N&O Innovation and Technology Newsletter: May 20, 2022
Today’s newsletter is 591 words, a 4.5-minute read.
A Triangle startup thinks it has the cure for cancer.
UNC-Chapel Hill adjunct professor Shailesh Maingi started Morrisville-based Inceptor Bio in 2020. The biotechnology company is pioneering three types of cell therapy research and plans to launch its first round of clinical trials in about a year.
“We believe we’re at the advent of a new era of technology led by cell and gene therapy,” Maingi told me. “I tend to think that innovation occurs in leaps and bounds and steps. ...I believe we’re in the early innings of a 50-year run that will dramatically alter how medicine is practiced in our lifetimes.”
Instead of directly attacking cancer (think chemotherapy), Inceptor Bio’s treatment works by reengineering the body’s immune system to better fight malignant cells.
The company just closed a $37 million round of funding. It has big plans for the investment, including site expansion and tripling its staff.
To learn more about Inceptor Bio’s research and timeline, click here.
Philanthropy funds the Innovate Raleigh fellowship. Consider supporting philanthropy-funded journalism by going to www.newsobserver.com/donate
Tech news from the Triangle
It may sound farcical, but a Durham startup wants to sell you a smart toilet. Understanding excrement has wide-ranging implications for health management. [GrepBeat]
With a new software workaround, you can play Fortnite on your iPhone again. [TechWire]
Microsoft, which has 2,500 employees in North Carolina, will raise salaries in hopes of slowing its attrition rate. [TBJ]
My five must-reads of the week
Stock market corrections are catching up with startups. Free-flowing capital is slowing down. The Boston Globe spoke with venture capitalists and other experts to learn how ongoing market volatility may affect young companies. If you’re an investor or an entrepreneur, it’s a valuable read. [Boston Globe]
If the Supreme Court elects to overturn Roe vs. Wade — the 1973 law that legalized abortion — could law enforcement use sensitive health and geolocation data from our cellphones to surveil would-be infractors? Some experts fear under-regulated technology might make women more vulnerable. [AP]
Apple is doubling back on return-to-office plans as COVID-19 cases escalate. It’s unclear if such policy changes will affect the company’s Triangle timeline, but Apple’s new Cupertino headquarters has been largely unused since opening just before the pandemic. [NYT]
The following is an opinion piece. So keep that in mind as you read it. But LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik asks a great question: Why don’t regulators stop Elon Musk from breaking the law? I think we all know Musk likes to play by his own rules. But Hiltzik compiled a catalog of Musk’s legal indiscretions, and it’s shocking. [LA Times]
Were Tucker Carlson and Hunter Biden friends? It seems like it, according to new emails unearthed by the Washington Post. [WaPo]
Other Triangle business
Developers reveal plans for first two high-rise towers in Raleigh’s Downtown South [N&O]
Raleigh and Durham fall on US News’ ‘Best Places to Live’ 2022 list, but still rank high [N&O]
Biden housing plan includes first attempts to slow corporate landlords active in NC [N&O]
Let me know what you’re seeing. Email me at email@example.com. Tweet me @dldolder. Call or text me at 919-419-6626.
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This newsletter was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate