San Diego Business Journal

So Long and Thanks for All the Health Care, Biotechnology News

(Editor’s note: This is the final column on biotechnology and health care from Meghana Keshavan, who leaves the San Diego Business Journal as of this issue to join a national online publication focused on innovation in the health care industry.)

Pfenex Seeking $74.8M in Initial Public Offering

Biotech: Company Sees Huge Market for Biosimilars As Patents on Biologics End

Pfenex Inc., a spinoff of Dow Chemical Co., is the latest San Diego biotech to file for an initial public offering. The company is looking to raise $74.8 million as it focuses development on a growing class of drugs called biosimilars, which are projected to make a large dent in big pharma sales as patents for biologic drugs expire.

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Isis Pharmaceuticals Gets Multimillion-Dollar Milestone Payment

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a large milestone payment from AstraZeneca PLC.

Solstice Biologics Names CEO With Boston VC Pedigree

Venture capital veteran from Boston joining San Diego biotech as CEO.

Pfenex Inc. Aims for $74.8M IPO

Pfenex Inc., a spinoff of Dow Chemical Co., is the latest San Diego biotech to file for an initial public offering, looking to raise $74.8 million to fund its development of biosimilars.

Pfenex Inc. Plans $74.8 M illion IPO

Pfenex Inc., a spinoff of Dow Chemical Co., is the latest San Diego biotech to file for an initial public offering, looking to raise $74.8 million to fund its development of biosimilars.

New President, CFO at Celladon Says Co. Ripe to Expand Staff

I chatted recently with Paul Cleveland, a veteran biotech finance guy who has recently been brought on as president and chief financial officer for the newly public gene therapy company Celladon Corp. Cleveland most recently was CFO of Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego drugmaker sold to Johnson & Johnson last August for $1 billion.

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Pathway Launches Breast Cancer Test With Philanthropic Twist

biotech: Supreme Court Ruling on Gene Patent Case Clears Path to Competition

San Diego’s Pathway Genomics Corp. is employing a social entrepreneurship model as it launches its new genetic test for breast cancer — entering a market made more high profile and competitive after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that invalidated patents on genes.

Covert Stepping Down as CEO of Palomar Health

Michael Covert is stepping down after more than a decade as CEO of Palomar Health, heading to Texas in August to run six Houston-area hospitals.

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Healthy Appetite

HEALTH: Cos. Seek to Tap Into Consumers’ Desire to Take Control of Their Health

Ayub Khattak’s big idea started with the swine flu.

J. Craig Venter Institute to Receive $25M for Studies of Pathogen Genomics

The National Institutes of Health has awarded up to $25 million to the La Jolla-based J. Craig Venter Institute to study the genetics of infectious diseases like malaria and influenza.

Halozyme Shares Increase 12% After News That Clinical Trials Can Restart

Shares for Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. surged 12 percent June 5 on news that it will be able to continue clinical trials for its pancreatic cancer treatment, albeit under a revised treatment plan.

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Illumina to Offer $900M in Convertible Senior Notes

Illumina Inc. intends to offer about $900 million in convertible senior notes, and plans to use the balance of the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

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Covert Stepping Down as CEO of Palomar Health

Michael Covert is stepping down after more than a decade as CEO of Palomar Health, and is headed to Texas to run six Houston-area hospitals this August.

OncoSec to Sell $16M in Securities in Direct Offering

San Diego cancer drug maker OncoSec Medical Inc. has entered into definitive agreements with institutional investors to purchase about $16 million of securities in a registered direct offering.

Pathway Genomics Launches Gene Test for Breast Cancer

San Diego’s Pathway Genomics Corp. has launched test that detects a genetic mutation that causes breast cancer, benefitting from a Supreme Court ruling last year that invalidated patents on genes.

Developer Gives $25M to Salk Institute

Area real estate developer Conrad Prebys has given $25 million to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to support its wide range of medical research.

Celladon Appoints Cleveland as New President, CFO

San Diego biotech Celladon Corp. has appointed industry veteran Paul Cleveland as its new president and chief financial officer.

Sequenom Sells Bioscience Segment to New Local Company

San Diego-based diagnostic test maker Sequenom Inc. has shed its Bioscience segment. It has been acquired by Agena Bioscience Inc., a newly formed San Diego-based portfolio company of private equity firm Telegraph Hill Partners.

Cytori Selling Subscription Agreements to Tune of $10M

San Diego regenerative medicine company Cytori Therapeutics Inc. has entered into subscription agreements with some of its institutional investors to raise about $10 million.

Cytori Aims for $10M Through Subscription Agreements Sale

San Diego regenerative medicine company Cytori Therapeutics Inc. has entered into subscription agreements with some of its institutional investors to raise about $10 million.

Sequenom Sells Bioscience Segment

San Diego-based diagnostic test maker Sequenom Inc. has shed its Bioscience segment; it has been acquired by Agena Bioscience Inc., a newly formed San Diego-based portfolio company of private equity firm Telegraph Hill Partners.

Avalon-GSK Partnership to Welcome 2 More Cos. to the World

I have the hazy outlines of a scoop for you, my dear readers: Two more companies have been born out of Avalon Ventures’ unconventional, $495 million alliance with British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC, according to Douglas Downs, a managing partner and chief financial officer at Avalon Ventures.

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International Biotech Convention Will Highlight Region’s Progress

Biotech: Industry’s Yearly Conference Expecting 15,000 High-Level Attendees

A forthcoming downtown convention will provide a platform for area companies to tout San Diego as one of the country’s most innovative hubs for biotechnology.

Volcano Corp. Finds ‘Synergistic Fit’ With AtheroMed Buy

BIOTECH: Volcano Sees $115M Deal as Ticket to Opening $400M Market

Volcano Corp. has agreed to acquire privately held AtheroMed Inc. for $115 million in cash, setting its sights on the Menlo Park-based company’s devices that help physicians treat peripheral artery disease.

Licensing Deals Help Ligand to Stay Lean

BIOTECH: Viking Partnership Plays to Early-Stage Strengths

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has forged a creative new licensing deal with a small La Jolla startup — further indication that the once-beleaguered biotech is making a marked turnaround.

Venture Capital Lured By San Diego Biotechs

Funding: Local Life Science Scene Propels Region to No. 3

Venture capital investment in San Diego’s life sciences arena is on the upswing, boosted by the lingering positive effects of a bullish biotech market, according to area VCs and a new report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP.

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Vital Therapies Reports Net Loss of $10.7M for Q1

Vital Therapies Inc. reported a net loss of $10.7 million in its very first quarterly earnings report — the biotech, which is developing treatments for liver failure, began trading on the public markets April 17 with a $61.1 million IPO.

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Volcano Corp. to Buy AtheroMed for $115M in Cash

San Diego medical device maker Volcano Corp. will acquire privately held AtheroMed Inc. for $115 million in cash, with aims to manufacture and commercialize the Menlo Park company’s devices that treat peripheral artery disease.

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Powerful Solutions

CLEAN-TECH: Cos. Offer Green Alternatives to Help Meet Energy Needs and Provide Local Jobs

San Diego’s clean technology sector is flourishing: From solar power and wind technologies to clean transportation, algae-based industrial chemicals and biofuels, the region is lush with companies that are pushing new boundaries in sustainability – and creating new jobs.

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Degree of Difficulty

Health Care: Nursing Grads Face Tough Job Search

Michelle Lee left medical school to pursue her passion for nursing, preferring the more intimate contact nurses tend to have with patients over the “in-and-out” bedside manner she sees as typical of many physicians.

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Does Licensing Deal and Investment With San Diego Startup

San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has licensed five of its programs to Viking Therapeutics Inc.; Ligand is also investing $2.5 million in Viking, a San Diego startup.

Scripps Partnering With Rady for Hospice Care for Children

Scripps Health is partnering with Rady Children’s Hospital to provide hospice care for children in need of end-of-life care.

MabVax-Telik Union Shows How Dramatically Fortunes Change

Privately held San Diego cancer vaccine maker MabVax Inc. has merged with Palo Alto-based Telik Inc. — a once high-flying drugmaker whose reputation and stock value tumbled after drug failures and an ethics controversy.

Sorrento Therapeutics Plans to Raise $23.1M With Secondary Stock Offering

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. has priced its secondary stock offering of 4.765 million shares at $5.25 apiece, with plans to raise net proceeds of $23.1 million.

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Philanthropist Is Donating $7.5M for New UCSD Cancer Hospital

Area philanthropist Pauline Foster is donating $7.5 million to help build a new cancer care hospital at University of California, San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center.

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Philanthropist Donating $7.5 Million for New UCSD Cancer Hospital

Area philanthropist Pauline Foster is donating $7.5 million to help build a new cancer care hospital at University of California, San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center.

Sorrento Therapeutics Prices Secondary Stock -Offering Shares at $5.25

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. has priced its secondary stock offering of 4.765 million shares at $5.25 apiece, with plans to raise net proceeds of $23.1 million.

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CleverPet Offers Dog a New Best Friend When Owner Not Home

PET CARE: Device Makes Feeding Time Learning TimePET CARE: Device Makes Feeding Time Learning Time

A San Diego startup may have a solution for Fido’s and Fifi’s errant ways.

MabVax-Telik Union Shows How Dramatically Fortunes Change

Privately held San Diego cancer vaccine maker MabVax Inc. has merged with Palo Alto-based Telik Inc. — a once high-flying drugmaker whose reputation and stock value tumbled after drug failures and an ethics controversy.

Lumena’s IPO Plans End With Acquisition

BIOTECH: Shire Agrees to Pay $260M for Local Company

Lumena Pharmaceuticals Inc. is being snapped up by Irish drugmaker Shire PLC for $260 million, scrapping the San Diego biotech’s plan to raise $75 million in an initial public offering.

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CareFusion Prices $1 Billion of Senior Unsecured Notes

San Diego medical device maker CareFusion Corp. has priced three series of senior unsecured notes for an aggregate principal amount of $1 billion.

Some Area Hospitals, Clinics Close Due to Fire Danger

There have been a spate of health center closings in the wake of the area wildfires – two Palomar Health clinics in San Marcos closed May 15, and the Scripps Coastal Medical Center in Carlsbad shut down May 14.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Gets $3M Milestone Payment

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. received a $3 million milestone payment from GlaxoSmithKline PLC for starting a study that ties into its partnership to develop three new drugs using Isis’ proprietary antisense technology.

Human Longevity Inc. Fills Leadership Roles

Human Longevity Inc., the J. Craig Venter-backed outfit that recently raised $70 million in Series A to help extend the human lifespan through genomics and informatics, has a trio of new hires to pad its C-Suite.

Sorrento Therapeutics Proposes Common Stock Offering

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. has announced a proposed offering of its common stock, but hasn’t disclosed the size of the offering.

MabVax, Telik Conduct Reverse Merger

Privately held San Diego cancer vaccine maker MabVax Inc. has merged with Palo Alto-based Telik Inc. – a once high-flying drugmaker whose reputation and stock value tumbled after drug failures and an ethics controversy.

Parametric Sound Reports Increase in Revenue, Gross Profit

San Diego audio headset maker Parametric Sound Corp. has grown both its revenue and its profit for the first quarter of 2014, as it gears up to complete a merge with Turtle Beach Corp.

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Arena Pharmaceuticals Reports Q1 Loss of $25.3M

Despite reporting strong first quarter sales for its weight-loss drug, Belviq, San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s net loss increased compared with the like reporting period of the previous year.

Expanding the DNA ‘Alphabet’ Could Spell Success for Biotech

You’re going to want to put on your high school bio thinking caps for this one: A new biotech, called Synthorx Inc., just launched in San Diego, and its proposition is pretty groundbreaking in terms of the basic structure of, well, life.

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