TEDMED Walking, FDA Clears Pacira Drug, Zogenix Close to NDA, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

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coming era of translational medicine, in which drugs home in on biologically distinct malignancies.

Zogenix CEO Roger Hawley told me the San Diego company plans to submit a new drug application (NDA) in early 2012 for its extended-release formulation of the painkilling drug hydrocodone bitartrate (Zohydro). Zogenix estimates that more than 128 million prescriptions are written in the U.S. each year for hydrocodone drugs, a potential $7.5 billion market opportunity. The company said attaining just 1 percent of that market would generate an estimated $248 million a year.

—San Diego’s Intellikine said it earned $4 million in milestone payments from Cambridge, MA-based Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI). Intellikine has been developing small-molecule drugs that target a key cellular signaling pathway controlled by a group of kinase enzymes known as PI3K. Intellikine licensed rights for IPI-145, a compound that blocks two of the four known variations of PI3K, to Infinity in mid-2010. As part of the deal, Infinity agreed to pay $4 million with the initiation of two early stage trials of IPI-145.

—San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics (NYSE: SI) of Tarrytown, NY, have formed a partnership to set new standards for next-generation genome sequencing of infectious microbes in patients. By making Siemens molecular HIV tests compatible with Illumina’s next generation MiSeq DNA sequencing system, the companies said they plan to offer a variety of new diagnostic assays for infectious diseases.

—Driven by sales of its new FDA-approved drug for treating hepatitis C, Cambridge, MA-based Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) posted its first quarterly profit based on its own product sales. Vertex said sales of telaprevir helped the company generate $659 million in total revenues, and turn a profit of $221 million ($1.02 a share) in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30. The company maintains some operations in San Diego.

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