Blackstone Network News

May 24 - Thursday

Pharma startup Emergo lands $12M from REX Health Ventures, Triangle backers

Blackstone Entrepreneur-in-Residence Moise Khayrallah has started another promising venture.

DURHAM – An all-star list of Triangle investors is backing Durham pharmaceutical startup Emergo Therapeutics with $12 million in venture capital.

Leading the round, which was announced Wednesday, is REX Health Ventures.

Other backers include:

Wolfpack Investor Network
Carolina Angel Network
Hatteras Venture Partners’ Venture Capital Multiplier Fund
Emergo is developing treatment options for flu-like illnesses and to boost the body’s immune system response. REX has already worked with the company in assessing its technology.

“REX Health Ventures is proud to support Emergo’s pioneering development to reduce symptoms associated with flu-like illnesses,” said Steve Burriss, president of UNC REX, in the announcement. “We are confident in Emergo’s leadership and look forward to supporting their research of innovative treatments that could benefit millions of patients.”

Emergo will use the funds “move ahead with development and testing of norketotifen, the only active metabolite of ketotifen, a drug with a 40-year record of safety and efficacy in asthma and allergic conditions,” the company and REX noted.
Robin and Nancy Hyde-DeRuyscher founded Emergo in 2016. Robin is a former senior scientists and executive at Biogen.

Emergo received $75,000 for preclinical studies of drugs it is developing to treat acute inflammatory conditions caused by infections and autoimmune diseases last summer from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

“Startup companies in the Triangle, like Emergo, are increasingly depending not only on institutional investors like RHV [REX Health Ventures], but also on a growing network of angel investors either based within this region’s three major universities or loosely affiliated with them,” said Emergo CEO Moise Khayrallah. “RHV’s leadership and due diligence capabilities in the health sciences field are crucial in rounding together sizable funds that could transform the landscape of health sciences companies in our area.”

Khayrallah has heled executive roles at Addrenex Pharmaceuticals, Neuronex and Aerial BioPharma.

REX Health Ventures has now made 12 investments since launching in 2012.

Sep 07 - Wednesday

UNC Spinout Among Nine Triangle Startups That Have Raised $82.2 Million in Two Quarters

Nine Triangle startups raised $82.8 million in venture capital during the second quarter, propelling the region into a strong year for startup funding despite lingering worries that 2016 would be a challenging year to raise money. Leading the Triangle’s VC list in the second quarter was G1 Therapeutics, an oncology drug developer in Research Triangle Park that raised $47 million in Series C funding in May. G1 chief executive Mark Velleca said the 25-employee company, spun out of UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008, has raised $95.5 million since 2013. (Source: The News and Observer)
To read full article, click here.

Sep 07 - Wednesday

UNC Receives $23 Million to Cure HIV

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will receive nearly $23 million over the next five years to continue research on their innovative “kick and kill” strategy for eradicating HIV. Worldwide, 37 million people are living with HIV.
To read full article, click here.

Sep 07 - Wednesday

UNC Receives $1M Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for Innovative Arts Program

“We are thrilled to be at the intersection of innovation and creativity,” said Kang. “With the DisTIL Fellowship program we hope to elevate the creative process, promote faculty creativity and innovation and forge connections between UNC-Chapel Hill students and the local community.”
– Emil Kang, CPA Executive and Artistic Director and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts
To read full article, click here.

Sep 07 - Wednesday

Duke Alumn Startup Teamworks Raises $6M in First Round of Outside Funding

Teamworks, the Durham startup founded by a Duke University offensive lineman, is raising outside capital for the first time in company history. The company announced it has raised $6.25 million. The Teamworks software helps organizations put a large group of disparate individuals on the same schedule. It’s obviously not the only Web-based scheduling platform – think of Microsoft Outlook, for example – but is the only one tailored intentionally for athletic programs.
(Source: Triangle Business Journal)
To read full article, click here.