Business briefs

Jul. 22, 2013 @ 06:17 PM

BioCryst reports good news for Phase 1 drug trial

DURHAM – BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s stock was trading up 51 percent on Monday on news that a Phase 1 clinical trial for an oral hereditary angiodemia treatment supported moving the drug to a Phase 2a study.

Hereditary angioedema is a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition characterized by swelling in different body parts, according to the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association website. The Phase 2a clinical trial is expected to begin in the fourth quarter.

The Durham-based company launched a restructuring last year following a series of setbacks. The company saw the termination of a merger and financing deal with a San Francisco-based company that was intended to create a single company with development programs for hepatitis C and hereditary angioedema drugs.

But BioCryst said in January it was discontinuing the development of a hepatitis C drug because a study showed the reduction of virus in animals given low doses of the candidate was insufficient to justify the drug's continued development.

The company had planned to direct resources to the Hepatitis C treatment, the hereditary angioedema candidate, and antiviral drug. Earlier in the month, BioCryst also had good news regarding its antiviral candidate peramivir. The company said it had the money to complete a new drug announcement for the intravenous influenza treatment candidate.

Biotech Center evaluating funding cut’s impact

DURHAM – N.C. Biotechnology Center officials are still working out how they will deal with a potential cut in state funding of 27 percent, or more than $4 million, that’s been proposed in the negotiated state budget plan.

The compromise allocates the center $8.6 million in recurring funds in each year of the budget biennium. It could also get another $4 million in non-recurring funds each year.

Robin Deacle, a spokeswoman for the center, said that’s a reduction of $4.6 million from the current state appropriation of $17.2 million. She said officials are still working out a how they would deal with that cut.

“Less money to invest in job creation usually means fewer jobs, but we intend to redouble our efforts at the Biotech Center to keep this economic development engine running strong,” she said in a statement.

The nonprofit, based in the Research Triangle Park, works to develop the state’s biotechnology sector. It employs 78.

Durham complex acquired

DURHAM – The California-based real estate company Passco Companies has completed the $28 million acquisition of a complex formerly known as Century Creek, near the Research Triangle Park, according to a recent news release.

The 280-unit complex is now called Encore at the Park. Passco specializes in the investment, acquisition, development and management of commercial properties.

“Encore at the Park has been a consistently solid-performing asset and was an attractive acquisition for our firm because of its desirable location near the Raleigh-Durham employment hub,” Gary Goodman, the company’s senior vice president, said in a statement.