farm produce, and Firsthand Foods, a company that distributes North Carolina-raised meat.

The event was followed by a tour of the Durham warehouse, according to a news release from the department.

Grant to boost Durham’s Eboo Pharma

DURHAM – A young Durham biotechnology company has landed a grant of up to $1.5 million from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, according to a N.C. Biotechnology Center news release.

The company was established last year with the help of a loan from the center. The company is developing therapeutics for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and depression and for protecting heart and other cells from dying as blood flow is restored after a heart attack, according to the release.

Its lead compounds, called DPI-289 and DPI-290, are aimed at treating Parkinson’s disease symptoms directly as well as controlling motor fluctuations associated with existing Parkinson’s treatments.