The Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology, better known as COIN, is giving an extended lease on life, and a host of startups land seed capital for growth in what could be the largest N.C. Biotech Center grants the state will see for a long while due to budget cuts.

As WRALTechWire reported Thursday, the Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology is under new leadership and has moved its headquarters to Greensboro. Under grants announced this week by the Biotech Center, COIN  received not only $350,000 for continued development but also $10,000 to apply for its big trade show earlier this year.

Here’s how the Biotech Center describes the big grant:

“The award provides continued Phase II funding for the Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN). COIN, a valuable innovation management and commercialization agent for the nanobiotechnology community and state, fosters collaboration among universities statewide, creating a “one-stop” resource for industry-academic interactions in nanobiotechnology in North Carolina.”

The Biotech Center also gave a kickstart to several startups as its fiscal year closed and ahead of a nearly 27 percent budget cut from the state of North Carolina. 

The Center recently celebrated the IPOs of three North Carolina biotechs it helped launched.

Might there be other winners in this new crop?

Here’s a look at the nine, as provided by the Biotech Center in a report about the latest grants and loans that totaled $3.58 million:

$200,000 for Company Inception Loans

Four companies each received a $50,000 loan.

  • Chapel Hill-based agricultural biotechnology company Nova Synthetix will use the loan to help position it for additional financing. Its first product will be a castor variety from which the ricin seed toxin has been eliminated, enabling North American cultivation and increased production worldwide.
  • T3D Therapeutics, based in Research Triangle Park, is a startup company that is developing a transformational new therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other central nervous system disorders. The company will use the funds to establish company operations and position the company for Series A financing.
  • bioMASON, which received temporary office space from NCBiotech before moving into RTP’s First Flight Venture Center, uses microorganisms to produce better, cleaner, and more cost effective cement-based building materials. The company will use Company Inception Loan funds for business development activities, prototype development and manufacturing scale-up.
  • BaseTrace, also based in RTP, is developing DNA tracers to monitor the underground flow of hydraulic fracturing fluid. The company will use the loan to continue development of its technology and to position itself to raise additional private funds.

$647,428 for Small Business Research Loans

  • Novocor Medical Systems (Chapel Hill) received a $75,000 loan to continue prototype development and to engage with potential customers for its portable device for inducing hypothermia in cardiac arrest patients.
  • Novametics (Durham) received $72,950 to develop blood coagulation assay kits based on proprietary technology licensed from UNC-Chapel Hill. Funds will be used for clinical testing of the company’s two lead diagnostic products.
  • Oncotide Pharmaceuticals (RTP) received $250,000 to fund preclinical development of its lead compound, a new class of anti-cancer drugs targeting blood-based and solid cancers.
  • Physcient (Durham) received $249,478 to conduct advanced prototype development of its Differential Dissector, a handheld instrument for blunt dissection for use in a variety of open and endoscopic procedures.

$250,000 for a Strategic Growth Loan

  • BioKier, based in Chapel Hill, is developing novel therapeutic products for treating type 2 diabetes. The company will use its loan for a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of its lead product in diabetes patients.

The Biotech Center is continuing to adopt plans for the coming year under the tighter budget, and a separation program is underway for staff. 

The smaller budget likely means smaller staff, smaller grants, and smaller or fewer (or both) loans.

Let’s hope a company worthy of a future IPO doesn’t even reach commercialization stage due to the state tightening its purse strings.