Securities filings show that Durham, North Carolina-based Novan’s latest round was a mix of equity and options. Investors include Neal Hunter, co-founder of Durham LED lighting technology company Cree (NASDAQ:CREE). Cree executive John Palmour has also joined as an investor as has Robert A. Ingram, a veteran life sciences executive who is also currently a general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, a Durham venture capital firm.
Novan was formed in 2006, spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill based on the nitric oxide research of UNC chemistry professor Mark Schoenfisch. Novan’s CEO is Nathan Stasko, who studied under Schoenfisch as a graduate student. Nitric oxide has bacteria-fighting properties. Novan has developed a nanoparticle technology called Nitricil that controls the release of the compound. The company aims to bring to market an antibacterial coating that can be used on medical devices and other healthcare products.
In addition to equity financing from investors, Novan has grants from the National Institutes of Health to study the technology in applications such as antimicrobial catheter coatings intended to prevent hospital acquired infections. Novan has also received grant funding to study an antimicrobial wound dressing, which is seen as having applications beyond civilian hospital settings. Novan earlier this year was awarded a $69,821 Department of Defense contract to research the use of the Nitricil technology to develop a topical wound care product for treating infections experienced by military personnel.