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John Mendlein Tries His Hand as a ‘Parallel Entrepreneur,’ Santaris Continues RNA Therapeutics Work for Pfizer, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

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by the Food and Drug Administration won’t be available for another month. But it looks like the FDA approved 21 drugs in 2010, according to monthly drug-approval reports on the FDA’s website reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The number is down from 25 drugs the FDA approved in 2009 and 24 in 2008, but higher than the recent low of 18 in 2007. As the Journal noted, however, 2010 may be more memorable for the drugs that weren’t approved—especially in San Diego. The FDA rejected Amylin Pharmaceuticals‘ new drug application for exenatide once-weekly (Bydureon), a long-acting version of the diabetes drug Byetta. The FDA also declined to approve two proposed weight-loss drugs from San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals and Vivus of Mountain View, CA.

—We’ve had a number of guest editorials in the Xconomy Forum from San Diego’s Xconomists and other technology and life sciences leaders, who are weighing in with their perspective on some of the top surprises in 2010, as well as some developments to watch for in 2011. Intellikine CEO Troy Wilson discusses how combinations of experimental-stage drugs could become more commonplace as cancer researchers hunt for better treatments. Tomorrow, Regulus Therapeutics CEO Kleanthis Xanthopoulos (do you think he might be Greek?) will offer some life sciences predictions straight from the Oracle at Delphi.

—We’re still watching for developments at Genoptix (NASDAQ: GXDX), the Carlsbad, CA-based company that provides a centralized testing service for cancers of the blood, which put itself up for sale before the holidays. Bloomberg reported that Genoptix hired Barclays Capital to run an auction.

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