Sanofi Buys TargeGen, Biogen Idec Hires CEO, Orexigen Obesity Drug Shows Promise Against Diabetes, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

It’s been barbell time for life sciences news in San Diego, with much of the developments happening yesterday and at the end of last week. Still, it shouldn’t require too much heavy lifting; your workout starts now.

—Sanofi-Aventis, the French pharma giant, is acquiring San Diego-based TargeGen in a structured deal that could be worth as much as $560 million if the lean biotech with just 11 employees can hit a series of clinical development goals. TargeGen has been working with Chinese clinical research organization WuXi Pharmatech to develop a drug that targets JAK2, a marker on cells found to be proliferating out of control in patients with blood disorders known as myeloproliferative diseases.

—San Diego’s Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: [[ticker:OREX[[) says results of its latest clinical trial support its contention that its drug candidate for obesity also offers promise for treating diabetes by helping overweight patients better control their blood sugar.

—San Diego’s Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN) confirmed that it has trimmed 60 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, in R&D and other specific areas of the company. An Amylin spokeswoman told Luke that the company will look to both internal and external sources to find new ways of bringing innovative medicines to patients.

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB), the Cambridge, MA-based pharmaceutical that also has significant operations in San Diego, named George Scangos as its new chief executive. The company has been without a CEO since June 8 when long-time chief executive James Mullen retired after a long battle with dissident shareholder Carl Icahn.

—Biotech startup Zacharon Pharmaceuticals raised an additional $500,000 in a combination of … Next Page »

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