RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Two Pennsylvania-based life science companies with North Carolina connections are among the first six selections to present at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s annual venture capital conference.

Venture 2007 is set for April 23-25 at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham.

Tengion, which is based in Norriton, Pa., is utilizing technology developed by Anthony Atala, the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The company closed on $50 million in second-round funding last year.

Atala is working to develop organ replacements, such as bladders, based on a patient’s own cells.

Neotropix, which is based in Malvern, Pa., is developing virus-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The Aurora Funds of Durham is among its investors.

The four Triangle-area companies picked to present are CeNeRx, NContact Surgical, Near-Time, and Taproot Systems.

Between 15 and 20 companies will be picked to make presentations at the conference. As many as other early stage companies also will be selected to attend.

“At Venture 2007, you can expect to see some of the freshest deals around,” said conference co-chair Mitch Mumma of Intersouth Partners. “Through a region-wide selection committee and extensive partnerships, Venture 2007 is scouring the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic with a focus on the best venture opportunities. Three sessions – the Angel Retreat, the Early Stage, and the Main Stage – offer presentations from the full continuum of the region’s innovation pipeline, from pre-seed to mezzanine rounds of funding.”

Companies can apply to present at the conference through Feb. 23.