Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smart phones, plans to open a research and development office in Raleigh, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill figure out how to stop infecting bacteria in their tracks and RTI International looks for new business opportunities with the help of a new division and a hire.
BlackBerry maker settles on Raleigh
Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry smart phones, confirmed plans to open a research and development office in Raleigh, but provided few details.
The company has long had an eye on the Research Triangle Park area. State documents show RIM filed paperwork to do business in North Carolina in February 2002 and kept it updated. In December, company recruiters interviewed potential hires at an RTP job fair that attracted telecommunications workers who already lost their jobs or fear layoffs. Nortel Networks and IBM have shed many jobs and Sony Ericsson recently announced it would shut down its RTP operations, where more than 400 are employed.
In a response to questions, the company issued a prepared statement that read, “Raleigh is a great fit for RIM given its highly skilled work force and proximity to many excellent academic institutions.”
Last year, RIM reported $11 billion in sales. Analysts expect the company to generate $15 billion in revenue this year.
In other company news:
- GlaxoSmithKline, the British drugmaker that has its U.S. headquarters in RTP, has decided to finance an educational documentary about eating. GSK makes alli, an over-the-counter pill to lose weight.
- Speculations that Biogen Idec may prepare to look for a buyer arose after James Mullen, chief executive of the Boston-based biotech company, announced he would step down. Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drugs Avonex and Tysabri are made in RTP.
- PeopleClick, a Raleigh software company, agreed to be sold for $100 million.
UNC researchers figure out how bacteria walk
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill figured out how some bacteria move around in the body to spread infections. Just one atom makes the difference. The atom plays a key role in how the bacteria grow tiny legs and coordinate their movement.
Blocking the atom stops the roving bacteria in their tracks.
The discovery could lead to the development of new medicines to prevent infections.
RTI looking to boosts its chances for new business
RTI International, a large research institute in RTP that snaps up government contracts worth millions, is looking to boost its chances to attract business with the help of a new division and a hire.
Less than a year after buying MasiMax, RTI turned the health communication and marketing firm in Rockville, Md., into a new division. MasiMax employees research and analyze complex health information and translate it for target audiences, such as health professionals, researchers, policymakers or the general public.
RTI also hired Bradley Peganoff as vice president of government and corporate relations. Peganoff joins RTI from the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, where he was in charge of generating revenue, raising policymakers’ awareness of the institute and cultivating academic and industry collaborations.