In our latest roundup of life science news affecting companies in the Triangle:

  • Survey finds US honeybee losses improve from horrible to bad

There’s a glimmer of hope for America’s ailing honeybees as winter losses were the lowest in more than a decade, according to a U.S. survey of beekeepers released Thursday.

Beekeepers lost 21 percent of their colonies over last winter, the annual Bee Informed Partnership survey found. That’s the lowest winter loss level since the survey started in 2006 and an improvement from nearly 27 percent the winter before.

The U.S. government has set a goal of keeping losses under 15 percent in the winter.

“It’s good news in that the numbers are down, but it’s certainly not a good picture,” said survey director Dennis vanEngelsdorp. “It’s gone from horrible to bad.”

Reduction in varroa mites, a lethal parasite, is likely the main cause of the improvement, said vanEnglesdorp, a University of Maryland entomologist. He credited the reduction in the parasite to a new product to fight the mite and better weather for pesticide use.

The 10-year average for winter losses is 28.4 percent.

Considerable honeybee research is being done in the Triangle.

  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals’ shares rise 27% after positive glaucoma drug results

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose by more than 27 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday after it reported positive results for its late-stage test of a glaucoma drug, Chris Roush reports for North Carolina Business News Wire.

Its shares rose $11.05, or 27.3 percent to $51.55.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, which has a large operation in Durham, said that the results of its Roclatan eye drops were consistent with earlier tests of the drug.

“Now that the efficacy results for both Mercury 1 and 2 have proven successful, and if the Mercury 112-month safety results are also successful, we expect to submit our Roclatan NDA in the first half of 2018,” said Chief Executive Officer Vicente Anido in a statement.

The company said that the most common Roclatan adverse effect was eye redness, which was reported in nearly 55 percent of patients. That was scored as mild for the large majority of these patients, generally consistent with previous trials.

The 12-month safety data from a Roclatan trial are expected in the third quarter of 2017.

Aside from Roclatan, Aerie is also currently testing another major glaucoma drug, Rhopressa, which is one of the two major components of Roclatan. Rhopressa is also in a late-stage Food and Drug Administration trial, and Aerie filed an NDA, or new drug application, for it in September.

  • Fennec Pharmaceuticals CEO compensation more than doubled in 2016

The compensation of the Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. chief executive officer more than doubled in 2016 due to a stock option award, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, NCBNW reported.

Rostislav Raykov was paid $371,885 in total compensation last year, up from the $180,000 in total compensation he received in 2015.

His compensation included a base salary of $215,000 and stock option awards of $156,885 in the Durham, North Carolina-based biotech company.

In 2014, Raykov only received a base salary of $180,000 and no stock options.

Raykov has served as chief executive officer of the company since July 2009. Before that, he was a general partner at DCML, a private investment partnership. Prior to DCML, from January 2006 to December 2007, Raykov was a portfolio manager for Alchem Investment Partners and John Levin & Co.

Prior to founding Alchem, Raykov was a portfolio manager and securities analyst for John A. Levin & Co. Event Driven Fund from 2002 to 2005. Raykov earned a B.S. in business administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Fennec Pharmaceuticals is a small stage biotechnology company focused on the development of sodium thiosulfate for the prevention of loss of hearing in pediatric cancer patients.

Children undergoing chemotherapy face the loss of hearing. Fennec Pharma hopes that sodium thiosulfate will allow these children to keep their hearing and prevent permanent disability.​

  • LabCorp executive sells $500,000 of stock

The chief information officer of health care testing company Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings has sold more than $500,000 worth of shares in the company, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to NCBNW.

Lance Berberian, who is also a senior vice president at the Burlington, North Carolina-based company, sold 3,613 shares at a price of $139.85 per share on Monday, resulting in $505,259 in proceeds.

He still owns 5,789 shares of the company, worth more than $810,000.

Berberian has been chief information officer and senior vice president of Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings since February 2014. Before that, he served as chief information officer and senior vice president of KI-1 Inc., formerly Kellstrom Industries Inc., since January 2000.

From 1997 to 1999, Berberian served as chief information officer at Interim Healthcare. Prior to joining Interim, he also spent three years at Corning Clinical Laboratories as chief information officer.

He received a B.A. degree in business administration from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey.