SD Life Sciences Roundup: Illumina, Sophiris Bio, & New Funding Deals

Xconomy San Diego — 

The clock is ticking down on the shareholder vote for Roche’s unsolicited offer to buy San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN). We also saw a bunch of new funding deals for local life sciences companies, so get your briefing now.

—In a letter sent ahead of Illumina’s showdown shareholder meeting—set for April 18—CEO Jay Flatley and Chairman William Rastetter urged shareholders to reject moves by Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, to acquire the San Diego company in a $6.7 billion hostile takeover. Roche wants to increase Illumina’s board of directors and has submitted its own slate of nominees in a bid to force its offer through. In their letter opposing the deal, Flatley and Rastetter cite a BioBeat column Luke wrote that offers five reasons why Illumina should fight Roche’s low-ball bid. Roche moved to acquire Illumina in January; its latest offer is $51 a share.

—Stock in a new San Diego drug development company, Sophiris Bio, began trading today at 55 cents a share on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SHS. Sophiris, which has a late-stage drug targeting benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), moved to San Diego last year from Vancouver, B.C., where the company was known as Protox Therapeutics. A spokesman for the company says Sophiris also has secured more than $26 million in financing from the private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

—San Diego-based CalciMedica, which has been developing oral drugs that target calcium channels on the surface of cells, has raised $13.2 million in debt and rights to securities, according to … Next Page »

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