Two North Carolina companies are among 39 biotechnology firms competing in a Buzz of BIO contest to recognize the most innovative companies prior to this summer’s BIO International Convention in San Francisco, June 6-9.

Bamboo Therapeutics of Chapel Hill is seeking votes in the “Pipelines of Progress” category, which features 19 companies that have at least started some human clinical trials of their products. Precision BioSciences of Durham is seeking votes in the “Technologies of Tomorrow” category, which includes 20 companies that that have not yet begun, or won’t need to begin, clinical trials.

Anyone 21 or over can vote for their favorite companies on BIO’s website once per day this week, until this Friday, April 22, at 5 p.m. Voters can select both North Carolina companies, since they’re in different categories.

(Vote at: ) 

The winning companies will be announced May 5. They will receive one complimentary convention access and partnering pass (a $3,000 value) and a free company presentation in the BIO Business Forum in front of industry leaders (a $1,600 value).

In its contest entry, Bamboo Therapeutics lists three reasons why it deserves votes: its focus on developing treatments for devastating genetic diseases; its unique, fully-integrated approach to manufacturing; and its recent completion of $49 million in Series A funding.

Bamboo is a new, fully integrated gene therapy company based on the pioneering work of Dr. Jude Samulski, director of the Gene Therapy Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The company is focused on gene therapy treatments for childhood neurological diseases including giant axonal neuropathy, Friedrich’s ataxia, Canavan’s disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

In its contest entry, Precision BioSciences cites its proprietary genome-editing platform, called ARCUS, and its site specificity, ease of delivery and breadth of editing capabilities. Precision is developing the technology to overcome cancers, cure genetic diseases and enable the development of safer, more productive food sources.

As of April 18, Precision BioSciences was in first place in its category with 58 votes, while Bamboo was in fifth place in its category with 23 votes.

North Carolina has had “Buzz of BIO” winners in each of the past two years. Last year it was Durham’s Vascular Biosciences and in 2014 it was Durham-based Novan Therapeutics.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center