DURHAM, N.C. — Icagen Inc., a drug development company, approved raises for the company’s CEO and President Richard Cunningham and Chief Scientific Officer Douglas Krafte, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cunningham’s salary was increased to $375,000 per year. His previous base salary was $300,000.

Krafte’s salary was increased to $295,000. His target bonus was raised to up to 50 percent of his base salary. In 2016, his salary was reported to be $215,328.

The board also granted additional options to Cunningham and Krafte under Icagen’s 2015 stock incentive plan. As a result, Cunningham may purchase 535,000 shares of common stock, which vests on a monthly basis over a period of three years.

Krafte may purchase 120,000 shares of common stock, which also vests pro rata on a monthly basis for three years.

The options granted, which are subject to early expiration, have an exercise price per share of $3.50 and expire 10 years from when they were granted.

Cunningham a former NFL place-kicker

Cunningham, who has been with the company since 2015, has worked for 20 years in the health care and biopharmaceutical industry. He was president and CEO of XRPro Sciences Inc. before joining Icagen. In 2015, XPro Sciences announced the acquisition of ion channel biology platform Pfizer Inc., and through this, acquired all of Pfizer’s rights to the Icagen name and platform.

Founded in 2003, Durham-based Icagen provides research and drug discovery and development services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology services including neuroscience, ion transfer and rare disease targets.

Cunningham received a B.S. in business administration and marketing from University of Louisiana in 1994. He was a placekicker in the NFL, playing from 1994 until his retirement in 2002. He played for the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

With over 25 years of experience across multiple therapeutic areas, Krafte has served as chief scientific officer since February of 2016. Previously he was the company’s vice president of biology and scientific affairs since 2002. From 1999 to 2002, he served as Icagen’s director of biology.

In September, Icagen raised $7.25 million in a combination of debt and options from one investor, filing a Form D to disclose that the funds will be used to pay overhead and other corporate expenses, such as salaries. The offering has a duration of less than a year.

This is not the only funding the company has received in 2018. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation awarded it $11 million in May 2018 to support an integrated, multi-year drug discovery initiative.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism