San Diego Business Journal

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.

Synthetic Genomics Researchers Seek to Reap What They ‘Sow’

Biotech: Company Gets Funding Commitment to Grow Transplantable Lungs

J. Craig Venter is certainly bringing home the bacon — potentially $50 million worth — and will direct it toward saving the lives of those suffering from end-stage lung disease.

Life Science IPOs Show Ups and Downs

BIOTECH: Ambrx Plans to Make $86M Entrance Soon

Well-funded La Jolla drugmaker Ambrx Inc. plans to raise up to $86 million in an initial public offering, hoping to draw in more capital in the midst of an erratic biotech market.

Biocept Inc. Gets $10 Million Loan

Biocept Inc. has received a $10 million loan from Oxford Finance LLC that pays off the outstanding items on Biocept’s balance sheet.

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Tandem Diabetes Reports Q1 Results

Despite an impressive increase in sales revenue, Tandem Diabetes Care Inc.’s gross margins narrowed substantially in the quarter ended March 31, 2014 due to increased manufacturing costs.

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Ligand's Revenue Increases 37% for Q1

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. grew revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014 by 37 percent to $16 million, and its royalty revenues increased 35 percent to $7.9 million.

Synthetic Genomics Gets $50M as Part of Effort to Grow Organs in Pigs for Human Use

San Diego’s Synthetic Genomics Inc. is teaming up with Lung Biotechnology, a subsidiary of pharma giant United Therapeutics of Silver Spring, Maryland, to develop “humanized” lungs and other organs in pigs that can be harvested for human transplantation.

Tri-City Announces New CEO

Tri-City Medical Center has appointed veteran health executive Tim Moran as its new CEO, effective June 24.

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La Jolla-Based Biotech Files for IPO to Raise up to $86M

Ambrx Inc., a La Jolla-based biotech, plans to raise up to $86 million in an initial public offering.

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CareFusion Posts Quarterly Increases in Revenue, Net Income

Third-quarter revenue for CareFusion Corp. rose a little more than 7 percent to $968 million compared with the prior year’s third quarter.

Alphatec Spine Inc. Makes Leadership Changes

There’s been a leadership shakeup at Alphatec Spine Inc. – the company has named James M. Corbett its new president and CEO, replacing Leslie H. Cross, who retired May 1.

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Volcano Corp. Releases Q1 Results

Volcano Corp. continues to post losses in its quarterly earnings, though it showed incremental revenue growth for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

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Volcano Corp Reports Q1 Results

Volcano Corp. continues to post losses in its quarterly earnings, though it showed incremental revenue growth for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

Alphatec Spine Names New CEO

There’s been a leadership shakeup at Alphatec Spine Inc. — the company has named James M. Corbett its new president and CEO, replacing Leslie H. Cross, who retired May 1.

Let’s Take a Look at the Doctors’ Chart ... Payroll Chart, That Is

Prompted by my article this week on minimum wage (Page 5), I took a look at the San Diego County Medical Society’s recently released annual report that tracks physician compensation.

Otonomy Taps New Investors in Latest $49M Round of Financing

Health Care: Money To Go Toward Pursuing Regulatory Approval By 2015

Otonomy Inc. is raking in investment after investment.

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The Chief Executive Applauds Verdezyne Deal

BIOTECH: President’s Presence Highlights Green Products’ Status

The recent $48 million investment in Verdezyne Inc. involving a Malaysian corporation drew a couple of high-profile onlookers to the signing that closed the deal.

No Official Rush to OK Pot Dispensaries

Marijuana: Permiting May Take Months, Include Hearings

The wheels are in motion for the first legal marijuana dispensaries to open in San Diego, amid a recent crackdown on illegally operated dispensaries in the region. Nearly 70 applicants lined up in front of San Diego City Hall April 24, in hopes of receiving one of 36 conditional use permits needed to run a “medical marijuana consumer collective.”

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Neurocrine Reports Q1 Results

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. has swelled its balance sheet in the first quarter of 2014.

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Otonomy's Ear Treatments Catch Eye of Investors to Tune of $49 Million in Series D Round

Otonomy Inc. has raised $49 million in a Series D round to further advance its treatments for diseases of the ear.

Tamper-Resistant Painkiller May Affect Zohydro’s Market

Zogenix Inc., the San Diego drugmaker beset with controversy for its new painkiller Zohydro, could soon have a new competitor in its midst.

NuVasive Announces Upcoming CFO Change, Reports Earnings

NuVasive Inc. said Quentin Blackford will be assuming the role of chief financial officer later this year when Michael Lambert, the current CFO of the San Diego spine implant maker, retires. Blackford is the company’s current executive vice president of finance, accounting and investor relations.

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DJO Global Reports Q1 Sales of $282.7 Million

Vista orthopedics and medical device maker DJO Global Inc. showed incremental first quarter growth, with net sales up 1.3 percent to $282.7 million in the quarter ended March 29, 2014.

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Kaiser Makes COO Appointment for North County

Kaiser Permanente San Diego has appointed Max Villalobos as chief operating officer of North County for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan.

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Obama Attends Signing of Verdezyne's $48M Investment Deal in Malaysia

Carlsbad industrial biotech Verdezyne Inc. will receive a $48 million investment from Malaysia-based multinational conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad.

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Illumina Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Illumina Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against San Jose-based Ariosa Diagnostics Inc.

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Illumina Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against a San Jose Company

Illumina Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against San Jose-based Ariosa Diagnostics Inc.

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Californians Get Covered

HEALTH: Covered California Strived to Reach The Latino Population

Enrolling the Latino population in the state-run health insurance exchange has long been viewed a linchpin in the success of Covered California — and Obamacare as a whole.

And You Thought Computer Bugs Were Bad: Scratch That Thought

rough all things hair for this week’s page 1 story on beauty business trends, one aspect really jumped out: Lice. Lice removal, more specifically: Nitpicking is becoming quite the niche business.

Co. Blames Critical Reports on Short Seller, Files Libel Lawsuit

BIOTECH: Organovo Says Critical Co. Recently Formed, Issued 2 Reports

San Diego 3-D bioprinting company Organovo Holdings Inc. has filed a libel complaint with the Delaware Court of Chancery against little-known Simeon Research LLC in response to its publishing two inflammatory reports about Organovo that the company believes contains “unsubstantiated and intentionally misleading claims.”

Vital Therapies IPO Misses Life Science’s Bulls

Biotech: Co. Plans to Use New Funds to Further Trials Of Liver Failure Treatment

Despite its reportedly promising treatment for liver failure, San Diego-based Vital Therapies Inc. has had a bit of a rough go as it hit the markets. The company raised more than $30 million less than it initially hoped for in its recent initial public offering, pricing its stock below the expected range to raise gross proceeds of $54 million by offering 4.5 million shares at $12 apiece.

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Groom Service

SALONs: Personal Care Salons Find Profit in Delivering Niche Services

It’s hair today that’s gone tomorrow with Beauty By Dolly — a wildly popular San Diego salon that specializes in the ancient art of yanking out unwanted facial hairs with a simple cotton thread.

Zogenix Makes Moves to Concentrate on Its Zohydro Efforts, Sells Migraine Therapy Business

The saga continues for San Diego’s embattled Zogenix Inc., as it continues to voice objection to the new restrictions placed by the state of Massachusetts on the sale of its narcotic painkiller, Zohydro.

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Q3 Earnings Are Up at ResMed Inc.

Earnings for ResMed Inc. continue to rise, with a net income of $90 million for the quarter ended March 31 as compared with $84.9 from the previous year.

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Illumina’s Q1 Revenue Is Up 27%

Revenue for Illumina Inc. surged in the first quarter of 2014, thanks to the “astonishing demand” for a slew of newly released gene sequencing products, said CEO Jay Flatley.

$6.5M Donation to UCSD Will Fund Eye Research Lab

grateful patient has gifted University of California, San Diego $6.5 million to establish the Richard C. Atkinson Laboratory for Regenerative Ophthalmology at the university’s Shiley Eye Center.

$6.5M Gift to UCSD Will Go Toward Eye Research Lab

A grateful patient has gifted University of California, San Diego $6.5 million to establish the Richard C. Atkinson Laboratory for Regenerative Ophthalmology at the university’s Shiley Eye Center.

Scripps Advance to Fill Need for Speed in Pharma

BIOTECH: Goal Is to Quickly Get Research To Development Phase

The Scripps Research Institute has formed a new drug discovery company called Scripps Advance to fast-track the translation of early-stage biomedical research into clinical development and, ultimately, commercialization.

Life Sciences See Stock Spotlight Dim as Challenges Take Focus

Biotech: Ups and Downs A Common Reality Among Industry’s Local Public Cos.

Public companies in San Diego’s biotech industry have been on quite the roller coaster, a trend reflected in how that sector is represented in the San Diego Business Journal’s new list of the 50 largest local public companies, ranked by revenue in fiscal 2013.

Covered California Reports 1.4M Enrolled

HEALTH: Signups Surge at End; 88% Eligible for Subsidies

The final surge of Covered California signups ended April 15 with more than 1.4 million enrolled, vastly exceeding initial estimates, despite some confusion in the signup process. However, the number of small businesses enrolled in the exchange’s Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, was much lower — about 1,150 signed up, representing about 4,900 employees and their dependents.

Vital Therapies Launches IPO

Vital Therapies Inc. has hit the public markets, but has priced its stock below the expected range, raising gross proceeds of $54 million by offering 4.5 million shares at $12 apiece.

Zogenix Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Massachusetts’ Ban of Painkiller

Zogenix Inc., the San Diego drugmaker embroiled in controversy over its new opioid painkiller Zohydro ER, finally has a win under its belt — it has successfully blocked an order from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to ban the drug in that state.

BIO's Launches New System to Promote Cos. Connecting at June Convention

The Biotechnology Industry Organization, shortened to BIO, has launched its one-on-one partnering system that will help companies initiate private meetings and gain business contacts at its annual convention, which will be held this June in San Diego.

BIO Launches System to Connect Companies at June Convention

The Biotechnology Industry Organization, shortened to BIO, has launched its one-on-one partnering system that will help companies initiate private meetings and gain business contacts at its annual convention, which will be held this June in San Diego.

Senomyx’s Stock Gets a Boost from New Deal With PepsiCo

Stock for San Diego flavor maker Senomyx Inc. rose after signing a new deal with PepsiCo Inc. to develop chemicals that will “restore the desired salty taste in products with reduced salt.”

Incubator Gains Momentum, ‘Rock Stars’ Through Its Successes

Biotech: Janssen Labs Is Selective, Not Controlling Of Its Life Science Startups

A Torrey Pines-based life sciences incubator that began two years ago as an “experiment” by pharmaceutical and consumer product giant Johnson & Johnson has today shown more momentum than anyone back then would have imagined.

Genomatica Part of Biorenewables Pivot

Biotech: Lack of Market For Biofuels Spurs Flexibility

Biofuels don’t hold the same cachet or glamour they once had, but companies like San Diego’s Genomatica Inc. are showing that the market opportunity is still there for biorenewable products. In particular, specialty chemicals and nutritional supplements are proving to be economically viable industries in the sustainability space.

Tech and Biotech Stocks Slump

Biotech and tech stocks have been in a slump for the past three weeks, evidenced in part by the 3.1 percent drop in the Nasdaq Composite — the worst one day percentage decline, according to MarketWatch, since November 2011.

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New PepsiCo Deal Boosts Senomyx Inc.’s Stock

Stock for San Diego flavor maker Senomyx Inc. rose after the company signed a new deal with PepsiCo to develop chemicals that will “restore the desired salty taste in products with reduced salt.”

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Palomar Health Facing Possible $250,000 Fine for Data Breach

The California Department of Public Health could fine Palomar Health up to $250,000 in connection with the theft of flash drives containing patient data.