San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Effector, Ignyta, and More

Xconomy San Diego — 

A startup with a new approach to cancer drug development made its debut this week in San Diego. We’ve got the details, along with other local news in life sciences and industrial biotechnology.

Effector Therapeutics, a San Diego startup developing anti-cancer drugs based on technology licensed from UC San Francisco, raised $45 million in a Series A round of venture financing. Steve Worland, the former CEO of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, founded Effector with UCSF scientists Kevan Shokat and Davide Ruggero, whose research has focused on translation control and cancer. Effector said it seeks to develop small-molecule drugs for targets that continue to drive a cell toward cancer, even after a key oncogene has been silenced. Investors include GlaxoSmithKline’s SR One, Novartis Venture Funds, Astellas Venture Management, Abingworth, Osage University Partners, U.S. Venture Partners and Mission Bay Capital.

—San Diego-based Ignyta, founded with technology from UC San Diego to improve the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, said it has acquired Actagene, a San Diego startup developing personalized medicines for unmet cancer needs. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal broadens Ignyta’s model for “companion diagnostics”-–using its expertise in … Next Page »

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