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Legislative Life Sciences Caucus

Life Sciences Caucus Documents

2024 Meetings

May 1 North Carolina’s Innovation Ecosystem



FY25 One NC Small Business Program Funding Request

The Life Sciences Caucus of the NC General Assembly met for the first time in 2024 at the NC Department of Commerce at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 1. Caucus cochairs Sen. Paul Newton and Sen. Mike Woodard attended as did NC Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders.

NC LifeSci President Laura Gunter outlined the NC innovation pipeline for caucus members and reviewed the kinds of funding needed at the various stages of a company's development. She emphasized the importance of grants and loans from the NC Biotechnology Center and SBIR/STTR matching grants from the One NC Small Business Program in fueling the commercialization of new and innovative technologies.

Peter Pellerito, senior policy adviser federal/state economic development & technology transfer lead for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, was also present and shared his perspective on how the North Carolina life sciences ecosystem compares to others he sees around the nation.

May 1 2024 Life Sciences Caucus meeting at the Department of Commerce

NCLifeSci President Laura Gunter

Life Sciences Caucus Co-chairs Sen. Mike Woodard and Sen. Paul Newton


NC Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders

2023 Meetings

Sept. 18 Federal and State Policy Themes in Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology

The Life Sciences Caucus met Monday, Sept. 18, at 12 p.m. at the Plant Sciences Building on the North Carolina State University Centennial Campus.

Agriculture is a key economic driver in NC. So, too, is the life sciences industry, where agtech has been growing rapidly. When those two sectors align, it can be of real benefit to the state.

Members of the Agriculture and the Environment team at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization were on hand to give an overview of both federal issues and state issues affecting the agbio and environmental industries.

  • Federal issues discussed included the U.S.-Mexico trade dispute over an upcoming import ban on genetically engineered corn, recent U.S. EPA plant incorporated protectants regulation and the Plant Biostimulants Act in the Farm Bill.
  • Issues moving in states throughout the country include legislation banning or restricting vaccination of livestock, incentivizing sustainable aviation fuel production and use and bills banning or restricting foreign ownership of agricultural land, which can adversely impact R&D.

Pairwise, a small gene editing company based in Durham, NC, which has a new produce product on the market, talked about EPA impediments to their business. Representatives from BASF, Hoofprint Biome, Novozymes and Syngenta were also available.

Download the Presentation

Doug Edgeton, CEO, North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Dan Jenkins, Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Pairwise


Sen. Mike Woodard and Rep. Donna White, co-chairs of the Life Sciences Caucus

May 24 Workforce and Supply Chain in the Life Sciences

2022 Meetings

June 28, 2022 Rare Diseases and Gene Therapy

Gene therapy and rare diseases topic of Life Sciences Caucus

The General Assembly's Life Sciences Caucus met Tuesday, June 28, to learn about the promise of gene therapies as potential treatments for rare diseases.

Nearly two dozen legislators and staff members heard from Priya Kishnani, M.D., and Vandana Shashi, M.D., of the Duke Undiagnosed Diseases Network and Marianne Hamilton Lopez, M.D., of the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy along with Charlene Cowell, executive director of Bleeding Disorders of North Carolina. Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Paul Newton, Sen. Mike Woodard and Rep. Donna White were in attendance.

Hamilton Lopez told legislators that gene therapies will often differ from traditional treatment in that the therapies may only be administered once as opposed to conventional treatments that are given as multiple or continual doses of medication. Gene therapies are currently much more expensive than conventional therapies, which makes them a challenge for our current system to pay. The upfront cost of these breakthrough therapies must be weighed against the impressive benefits they offer compared to conventional therapies.


Story of Wade Hosey, child with spinal muscular atrophy

Sen. Paul Newton and Rep. Donna White, Life Science Caucus Meeting, June 27 2022

Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Paul Newton and Rep. Donna White

Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Mike Woodard

Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Mike Woodard

Life Sciences Caucus Meeting, June 27, 2022

Feb. 23, 2022 Tour of NC Reseach Campus

2021 Meetings

2020 Meetings

October 19, 2020 Virtual Meeting
September 14, 2020 Virtual Meeting
May 19, 2020 Virtual Meeting
March 10, 2020 Lee County Tour
February 3, 2020 Johnston County Tour

2019 Meetings

2018 Meetings

NC Life Sciences Headlines

United Therapeutics to build $500 million manufacturing facility in RTP

W-S cellular therapeutics company plans 330 new jobs, plant in Triad

Drug giant Merck, NC A&T to launch biotech training center

United Therapeutics opens a net zero energy center in RTP

IQVIA raises $1.25 billion in upsized offering

NC firms ink billion-dollar deal to discover new treatments

Custom surgical implant startup lands $12 million in new cash

Big cash infusion to boost Durham startup 410 Medical’s critical care efforts

NC Biotech Center hands out early $2.3 million in grants, loans

Duke spin-out scores $2 million to forward diagnostics platform

Winston-Salem's Innovation Quarter economic impact reaches $1.66 billion in 2022

Bioengineering firm raises up to $150 million in new capital

Raleigh startup raises $36 million to advance COPD treatment

Hatteras-backed startup aims to treat 'undruggable' cancer targets

NC pharma startup raises $15 million to fight anaphylaxis without needles

RTP drug developer adds $30 million to extend cash runway

Life sciences firm relocates headquarters to downtown Raleigh

Global CRO opens new office in Wilmington

Small pharma firm raises $15 million to treat lung disease

Raleigh pharma raises $5 million as phase 3 study begins

Dignify Therapeutics lands federal grant to drive bladder, bowel treatment

Biotech Tiamat Sciences adds $2 million to seed round

Wilmington clinical research firms lands NIH contract for neurological device development
Biotech with office in Chapel Hill closes on $65 million funding round

Neonatal care startup lands nearly $16 million in new round of financing

NCBiotech awards $2.3 million in mix of 19 grants, loans

Nanotech startup pursing new drug delivery technology is raising $2 million

New Triangle pharma raises $150 million for thyroid drug

Triangle precision medicine, drug research firm lands $25 million in new capital

Eli Lilly to expand Durham campus with 100-job manufacturing facility

Pfizer expands North Carolina manufacturing footprint with plant purchase

Labcorp clinical-trials spinoff expected to employ 19,000 workers

Winston-Salem regenerative medicine community launches clinical trials program

Freight forwarder DHL makes $8 million bet on Triangle pharma

NC’s booming life science sector now pays average wage of $112,000

$60 million startup aims to redefine treatment of severe neuropsychiatric disorders

Pharma packaging maker to create 80 jobs, invest $20 million in Winston-Salem

Triangle lands R&D center for Iowa company developing animal vaccines