NC Biotech Center issues nearly $900K in loans, grants

The N.C. Biotechnology Center issued $885,586 in first-quarter grants and loans under partially restored funding from the state legislature for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The Biotech center, based in Research Triangle Park, funds economic development in the life sciences and technology commercialization in North Carolina.

The center’s financial awards, from July to September, represent a 61 percent increase over the $551,000 paid out in the first quarter one year ago, right after the Biotech Center’s state funding had been slashed by 27 percent, to $12.6 million. In that year, 2013-14, the center awarded $6.3 million in grants and loans, down significantly from $10.7 million awarded in the 2012-13 fiscal year, when the center was fully funded at $17.2 million.

This year, the state legislature has restored $1 million to the center’s funding, bringing its budget $13.6 million.

Most of the first-quarter funding this year went out in three $250,000 loans to Novocor Medical Systems in Chapel Hill, KinoDyn in Chapel Hill and KeraNetics in Winston-Salem. Novocor is developing a portable device to quickly chill heart attack victims and reduce heart damage. KinoDym is developing drugs challenging cancers, such as “triple-negative breast cancer.”