The Download: Human Genome Sciences to cut 114 jobs

Executives plan to cut 114 jobs at Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences beginning Oct. 30 as they look to restructure the biotechnology company following its acquisition by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, according to a state agency.

A spokeswoman for Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation confirmed the planned layoffs, and said the company and agency have been in contact about services for affected workers.

Glaxo declined to comment on the number of positions being eliminated or the time line for the cuts, but said that an integration of the two businesses is ongoing.

Glaxo purchased the life sciences company for $3.6 billion in July after a months-long acquisition battle. HGS repeatedly tried to thwart Glaxo’s aggressive efforts to buy the company at a lower price.

The pharmaceutical giant quickly replaced the firm’s executives and board of directors after the deal was done. Deirdre Connelly, Glaxo’s president of North American Pharmaceuticals, took over for former chief executive H. Thomas Watkins in the interim.

Tenable raises funds

Tenable Network Security, a Columbia-based company that uses software to find gaps in the security of computer networks, has raised $50 million in the 10-year-old firm’s first investment round.

Chief executive Ron Gula said cybersecurity threats have come to a head in recent years and the company must continue to invest in research and development to outpace hackers.

The money will also be used to expand into markets outside North America and add to the firm’s employee base of 200, Gula said. Accel Partners led the round. Tenable’s customers include the Defense Department, Barclays, Ohio State University, Chipotle and Comcast.

Energy investment

Grotech Ventures has shoveled $4 million into Atlanta-based Urjanet, a company that uses energy data to help large corporations reduce their consumption and save on energy-related costs.

The firm’s software pulls data about a company’s use of electricity, natural gas and other energy sources directly from utilities. It then organizes the information into a single format and delivers it to the company.

Steve Fredrick, the Grotech partner who led the investment, said the software is ideal for a company with hefty energy bills or locations scattered across geographic areas served by different utilities.

“This data allows customers to make decisions based on data versus assumptions, which is historically all they have,” Fredrick said. “The reality is that the price of energy is going up. . .and without data you can’t make good decisions.”

Existing investors, the Georgia Research Alliance and Imlay Investments, also participated in the round.

Small biz

Many Internet companies are jockeying to help small businesses beef up their Web, social media and mobile presence, including LivingSocial, Google and Webs Inc. (now part of Vistaprint).

A Northern Virginia start-up called Heyo, formerly known as Lujure Media, is among them. The company helps small businesses establish pages on Facebook, and last week added a platform to create mobile apps and Web pages as well.

That market is a tough one to tackle. Small businesses are very fragmented and often hard to reach, yet companies must persuade many of them to become customers in order to reach profitability.

Originally founded in Leesburg, Heyo counts 14 full-time employees in Blacksburg, and founder Nathan Latka expects that number to reach 50 in the next two years. The firm has raised $550,000 in venture capital to date, including money from the Center for Innovative Technology’s GAP Funds, TechStars and 500 Startups.

Steven Overly is a national reporter covering federal technology and energy policy with a focus on Capitol Hill. He previously covered the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital.

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