Element Genomics is in negotiations for a $30 million acquisition by UCB, a Belgian company specializing in drugs for neurological disorders. Element Genomics was founded three years ago as a collaboration of four Duke University biotech professors. Their field of expertise was analyzing the 98% of DNA that doesn’t directly synthesize proteins but influences coding nonetheless. They use the CRISPR technique of gene editing to activate or deactivate parts of the molecule, and then they use big-data to look for patterns. They moved their business off-campus to the Chesterfield, a biotech incubator near Durham. Chesterfield offers coworking space and equipment for 19 new businesses, mostly from state universities. By being off-campus, the setup allows researchers to own their inventions; and it also lets them access private investors, who can pay three times the amount of a college research grant. If the deal closes, some of the $30 million will be paid up-front, and the remainder will be released contingent upon meeting performance targets. Element Genomics will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of UCB.