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Artes Medical Files for Bankruptcy

Artes Medical, a San Diego biotechnology company that makes a permanent wrinkle filler for so-called smile lines, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection Dec. 1.

Plans call for liquidating the business, according to bankruptcy documents filed on behalf of the company in San Diego.

Artes said it believed it had insufficient assets to satisfy its debts, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It also said it was unlikely that its stockholders would be eligible for any distribution of company assets.

In a news release issued Nov. 21, the company blamed a drop in consumer spending and said it would consider liquidation.

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In its filing, Artes said its bankruptcy was brought on by the failure to negotiate a deal with lender Cowen Healthcare Royalty Partners. It also blamed a dissident investor group that had waged a proxy battle against its board.

Artes executives did not respond to multiple requests for comment by last week’s deadline.

Shares of Artes went down 4 cents to close at 3 cents Dec. 2. Its 52-week range was 1 cent to $3.34.


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Pure Deal:
Pure Bioscience, an El Cajon-based maker of disinfectants, said Dec. 1 that it has partnered with Swiss chemical giant Ciba to sell a silver compound used in cleaning agents and personal care products worldwide.

Under the agreement, Pure gave Ciba exclusive marketing rights for its SDC, or silver dihydrogen citrate, product, along with nonexclusive rights for selling SDC as an anti-microbial agent in household products and personal care applications.

“They’re a wonderful partner for us,” said Pure CEO Michael Krall.

Krall said the industry has been under “increasing pressure” to develop safe, all-natural products for consumers.

Water-soluble and colorless, the compound would be ideal for cosmetic formulations, Ciba said. It will market the product under the trade name Tinosan SDC.

The nontoxic compound acts as a germ-killing alternative to parabin or formaldehyde, commonly used in cosmetics, according to Krall.

The businesses did not disclose financial terms of the deal.


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Anadys Gets On Fast Track:
Shares of San Diego-based biotech Anadys Pharmaceuticals jumped 20 percent Dec. 2 following an FDA decision to grant the company a fast-track review on an experimental hepatitis C drug. The stock gained 38 cents to close at $2.29.

The Anadys compound, dubbed ANA598, is designed to treat chronic hepatitis C, an infection causing liver inflammation and, occasionally, failure.

Fast-track designation provides an expedited review of new drugs intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions. Compounds selected must demonstrate the potential to address an unmet medical need for such a condition.

Chronic hepatitis C affects 3.2 million people in the United States and 170 million people worldwide, Anadys said.


Send biotechnology news to Heather Chambers, hchambers@sdbj.com.

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