Biotech is Biggest Winner in Second-Quarter VC Funding, Zogenix Strategy Unfolds, Intellikine Builds Clinical Trial Capabilities, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

There’s been a deluge of venture capital news over the past week, and a flash flood of VC cash during the second quarter went mostly to San Diego’s life sciences sector. Our briefing begins now.

—San Diego venture firms invested a total of $198.2 million in 29 local startups during the second quarter that ended June 30, according to a breakout of regional data from the MoneyTree Report. The single biggest deal was the $50.4 million for San Diego’s Sangart, but in fact, 24 of the 25 deals were categorized as life sciences deals, accounting for roughly $193.1 million—or more than 97 percent of the $198.2 million total invested here.

—San Diego’s Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) said it signed an agreement with Durect (NASDAQ: DRRX) of Cupertino, CA, to develop Durect’s long-lasting reformulation of the anti-psychotic drug risperidone (Risperdal) for use with the Zogenix needle-free injector. Zogenix says its collaboration with Durect is a good example of its unfolding strategy, and could lead to the first long-lasting formulation of the anti-psychotic drug available in a needle-free injector for once-a-month use.

Intellikine, a San Diego startup developing new anti-cancer drugs, hired former Celgene vice president Greg Berk as chief medical officer responsible for overseeing Intellikine’s clinical trials. Intellikine CEO Troy Wilson says he’s encouraged by the company’s progress in developing INK128, a compound that blocks a mutated kinase linked to a variety of cancers from wreaking its havoc in what he calls the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway.

—In his BioBeat column this week, Luke makes his case for resisting the pressure for life sciences companies to rush into mergers and acquisition deals with Big Pharma. He argues that … Next Page »

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