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Stratup raises funding to develop technology licensed from UNC

A Chapel Hill startup that aims to commercialize technology developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has raised $600,000 in funding to accelerate its drug-development efforts.

G1 Therapeutics raised the money from Hatteras Discovery, the seed-funding unit of Durham venture capital firm Hatteras Venture Partners. G1 previously raised more than $4 million in federal and state grant money, including grants from the federal Small Business Investment Research program and the N.C. Biotechnology Center.

As part of the new funding, Christy Shaffer, managing director of Hatteras Discovery and the former CEO of Inspire Pharmaceuticals, has joined G1 as executive chair. Shaffer said in an interview that she will devote 1 1/2 days a week to G1, functioning in effect as as an interim CEO. She will focus on business strategy and facilitating advancement of the company's first drug into clinical trials, a move that requires Food and Drug Administration approval.

Shaffer said G1 will eventually recruit a full-time CEO, with the timetable pegged to the company's development.

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Angus Barn festivities honor Inspire CEO Shaffer

Monday night at the Angus Barn's Pavilions in Raleigh, Inspire Pharmaceuticals celebrated Christy Shaffer.

Shaffer was Inspire's first full-time employee and ran the Durham drug company for more than a decade. She will continue as a consultant for the next two years, but officially retired as CEO last month.

Monday's festivities were designed to honor her tenure. The Stone Age Romeos provided the music and Angus Barn executive chef Walter Royal, who has worked with Shaffer over the years to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research, helped prepare the food.

One tribute video highlighted Inspire's founding in 1995 and growth since then, including its IPO. "We wanted to take the time to thank Christy for her almost 15 years of leadership and celebrate our time together," said spokeswomen Jenny Kobin.

Inspire boosts Wall Street haul to $100 million

So what does the CEO of a local publicly traded company do after her company raises $100 million in much-needed cash on Wall Street?

She relaxes at the beach, naturally, but keeps her BlackBerry on.

Inspire Pharmaceuticals CEO Christy L. Shaffer was at the beach with her family this morning after her Durham drug company announced it had increased the size of its public stock offering to $100 million.

The company announced late Tuesday that it expected to raise $80 million but demand was higher than anticipated.

Inspire CEO Shaffer to step down

Christy L. Shaffer, who has been one of the Triangle's most visible business leaders for more than a decade, plans to step down as CEO of Inspire Pharmaceuticals.

The Durham drug company announced this morning that Shaffer will quit once a successor is in place. She joined Inspire in 1995.

Inspire also reported a net loss of $9.5 million for the second quarter. That was worse than a loss of $6.4 million during the same period in 2008.

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