We’ve been seeing some big life sciences deals in recent weeks, the latest being Nestlé’s acquisition of San Diego’s Prometheus Labs. Here’s our wrap-up of the past week.
—Switzerland’s Nestlé Health Science agreed to acquire San Diego’s Prometheus Laboratories in what one analyst estimated as a $1.1 billion deal. The Nestlé subsidiary has been on a buying spree, acquiring CM&D Pharma, which is focused on cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, in February; and Vitaflo, which develops treatments of inherited metabolic diseases, last August. San Diego’s Prometheus, which has been in registration for an IPO since late 2007, also is a specialty pharma and diagnostics company focused on cancer and gastrointestinal disorders.
—San Diego-based Trius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TSRX), which is developing a new generation of antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant infections, surprised me yesterday by disclosing plans to raise $30.2 million through a private stock placement. I recently talked with Trius CEO Jeff Stein about the company’s travails in raising capital through an IPO last year, and how government R&D contracts are supporting the biotech’s early stage drug development.
—La Jolla Pharmaceutical has been an icon of San Diego’s biotech community, but preliminary data from a preclinical study of a compound the company has been studying for repairing scar tissue could spell the end of the company’s 21-year run. In a statement Monday, the biotech says its LJP1485 compound will not show a statistically significant improvement compared to a placebo. CEO Dierdre Gillespie told me in an e-mail yesterday that it will still be a few days before another update is available. The biotech has raised $428.1 million without producing any commercial therapies, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.