Intellikine Raises $28.5M, Cadence Awaits FDA Action, Somaxon Seeks FDA Approval Again for Insomnia Drug, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

We had some good news, mixed news, and odd news about San Diego’s life sciences companies over the past week. Read on for our full spectrum of coverage.

—San Diego’s Intellikine said in a recent regulatory filing that it had raised $16 million in venture capital, and plans to raise an additional $22.5 million. But that was only part of the story. The startup biotech, which is developing a new class of cancer drugs, said in a statement yesterday it actually has closed on $28.5 million in the current venture round, and up to $22.5 million can be accessed, depending on Intellikine’s ability to meet certain performance goals. The company also identified the four new investors who participated in the round: Novartis Bioventures, which is lead investor in the current round; Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB); FinTech Global Capital; and U.S. Venture Partners. Three existing investors also put money in: Sofinnova Ventures, Abingworth Management, and CMEA Ventures.

—When an FDA advisory panel recently recommended new restrictions on the pain reliever acetaminophen, Luke checked in with San Diego’s Cadence Pharmaceuticals to see how that would affect its development of Acetavance—the first intravenous form of acetaminophen. Cadence CEO Ted Schroeder said it’s not a concern, however, because clinical trials showed Acetavance the intravenous treatment provided effective pain relief at lower doses than the levels that raised safety concerns for the FDA panel. Cadence, which is awaiting FDA approval for the pain reliever, plans to market it to hospitals as a safer alternative to narcotics for patients who can’t take oral medications.

—San Diego’s Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:SOMX) says the FDA has accepted the company’s revised new drug application for its insomnia drug doxepin (Silenor). The biotech also raised about $6 million in a private stock placement, which should be enough to carry it through the next 12 months.

—San Diego’s Vical (NASDAQ:VICL), which is developing DNA-based vaccines, said it’s encouraged by early results from a mid-stage trial of a vaccine it’s developing for cytomegalovirus. But Vical said complete results from the study won’t be done until early 2010.

—San Diego’s Lpath (OTC:LPTN), which is developing antibody drugs for cancer, told Denise the dismissal of its outside auditor was an unfortunate case of bad timing. A spokesman for Lpath explained that the company decided to change accounting firms some time ago, but Lpath didn’t have a replacement auditor lined up before proxy ballots were printed. So Lpath asked shareholders at its June 24 annual meeting to vote to approve the retention of LevitZacks—then dismissed the firm five days later.