Business briefs

Jan. 15, 2013 @ 08:56 PM

Nature Conservancy’s relocating workers to American Tobacco

DURHAM – About 40 to 50 Nature Conservancy workers are expected to have relocated to downtown Durham’s American Tobacco campus by the end of the month, according to a news release Tuesday.

The nonprofit is moving its Southeast Regional and North Carolina chapters to a 13,000-square-foot space in the campus’ Strickland Building, according to the releasefreom  a public relations firm for the owner of the Durham property.

The move is expected to be completed by the end of January. The Nature Conservancy plans to lead conservancy efforts at the campus, including the planting of a native-plants garden between the Strickland Building and Tyler’s Taproom.

American Tobacco is a renovated former tobacco campus with office and retail space. It’s owned by Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting Co.

Argos Therapeutics launches late-phase trial

DURHAM -- Argos Therapeutics Inc., a company developing personalized treatments for cancer and infectious diseases, announced Tuesday that a late-phase clinical trial has launched that’s testing its most advanced product candidate in kidney cancer patients.

The biopharmaceutical company said in a news release Tuesday that the first patients were enrolled in a phase 3 clinical trial for its drug candidate, AGS-003. The study is designed to examine the potential for the candidate used in addition to standard targeted drug therapy to extend overall the survival in patients with unfavorable risk for metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

To create the treatment candidate, RNA isolated from a patient’s own tumor cells and is used to program dendritic cells, which are a type of white blood cell, to trigger an immune response against the patient's cancer.

“With this Phase 3 trial, we are setting out to prove the merits of a unique dendritic-cell based personalized immunotherapy and its ability to re-educate the immune system to recognize and kill cancer,” said Dr. Robert Figlin, primary investigator for the study and director of the hematology/oncology division at Cedars-Sinai.