SD Life Sciences Roundup: Sotera, Janssen, Tandem Diabetes, & More

Xconomy San Diego — 

I found some interesting nuggets of life sciences news from San Diego over the past week, and I have all the shiny details here.

—San Diego’s Sotera Wireless, which won FDA approval last year for a mobile device and related technology for monitoring patient vital signs, said it has raised $14.8 million from Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) and other investors. Sotera plans to use proceeds from the financing to build out its sales network and channel distribution partners. Sotera, founded in 2004 as Triage Wireless, has raised a total of at least $60.8 million. Investors include Delphi Ventures, Sanderling Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, EDBI, Intel Capital, Cerner Capital, and the West Health Investment Fund.

—In the year since Johnson & Johnson opened its Janssen Labs innovation center for life sciences startups in San Diego, 18 early stage companies have been admitted to the “no strings attached” business accelerator program. Janssen said it has added additional space for a “concept lab” that offers solo entrepreneurs affordable access to single bench spaces, and for an “open collaboration space” with an open-plan layout to encourage interaction between life science entrepreneurs.

—In his BioBeat column this week, Luke explained why the term “precision medicine” has been gaining currency in academic, clinical, and corporate circles—and why “personalized medicine” has been falling out of favor.

Tandem Diabetes Care, a San Diego medical device maker, said it has acquired more than 23 U.S. patents and patent applications relating to the treatment of diabetes from Smiths Medical ASD of St. Paul, MN. Tandem said it also got a license to 28 other U.S. patents and patent applications owned by Smiths Medical. Tandem Diabetes raised $36.4 million in September, 10 months after the FDA cleared its wearable insulin pump for use.

—The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) plans to shift its emphasis away from funding academic R&D as it designates hundreds of millions of dollars for use over the next four years. CIRM plans to increase its support for early stage clinical trials and other work toward regulatory approval of commercial therapies.