J&J Subsidiary Backs Alzheimer Drug Discovery at Sanford-Burnham, Portable Genomics to Move to San Diego, Ardea Plans Secondary Stock Offering, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

It was relatively quiet for life science news in San Diego over the past week, but it was nevertheless encouraging, with a new research collaboration, new funding, and a new company planning to move here. Our roundup begins now.

—San Diego’s Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institution announced a three-year pact with a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary to search for new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Specific financial terms were not disclosed, although the collaboration was structured like a biotech alliance and could eventually be worth more than $85 million to the Sanford-Burnham.

—A French molecular biologist, Patrick Merel, told me he plans to move to San Diego with Portable Genomics, a direct-to-consumer personal genomics startup he founded in Bordeaux. Portable Genomics has been developing subscription-based software that will cull useful clinical data from the massive amount of computerized data generated by genome sequencing, and deliver it to consumers’ iPads, smartphones, or other mobile devices.

—A small San Diego-based life sciences investment firm, Leading Ventures, plans to raise a $10 million inaugural fund, according to Dow Jones’ VentureWire. The firm’s move was prompted by progress at two companies owned by the firm, Inflammagen and AnoZyme, which are nearing commercialization, VentureWire reported.

—San Diego’s Ardea Biosciences (NASDAQ: RDEA) announced plans for a secondary public offering of 2.5 million shares of its common stock, with an additional 375,000 shares authorized to cover any overallotments. BofA Merrill Lynch and Jefferies & Company are joint book runners for the offering.

—Xconomy’s National Biotechnology Editor, Luke Timmerman, showed off a few photos from the 2011 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, which was held last week in San Francisco.

—The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institution’s chief business officer, Paul Laikind, and Chrysa Mineo of San Diego-based Receptos have joined the lineup for the Xconomy Forum on diabesity, to be held in San Diego on January 27th. Also speaking are Amylin Pharmaceuticals CEO Dan Bradbury, Arena Pharmaceuticals CEO Jack Lief, and partners from Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures, and Thomas McNerny & Partners.