Business briefs, Feb. 7

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 06:48 PM

Dignify Therapeutics announces lab agreement

MORRISVILLE – Drug developer Dignify Therapeutics announced Wednesday that it has an agreement with Integrated Laboratory Systems to establish a lab at the company’s Research Triangle Park facilities.

Dignify Therapeutics is developing treatments for bladder and bowel dysfunction in people with spinal cord injury, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. 

The company’s agreement with ILS is to establish a preclinical urodynamics pharmacology laboratory at ILS’ RTP facilities.   ILS will provide the space and some general laboratory services support personnel, while Dignify will provide the specialized equipment and personnel to conduct the experiments, Karl Thor, Dignify Therapeutics’ president, said in an email.

“ILS’ flexibility in allowing us to equip the laboratory to meet our highly specialized needs will allow Dignify’s scientists to continue their innovative, state-of-the-art pharmacology studies of bladder and bowel dysfunction at a level of scientific rigor that is in keeping with the high standards of our team’s earlier published works,” said Dr. Lesley Marson, a co-founder of Dignify Therapeutics and an adjunct professor in the department of urology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Thor said the company plans to start fundraising to raise $1.5 million from private investors. The company’s work is being done by its 10 founders.

Northwestern Mutual seeks workers, interns

DURHAM – The life insurance company Northwestern Mutual is looking to add 48 financial representatives and 78 financial representative interns this year in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Wilmington.

The effort is part of Northwestern Mutual’s nationwide goal to recruit a record-setting 6,400 financial professionals in 2014.

“Locally, we see a need to hire more financial representatives and interns,” R. Michael Condrey, managing partner of Northwestern Mutual in Raleigh, said in a news release.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries.

No rate increase requested by auto insurers

RALEIGH – Auto insurance companies are not asking for a rate hike this year for private passenger car and motorcycle insurance policies, the N.C. Department of Insurance announced.

The Rate Bureau, a bureau that represents auto insurance companies writing business in the state, submitted a filing Jan. 31 that requests no change in rates.

The rates remaining in effect are the result of a 2009 settlement signed by Goodwin that lowered car insurance rates to just below 2006 levels and delivered refunds totaling over $50 million to approximately one million North Carolinians.

ePlus expanding in Morrisville

RALEIGH – Information technology products company ePlus is expanding in Morrisville, bringing up to 50 jobs to the area, Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced.

Founded in 1990, the company has more than 900 workers. In North Carolina, it has offices in Morrisville, Charlotte and Wilmington.

The expansion in Morrisville is of its managed services business.

“The new Managed Services Center increases our national reach and enhances our ability to serve customers across the country,” Dan Farrell, senior vice president of national services for ePlus Technology said in a prepared statement.  “Raleigh is a strategic location for ePlus and holds a tremendous pool of technical talent in the Research Triangle Park area from which we can grow our staff and broaden our service offering.”