Reviewing news from Triangle and North Carolina tech companies:

  • Novan shares plunge
  • Another Life Clips exec resigns
  • Chimerix execs’ raises
  • LendingTree CEO sells more stock

The details as provided by the North Carolina Business News Wire:

  • Novan shares plunge 75 percent after mixed acne drug trial results

Shares of Novan Inc., a clinical-stage dermatology drug developer, plunged by nearly 75 percent on Friday after the company announced disappointing trial results for its topical acne treatment.

Chief Executive Officer Nathan Stasko said the company was “pleased” with a successful trial but “disappointed with the discordant results” of the second trial.

The Durham-based company hasn’t yet received the full data set but will provide an update on the acne drug program after more analysis, he said.

The positive data from the one trial suggests that the drug might not be dead yet.

Acne affects about 40 million to 50 million Americans each year, according to Novan’s website. The company’s future isn’t completely dependent on the success of this SB204 drug, though.

Novan has a handful of other drugs that are currently in development, including two drugs that are in phase 2 trials — SB206, a treatment for genital warts and SB208 for nail fungus.

Shares have sunk 10.5 percent over the last three months, compared with a 7.7 percent rise in the S&P 500 index. Novan shareholders have seen substantial losses since the company’s IPO at the end of September of last year. The biotech sector in general has been a slight bear market over this time frame.

Novan’s cash balance at the end of September was $55.7 million, which at current spending levels, is only estimated to be enough to keep Novan’s doors open through the end of 2017.

Novan traded down 77.06 percent during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $4.29. The company had a trading volume of 4,689,357 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $25.22. Novan has a 12-month low of $3.52 and a 12 month high of $30.90.

The company last released its quarterly earnings results on Nov. 14 of last year. The company reported a loss of $5.76 per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of a loss of $1.40 per share.

  • Life Clips president Finigan resigns

Robert Finigan resigned as president of Life Clips Inc. on Wednesday, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Finigan served as president of the company since Oct. 13, 2016, following Bob Gruder, who relinquished his duties to focus on other company efforts.

Finigan has over 20 years of branding experience, serving as chief branding officer and previous global chief marketing officer for private-equity backed Modere, as well as the chief creative officer for Siesmic Partners.

He has also worked for Mood Media, Bank of America and various agencies and start-ups. Finigan is the principal and founder of Black Labs Ventures LLC, a strategy-consulting firm.

According to the 8-K filing, Finigan’s resignation is not a result of any controversy with the company or any of its subsidiaries.

On Jan. 12, Gruder resigned as CEO of Life Clips, according to a similar SEC filing. Gruder’s resignation was not a result of any disagreements with the company.

While the company said it has not hired an interim CEO to replace Gruder, it has appointed Victoria Rudman to fill Gruder’s other positions, such as the company’s chief financial officer, secretary and treasurer, as well as a member of Life Clips’ board of directors.

Charlotte-based Life Clips is a startup company that sells actions cameras and battery products and is looking to compete with the popular action camera GoPro.

Life Clips trades on the OTC Markets under the ticker LCLP. It is currently trading at 1 cent per share and has been steadily falling since a high of $2.10 last January.

  • Chimerix executives see raises in compensation after positive 2016

Chimerix Inc.’s executives will all see a rise in their base salary for fiscal year 2017, along with performance-based bonuses for 2016, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Michelle Berrey, CEO and president of Chimerix, will have a 7.12 increase in base salary to $541,719 from $505,700 . She will receive a performance-based bonus of $191,041 for 2016, compared to $0 in 2015.

Chief Medical Officer Garett Nichols’ base salary increased 8.67 percent to $427, 093 from $393,000 . He received a performance-based bonus of $105,432 for 2016, compared to $100,000 in 2015.

Linda Richardson, chief commercial officer, saw a 8.67 percent increase in salary to $380,363 from $350,000. She received a bonus of $93,896, and received none in 2015.

Chief Financial Officer Timothy Trost had the greatest base salary percent increase at 11.78 percent, receiving $371,669 this year compared to $332,500 last year.

Chimerix is a pharmaceuticals company that develops antiviral drugs for DNA viruses.

According to the filing, the company’s committee determined that it had achieved it corporate goals at a 73-percent level for 2016. For the first nine months of the year, Chimerix has reported revenue of $3.7 million and a net loss of $61 million, less than the $79.2 million loss for the first nine months of 2015.

  • CEO of LendingTree sells an additional $425,000 in stock

Douglas Lebda, the founder, chairman and CEO of LendingTree, sold an additional 4,000 shares of company stock, worth $424,280, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lebda sold the stock on Jan. 26 at a price of $106.07 per share.

On Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, Lebda sold 8,000 shares of stock, worth over $420,000, in two transactions at prices of $104.04 and $105.50.

According to the Form 4 filing, Lebda still owns 1,049,140 of common stock through family trusts, spousal ownership and Lebda Family Holdings LLC worth more than $110 million.

LendingTree, founded in 1996, is an on online lending exchange that connects consumers with a network of lenders for financing products, including personal, business and auto loans.

LendingTree trades on the NYSE under the ticker TREE.

Note: The North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism.