SD Life Sciences Roundup: Ambrx Gets Big Partner, GenMark, & More

Xconomy National — 

While much of the life sciences news seemed to come out of the big BIO conference in Boston, San Diego still had its share of significant developments over the past week. Here’s my rundown.

—Merck (NYSE MRK), the New Jersey pharmaceutical giant, agreed to pay San Diego-based Ambrx $15 million—and another $288 million in potential milestone payments—for technology to deliver a double-whammy to cancer cells and other disease targets. As part of the deal, Merck plans to supply Ambrx some additional biological targets for technology that combines the precision of targeted antibody drugs with potent toxins in what Ambrx calls “antibody drug conjugates.”

—After almost three years as the chief business officer at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Paul Laikind is now the president and CEO at San Diego’s ViaCyte, a preclinical life sciences company. ViaCyte has been developing a new cell therapy product for treating insulin-dependent diabetes. Laikind, who discussed his vision for business development at the Sanford-Burnham institute, was previously a co-founder at Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Viagene, and Metabasis Therapeutics.

—Carlsbad, CA-based GenMark Diagnostics (NASDAQ: GNMK) said it has priced a secondary public offering of 10 million shares of its common stock at a price of $4.20 a share. GenMark, which makes automated molecular diagnostic testing systems to … Next Page »

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