San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Halozyme, Sophiris, Arena, & More

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stockholders on July 31 to vote on the $3.7 billion buyout offer from Bedford, MA-based Hologic (NASDAQ: HOLX). In a statement released by the two companies, Gen-Probe Chairman and CEO Carl Hull has agreed to serve as a senior vice president and general manager of the combined company’s diagnostics business for at least 15 months.

—San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA) said it has filed an application with regulators in Switzerland to market its lorcaserin weight-loss drug there. It is the third such application that Arena has filed for the drug. U.S. regulators approved the use of lorcaserin (Belviq) last month, and the drug is currently under review with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Switzerland is not part of the EMA and requires a separate application.

—Steve Flaim, current chairman of Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels, offered some interesting insight about angel investments in life sciences deals when we talked about a new report that shows U.S. angel investing is holding steady so far this year. Flaim said some savvy Web and social media investors are shifting their investment focus to life sciences. “If you kind of sniff around the corners of healthcare,” Flaim said, “you can find opportunities that align within the angels’ framework of investments over three to seven years.”

—San Diego’s Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO) made Luke’s list of “the best boring companies in biotech.” In his BioBeat column, Luke explained that he based his list on companies that have accomplished something noteworthy without getting much media attention. Halozyme is focused on what happens outside the cell, in the extracellular matrix, and has developed a family of recombinant human enzymes designed to boost or aid the effects of biologic drugs.

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