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downtown San Francisco headquarters. The companies span consumer biotech, food, medicine, and research tools, working in areas such as T-cell sequencing, cancer cell imaging, and bioengineered olive plants.
—San Diego’s Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE) said Monday that CEO Christian Weyer has resigned, effective Nov. 30. Fate co-founder Scott Wolchko was named to succeed him. In other organizational changes, CTO Daniel Shoemaker was named chief scientific officer, and Stewart Abbot, who joined Fate earlier this year as vice president of translational research, was named chief development officer.
—Zosano Pharma (NASDAQ: ZSAN) of Fremont, CA, reported positive Phase 2 data for its experimental skin patch, designed to reverse hypoglycemia in adults with Type 1 diabetes. The company hopes to move the patch into a Phase 3 trial next year that could lead to FDA approval as an alternative to self-injection.
—The late-stage failure of the anti-cholesterol drug evacetrapib from Eli Lilly turned a spotlight on the West Coast to Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) of Thousand Oaks, CA. Amgen bought a drug in the same class as evacetrapib—what’s known as a CETP inhibitor—from Dezima Pharma last month for $300 million upfront. The Amgen deal was a target of criticism even before Lilly’s bad news because the CETP class includes the monumental failure of Pfizer’s torcetrapib nearly a decade ago.
—The Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle said it has chosen six scientists in the U.S. and Australia as “next generation leaders,” a program that mentors prospective scientific leaders.
—The work done by biomedical research institutes in San Diego makes a big impact in the local economy, according to a study released this week by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. The report found that nonprofit research institutes like the Salk Institute generate direct economic benefits in San Diego of $4.6 billion a year. Indirect benefits include more than 100,000 biomedical industry jobs and $14 billion in broader economic effects.
—San Diego’s BioNano Genomics said it has entered a research collaboration with the UCLA that will look at the role structural variations play in human genetic pediatric disorders.
—San Diego-based Astute Medical signed an agreement with the Shanghai Fosun Long March Medicine Science Co to distribute its NephroCheck test in China. The Chinese company also made a $20 million investment in Astute Medical.
—NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), the San Diego spinal device specialist, said federal regulators cleared its cervical corpectomy cage, an expandable system to replace a diseased or damaged part of the spinal vertebrae caused by tumors, fractures or bone infections.