New company in Pittsboro; bar-openings still in limbo

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 6/12/20

Gotta tell you: it’s been nice to have some non-COVID-19 news items in the last few Corner Store columns. I think most, if not all of us, are suffering from some COV-erload, and while paying …

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New company in Pittsboro; bar-openings still in limbo

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Posted

Gotta tell you: it’s been nice to have some non-COVID-19 news items in the last few Corner Store columns. I think most, if not all of us, are suffering from some COV-erload, and while paying attention to instructions and guidance from public health officials is critical, it’s also good to get some time and space away from thinking about the coronavirus.

With that said, here’s some of the latest in business news in and around Chatham County, and some of it does involve COVID-19.

Pittsboro lands headquarters of therapeutics company

WRAL TechWire reported last week that Propella Therapeutics will place its headquarters in Pittsboro. The announcement came as part of a corporate reorganization of the Virginia-based company Viruzi Health Sciences.

“Propella will continue our successful strategy of identifying promising off-patent medications that we can improve and rapidly develop to provide novel treatments that are safer and more effective,” Propella CEO William Moore said in the announcement. “Our risk-mitigated strategy allows us to rapidly advance high-value therapies while greatly reducing development costs.”

Some of the medications that Propella is working on, WRAL reported, include a “novel, non-opioid solution for managing osteoarthritis pain” that is “protected by several patents and is set for a Phase 3 clinical trial.”

Bars could remain closed after Cooper veto

The N.C. General Assembly passed a bill last week that would allow bars to reopen and restaurants to double their capacity, but Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the measure on Friday. Cooper said in a statement that the legislation would “limit the ability of leaders to respond quickly to COVID-19 and hamper the health and safety of every North Carolinian.”

The bill passed the N.C. Senate 42-5, with the Chatham-representing Valerie Foushee voting in favor, and the N.C. House 65-53, with Chatham’s Robert Reives II opposing. It’s now up to the General Assembly leadership to decide whether or not to attempt an override. If the Senate votes the same way, the override will be successful, but more votes would be needed in favor on the House side.

BP to cut 10K jobs worldwide

The gas company formerly known as British Petroleum provides fuel for drivers across Chatham County, but some of its employees will soon be out of a job. A lot of them. According to the Associated Press, BP will cut 10,000 jobs across the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The global energy industry has been hit hard by the pandemic as the widespread limits on business, travel and public life reduced the need for oil, gas and other fuels,” writes the AP’s Danica Kirka. “Supply was also particularly high when the outbreak began, creating a perfect storm for the industry. With storage facilities filling up, the U.S. price of oil went below zero in April for the first time ever.”

Chief Executive Bernard Looney said cuts will mostly come this year and, according to the report, “significantly affect senior levels, cutting the number of group leaders by a third.”

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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