RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Six North Carolina bioscience companies are among 15 companies from the Southeast selected as finalists for awards to be given at the 20th annual SEBIO Investor and Partnering Forum in Atlanta next month.

The six North Carolina finalists are Liquidia Technologies, Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Humacyte, Precision BioSciences, Locus Biosciences and StrideBio.

“We’re proud that almost half of the 15 finalists are from North Carolina, which indicates the health and vigor of our state’s emerging bioscience companies,” said Vivian Doelling, Ph.D., vice president of emerging company development at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. NCBiotech is a sponsor of the forum. “Notably, three of those companies received early stage loans or industrial internship awards from NCBiotech that helped them advance their technologies and gain major follow-on funding from other investors.”

Each year, SEBIO recognizes best-in-class deals by the region’s bioscience companies in five categories: Public Offering, Strategic Acquisition, Strategic Investment, Venture Funding and Initial Venture Funding.  The winners of the 2018 awards will be announced at the conference on Nov. 14.

The finalists from North Carolina, by category, are:

Public Offering

Liquidia Technologies of Durham raised $50 million in its initial public offering, which it will use to advance its particle-engineered, drug-delivery products.

Innovate Biopharmaceuticals of Raleigh completed a reverse merger with Monster Digital while raising $21 million from current and new investors. The company is developing novel medicines for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Strategic Investment

Humacyte of Durham secured a $150 million strategic investment from Fresenius Medical, the world’s largest dialysis company, to commercialize Humacyl, a bioengineered blood vessel, for dialysis applications.

Venture Funding

Precision BioSciences of Durham secured $110 million in Series B funding. The company has developed a genome-editing platform for applications in cancer immunotherapy, gene therapy and food production.

Initial Venture Funding

Locus Biosciences of Raleigh raised $19 million in Series A funding to develop precision antimicrobials for drug-resistant bacterial infections.

StrideBio of Durham secured $15.7 million in Series A funding to continue development of its gene therapy programs for rare diseases.

Conference to attract 300-plus attendees

More than 300 biotech and medical technology investors, corporate executives, university representatives, entrepreneurs and service providers will attend the two-day SEBIO event, the region’s largest life science conference, on Nov. 13 and 14 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta. The conference connects emerging companies with potential investors and corporate partners.

To date, the more than 220 later stage and 180 early stage companies that participated in previous SEBIO Investor and Partnering Forums have raised more than $3.5 billion in public and private funding.

SEBIO is a regional nonprofit organization that fosters the growth of the life sciences industry in the Southeastern United States by promoting entrepreneurship and bringing together the key stakeholders active in the industry’s development.

The SEBIO conference rotates locations each year throughout the Southeast. Last year’s SEBIO conference was held in Pinehurst, N.C., and previous conferences have been held in Raleigh and Durham.