Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kannapolis company pursuing partnership with KeraNetics of Winston-Salem

Ei Inc., which develops and makes topical pharmaceutical and skin-care products, said Monday that it will add 119 jobs and spend $13.2 million on capital investments at its Kannapolis operations over three years. It is eligible for a $500,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

Mike Kane, Ei's chief executive, also said that the company is pursuing a partnership with KeraNetics LLC of Winston-Salem to commercialize research and patents developed at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

KeraNetics is a biomaterials company that is using keratin — which is found in hair, nails and skin — to develop therapeutic products. It is using keratin in three main areas: trauma applications for the healing of wounds, burns and resuscitation fluids; bone and nerve regeneration; and cell growth.

Kim Westmoreland, managing director for KeraNetics, said the One North Carolina Fund award "will provide a strong incentive for KeraNetics to enter into a partnership with Ei for the manufacture and commercialization of our product platform."

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