The North Carolina Biotechnology Center awarded more than $2.5 million in loans and grants to life science companies, startups and others during the first quarter.

The Biotechnology Center, which has the mission of supporting biotechnology research, business, education and policy, has been providing grants and loans to entities in the state since 1984.

Recipients in the first quarter include:

  • Clearside Biomedical. The Georgia Institute of Technology spinout, with R&D labs in RTP, was awarded a $250,000 Strategic Growth Loan loan to partially fund a clinical study for Clearside’s first retinal disease product.
  • Ardeal Pharma. The Brevard-based startup developing treatments for inflammatory skin conditions, was awarded $50,000 for a Company Inception Loan to partially fund development of a topical formulation for its first product. The loan will also allow Ardeal to test the product in preclinical models and position the company for further funding.
  • Allan Brown, of North Carolina State University, received an $82,247 Education Enhancement Grant for a genomics project centered on blueberries. The project, which is a collaborative effort of NCSU-Kannapolis, Davidson College and Lenoir-Rhyne University, brings blueberry genomics directly into classrooms at Davidson and Lenoir-Rhyne and allows students to participate in ongoing research.
  • Duke University Medical Center was awarded $194,002 for heart disease research. Duke’s medical center was also awarded $172,840 to purchase a Fluidigm Biomark HD system, for expression profiling of single cells.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill was awarded $41,164 for equipment to facilitate structural-biology projects and increase chances for successful completion. The equipment will be used for basic biomedical and biotechnological research by a large number of investigators from academia as well as from industry.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill was awarded $199,000 for a new state-of-the art imaging technology that will enable investigators to improve their understanding of ocular diseases and to develop new treatments for them. UNC-CH was also awarded $141,363 for equipment to image the heart and blood vessels using ultrasound. The equipment will be use by researchers to learn more about problems such as high blood pressure, sickle cell disease and AIDS.
  • North Carolina State University received $93,750 for a new DNA sequencer, which will revolutionize the biotech efforts of NCSU’s faculty. Proposed projects, such as using organisms as catalysts to manufacture enzymes, treating waste, or pollution prevention, will receive a big boost in ease of generating the genomic and gene sequences.