Optimer Seeks Fast Review of Drug for Intestinal Infection, Histogen Raises $10M, TSRI Shares its “Click” Chemistry in Deal with Massachusetts Biotech, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

The Thanksgiving holiday helped to keep activity in San Diego’s life science companies at minimum levels over the past week. Still, what we picked up was interesting reading. Judge for yourself.

—San Diego’s Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OPTR) filed a new drug application with the FDA for fidaxomicin, the drug it developed to treat patients with Clostridium difficile infection, the most common cause of diarrhea in hospitals. Optimer also asked for a priority review that takes six months instead of the usual 10. If granted, the FDA could issue a decision as early as the second quarter of 2011.

—San Diego’s Histogen said it has raised $10 million in Series A funding, which has enabled the life sciences startup to mount some mid-stage clinical trials of its regenerative medical treatements. The funding represents a comeback of sorts for Histogen, which was forced to lay off all 36 employees last year after rival SkinMedica of Carlsbad, CA, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the startup.

—A life sciences industry survey by San Diego’s Biocom, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and MassBio found that U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials are becoming more likely to change their position during the latter stage of the product review process. Sixty-three percent of the 50 companies participating in the study said the FDA had changed its position during at least one review, compared to 40 percent who made similar comments in a previous survey conducted in 2006.

Aileron Therapeutics of Cambridge, MA, got exclusive rights to “click” chemistry technology that Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless developed at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. Click chemistry generates substances quickly and reliably by joining small reactive molecular building blocks together selectively to form extremely tight bonds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Roche terminated its collaboration and licensing agreement to develop a new treatment for hepatitis C with San Diego’s Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGNDD). Ligand and the Swiss pharmaceutical giant signed the deal two years ago.

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