Birmingham, AL is losing bragging rights as the headquarters city of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals. CEO Jon Stonehouse says the developer, which is pushing the closely watched antiviral flu drug Peramivir towards an FDA approval, will shift 15 HQ jobs and the hometown tag to Durham, NC, which he and 30 other staffers already call home.
The move to Research Triangle Park marks a realignment of BioCryst's efforts as it ends its 24-year run as a Birmingham company and the jewel in the crown of Alabama's biotech community. The Birmingham Business Journal reports that eight of BioCryst's research staff are leaving for the Southern Research Institute, which will now handled its bioanalytics work on an outsourcing basis.
"We are happy to have this opportunity to expand our bioanalytical services and to offer some BioCryst employees an opportunity to join our team at Southern Research," said Andrew Penman, vice president of drug development at Southern Research. "This offer will also keep these scientists and their families in Birmingham, which is important to industry growth here."
BioCryst will continue to keep research facilities in Birmingham as it builds up its regulatory and commercial operations staff in Durham in anticipation of the Peramivir launch. While the antiviral was in the spotlight during the recent pandemic, some analysts have recently been concerned by some late-stage trouble for the flu drug, which could delay a launch to 2013.
"In Birmingham, what has been attractive is the rich history of research. That's the real gem in Birmingham," Stonehouse told the Business Journal. "Durham has clinical and research expertise which is strong in that area."
- here's the Southern Research Institute release
- read the Birmingham Business Journal story