San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Deals at MEI Pharma, Auspex, Ambit

Xconomy San Diego — 

It was a good week for raising capital in San Diego’s life sciences community. We have a rundown of the big deals and other news, too.

—San Diego’s MEI Pharma (Nasdaq: MEIP), a cancer drug developer headed by former Favrille founder Dan Gold, arranged a private financing with Vivo Ventures and New Leaf Venture Partners, which purchased $27.5 million of common stock and warrants. The company said the proceeds would be used mostly to begin work on an epigenetic regulator drug, Pracinostat, that MEI acquired in August. The drug has shown promise in treating blood cancers such as myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.

—San Diego’s Ambit Biosciences closed the first $25 million tranche of a $50 million round of financing, which will be used to move its lead drug candidate, quizartinib, to late stage trials. Existing investor OrbiMed Advisors led the financing with participation from other existing Ambit investors including Aisling Capital, Apposite Healthcare, Roche Ventures, GrowthWorks, MedImmune Ventures, Forward Ventures, GIMV, and Radius Ventures. Ambit Biosciences has been developing … Next Page »

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