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Durham's Oriel acquired by Sandoz

Oriel Therapeutics, a Durham company developing treatments for asthma and other respiratory ailments, has been acquired by Sandoz, the generic-drug division of pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. In 2007, Oriel raised $26.5 million in venture-capital financing.

The company was founded in 2001 by Anthony Hickey and Timothy Crowder, based on inhaled drug-delivery technology developed at the UNC School of Pharmacy.

Oriel's products include experimental, generic treatments for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The company also developed a new type of disposable dry powder inhaler to improve delivery of respiratory drugs.

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