Life science companies and investors, let’s make a deal.

The annual CED Life Science Conference kicks off in Raleigh today where small drug developers hope to make the right connection with a big pharmaceutical company or venture capitalist who could help continue the development of a new drug or medical device.

A total of 16 companies are scheduled to make presentations, split evenly between pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Here’s a quick rundown of the presenting companies, all of whom are either based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle or have R&D operations here.

Biopharma Companies:

Aerial BioPharma: The central nervous systems therapies firm, led by the same management team that build Addrenex Pharmaceuticals into an acquisition target of Sciele Pharma, launched a $12 million fundraising round last fall.

Chimerix: A Chimerix antiviral agent that could help transplant patients has made it through a successful phase 2 clinical trial and the company expects to start phase 3 later this year.

CoLucid Pharmaceuticals: A novel migraine headache treatment developed by CoLucid is being pitched to large pharmaceutical companies for a possible drug partnership deal. The company last summer raised $7.5 million.

Heat Biologics: The Chapel Hill biotech company has developed a novel immunotherapy technology that it plans to take into clinical trials for bladder and ovarian cancers.

Liquidia Technologies: The nanobiotechnology company, which has been developing its nanoparticle technology for targeted vaccine delivery, last year entered into a partnership with PATH to develop the next generation pneuomococal vaccine.

Scynexis: The drug development company late last year opened a $15 million fundraising round as it continues work on a novel hepatitis C treatment currently in phase 2 clinical trials.

Vascular Pharmaceuticals: Founded by Dr. David Clemmons, chief of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the drug development company has three research programs targeting diabetes complications.
Viamet Pharmaceuticals: Moving from drug discovery to drug development, the Durham company last September started phase 1 clinical trials on a compound to treat a range of fungal infections.

Medical Technology:

Advanced Animal Diagnostics: AAD last year raised $11 million in venture capital and now stands ready to market its first product, a new diagnostic to test for the dairy cow disease mastitis. The cow udder infection causes the dairy industry to lose billions of dollars each year.

Advanced Liquid Logic: The RTP company has developed microfluidics technology for applications in diagnostic devices.

Clearside Biomedical: The Atlanta company, which has R&D operations in RTP, last month opened a $4 million fundraising round to continue development of a eye drug candidate that would be delivered with the company’s novel microneedle drug delivery system.

Humacyte: The regenerative medicine company’s technology is being developed for vascular applications. Humacyte raised $12 million in 2010.

Metabolon: The company’s technology can identify biomarkers for use in diagnostics in emerging personalized medicine applications. Metabolon raised $13 million last August in a series D round of financing.

nContact: The medical device company has developed less invasive ways to treat atrial fibrillation.

TearScience: Evaporative dry eye is the target for this medical device developer. TearScience has commercialized products that diagnose and treat the condition. Morrisville-based TearScience recently secured 510(k) clearance on the latest version of its LipiFlow device to treat dry eye.

TransEnterix: The company has developed and commercialized a system that makes abdominal surgeries less invasive. TranEnterix in December closed on a $15 million second traunch of a the company’s $55 million series B round.

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