RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — After months of being in financial limbo, selling off operations and laying off many of its employees but getting the company on stronger financial footing, Clayton Duncan is stepping down as chief executive officer at Incara Pharmaceuticals.

Duncan has been with Incara from the days of incorporation through going public, near bankruptcy to a big step in fighting Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The news came Wednesday as the company also announced that it had filed an investigational new drug application for its ALS treatment known as AEOL 10150. Incara is seeking to being Phased I clinical trials.

Recent advancements in the drug’s development helped Incara raise more than $18 million in new financing.

Incara said Duncan’s resignation was “immediate” but added that he will serve the company as a consultant.

In an interview with The News & Observer, Duncan said, “The company is in a good position, and I can leave without worrying about them.”

He called the FDA submission :a milestone event” for Incara in a statement. “Successful development of AEOL 10150 could offer a new treatment option for a group of seriously ill patients who now have few alternatives.”

Replacing Duncan is Shayne Gad, a consultant who has worked with Incara through the IND application process.

Incara (OTC BB: ICRA) closed on $10.26 million in financing in April by selling 41,040,000 shares of its common stock. Investors included Biotechnology Value Fund, Perceptive Life Sciences and Great Point Partners. Incara also advanced the remaining $2.5 million of $5 million in financing.

Incara: www.incara.com