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Life Sciences Roundup: Halozyme, Avalon Ventures, Auspex & More

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a recent regulatory filing. Auspex, which has raised a total of at least $17 million from CMEA Ventures, Costa Verde Capital, and Thomas McNerney & Partners, says deuterium replaces metabolically sensitive hydrogen atoms to create novel therapeutics.

—The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to San Diego-based OrPro Therapeutics—not to be confused with Irvine, CA-based OrPro Prosthetics and Orthotics. OrPro Therpeutic’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Raser, told me in an email the $183,089 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant will be used to advance development of its lead product, ORP-100, a recombinant engineered variant of thioredoxin, for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

—The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology made the top 10 list of “Best Places to Work” in academia in the 10th annual survey by The Scientist magazine. In a list of best places to work in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, San Diego-based Genomatica made the list.

Prometheus Laboratories, the San Diego specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company acquired last year by Nestlé Health Science, introduced a new proprietary test for patients taking infliximab to control their inflammatory bowel disease. The company said its test is intended to help doctors identify potential causes for loss of treatment response and to help guide patient management decisions. In its statement, the company says a loss of treatment response may be the result of insufficient infliximab levels, or it could be due to the development of antibodies to infliximab (ATI).

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