Graphics reporting by Jared Whitlock; graphic by Angela Castillo

Graphics reporting by Jared Whitlock; graphic by Angela Castillo

— On average, stocks of public life sciences companies in San Diego gained 12 percent during the second quarter, lifted in large part by a diabetes pump maker.

The San Diego Business Journal tallied the performance of 34 stocks during the second quarter — April 2 to July 2 — and Tandem Diabetes Care stuck out with an eye-popping 336 percent increase.

Other notable stories include Heron Therapeutics, which topped the mid- to large-cap category, along with Acadia Pharmaceuticals stumbling upon media reports of a regulatory reexamination.

Here’s a rundown of notable stock happenings:

Going Gangbusters

Tandem Diabetes Care

Market cap: $1.15 billion

Stock symbol and exchange: TNDM on Nasdaq

Quarter-over-quarter change: +336%

A mere year ago competitors whispered of Tandem’s potential demise. No more.

Capping off a momentous quarter, in June the company won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for an automated insulin technology that lowers the frequency and duration of low blood sugar.

This technology, called Basal-IQ, will be available free of charge on Tandem’s touchscreen insulin pumps via a remote software update.

Basal-IQ’s algorithm, which looks 30 minutes into the future at glucose levels, suspends insulin delivery when predicting low blood sugar levels. Insulin delivery resumes once glucose rises.

Tandem pumps integrate with diabetes technology from another San Diego company: Dexcom, which itself had a nice quarter with a 32 percent increase in its shares.

Tandem has more going in its favor. Customers who bought the company’s first pumps four years ago — meaning their four-year warranty recently expired — are coming back. So yes, repeat business.

Also worth mentioning: Last fall, Johnson & Johnson pulled the plug on a division specializing in insulin pumps, and some customers looking for another pump went with Tandem. And the company’s pipeline looks promising, according to analysts.

Heron Therapeutics

Market cap: $2.78 billion

Stock symbol and exchange: HRTX on Nasdaq

Quarter-over-quarter change: +46%

Heron received good news in June. Its postoperative pain anesthetic — touted as a way to cut down on opioids — hit clinical targets in two additional surgical areas.

Just a few months earlier, Heron reported that the drug, HTX-011, showed efficacy in final-stage clinical trials. HTX-011 lessened pain and reduced opioid use 72 hours after surgery.

Around 80 percent of patients undergoing surgery are prescribed opioids to help manage post-operative pain, a gateway to addiction, for both patients and others in the home with access to leftover pills.

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