San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Optimer, Pfenex, OncoSec, & More

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this strategically relevant product has been sought for a number of years, and with continued government support and partnership we are confident Pfenex can deliver that solution.”

—Venture investors provided $241.5 million to 20 companies in the San Diego area during the third quarter that ended June 30, according to data from the latest MoneyTree Report. That’s an 11 percent increase over the $217.8 million that VCs invested in 24 deals during the same quarter last year. Almost $152 million, or 62 percent of all venture funding during the quarter, went to San Diego life sciences companies—including $50.1 million for Aragon Pharmaceuticals and $35.2 million for Tandem Diabetes Care. The MoneyTree Report was released by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers, using data from Thomson Reuters

—San Diego stem cell pioneer Fate Therapeutics named former Amylin Pharmaceuticals R&D executive Christian Weyer as CEO, about 20 months after CEO Paul Grayson left the high-profile startup. The company, founded by leading scientists at Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Washington, adopted a new strategy last year. Bill Rastetter, a Venrock partner who was named interim CEO in November, will remain chairman of Fate’s board. At Amylin, Weyer contributed to the development, approval, and commercialization of several first-in-class diabetes medicines.

—San Diego’s OncoSec Medical, which has been developing an electroporation delivery system for chemotherapy treatments for solid tumor cancers, said it has received the European community’s regulatory approval. The company says authorization to use the CE mark means it can market its proprietary gene and drug technology in the European Economic Area (EEA).

—Stan Fleming, the longtime managing partner at San Diego’s Forward Ventures, is raising funding for a separate investment fund called Forward Medical Science Partners, according to a Dow Jones report. Fleming told the wire service he’s raising $100 million to $200 million, and plans to secure rights to individual drugs that can be developed and then sold.

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