San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Regulus, Aragon, Cytori, & More

Xconomy San Diego — 

[Corrected 10/09/12, 1:45 pm. See below.] We saw some significant financing transactions in San Diego’s life sciences community over the past week. Here’s our rundown of those deals, along with other recent developments. It was a busy week!

—[Thanks to Greg Greenberg of suburban Kansas City for calling out my error on Astra Zeneca’s stake in Regulus.] Trading in San Diego’s newest public company, Regulus Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RGLS), opened yesterday at $4.73 a share—18 percent above its $4-a-share IPO price. Regulus dropped its offering price to that figure from an estimated range of $10 to $12 a share in the early morning before the market opened. Shares of the biopharmaceutical firm closed yesterday at $4.25 a share in regular trading. A Big Pharma partner, AstraZeneca, purchased $25 million of Regulus’s common stock in a private placement. AstraZeneca will own about 18.3 percent of Regulus’s outstanding shares after the offering.

Aragon Pharmaceuticals, a three-year old San Diego biopharmaceutical developing drugs for hormone-driven cancers, said it’s raised $50 million in a Series D financing led by venBio, the life sciences private equity firm based in San Francisco. Existing investors Topspin Fund, Aisling Capital, OrbiMed Advisors, and The Column Group also participated. Aragon said the capital would be used to advance drug development, including of ARN-509, the company’s experimental drug for treating castration-resistant prostate cancer. In results reported earlier this week, Aragon said ARN-509 was well-tolerated in three different patient groups. The company has raised $88 million so far this year.

Vital Therapies, a San Diego biotechnology startup focused on treatments for acute liver failure, said it had raised the first $16 million in a multi-stage commitment from … Next Page »

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