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Bioscience, Support Companies Among Triangle’s Fastest-Growing

By Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical uses tiny genetic "trucks" to deliver DNA fixes for specific diseases. Photo courtesy of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical

Triangle Business Journal’s latest annual roundup of the 50 fastest-growing private companies in the Triangle region includes two bioscience companies and seven others that provide valuable life science support functions.

One of the leading companies on the publication’s “Fast 50” list for 2017 is Asklepios BioPharmaceutical of Chapel Hill, a biopharmaceutical company bootstrapped with funding from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The gene-delivery technology company has spun out three companies with the help of more than $700,000 in grants and loans from NCBiotech. Asklepios sold one of those spinouts, Bamboo Therapeutics, a gene therapy company, to Pfizer in 2016 for $150 million up-front plus another $495 million in potential milestone payments.

The arrangement then led Pfizer to contract with NCBiotech to manage an unprecedented $4 million gene therapy post-doc fellowship program open to all North Carolina universities. Pfizer also recently announced a $100 million investment to add gene therapy capabilities -- and 40 high-paying jobs -- to its Sanford pharmaceutical manufacturing campus.

The other bioscience company in the Fast 50, BioAgilytix of Durham, specializes in the bioanalysis of large molecules for pharmaceutical and agricultural companies. 

Fast-growing life science support companies among this year’s Fast 50 are:

The Fast 50 winners were selected and ranked according to revenue growth and profitability in the last three years, from 2014 to 2016.  PricewaterhouseCoopers compiled and analyzed the numbers.

“Beyond bolstering the top-line performance and a nose for profitability, this list of companies represents the dynamic economic fabric of the Triangle,” said Jason Christie, publisher of Triangle Business Journal. “We have a mixture of private firms that have made this list for years, and we have companies making this list for the first time. Collectively, they reflect the best of the best.”

The rank order of the Fast 50 companies will be announced at the Fast 50 Awards dinner on Nov. 8 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Profiles of the honorees will be featured in a Fast 50 Awards special section in the Nov. 10 subscriber edition of Triangle Business Journal.

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