Qualcomm Puts $100M into Life Fund, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

There seemed to be a paucity of news from San Diego’s life sciences sector over the past week, which makes our briefing especially brief.

—San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) established a $100 million fund for investing in wireless health and related health IT startups. The fund will be managed by Qualcomm Ventures, which already has invested in Sotera Wireless, Telcare, AliveCor, Cambridge Temperature Concepts, and WorkSmart Labs. In addition to the Qualcomm Life Fund, the wireless giant also unveiled a new subsidiary, Qualcomm Life, as well as a wireless connectivity platform developed to enable medical device makers to connect through the Internet to online data centers.

—Carol Gallagher, who is now the executive chair of San Diego’s AnaptysBio, offered some 140-character gems in an Xconomy-moderated Twitter chat about the state of biotech startups. In one epigram, the former Calistoga Pharmaceuticals CEO explained in one tweet why the Seattle biotech succeeded. Gallagher wrote: “Calistoga had a very clear and well-differentiated hypothesis that at each step the card turned over favorably and a Gr8 team.”

Aviva BioSciences, a San Diego clinical research organization, disclosed that it plans to raise $500,000 through a combination of debt, securities, and rights to acquire securities, according to a recent regulatory filing. The company offers both specialized products, such as magnetic separation kits, and services, such as ion channel screening and custom cell lines.

—San Diego-based TrovaGene named Antonius Schuh as CEO, overseeing the company’s development of urine-based diagnostic assays that can be used to screen patients for infectious diseases. Schuh previously served as the chairman and chief executive of Sorrento Therapeutics, a biotechnology company he co-founded based on proprietary technology for generating very large libraries of human antibodies.

—San Diego’s Essentialis, which is developing a new medicine for treating cardiovascular and metabolic disease, said it had promoted Aaron Berg from president and chief commercial officer to CEO. Berg, who joined Essentialis just over a year ago, previously held senior positions at Schering-Plough and Kos Pharmaceuticals. Berg also joined the company’s board of directors.

Neox Clinical Research, a clinical research organization, or CRO, based in the Czech Republic, said it plans to open an office in San Diego next year that will serve as the company’s North American headquarters. Matt Delaney, who was previously vice president of global sales and marketing for a rival CRO, was named managing director of Neox’s U.S. operations.