San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Isis, Elcelyx, Acutus, and More

Xconomy San Diego — 

Much of the big news in San Diego’s life sciences community over the past week was coming out of Chicago, where the American Diabetes Association was holding its annual meeting. We’ve got it all wrapped up here.

—San Diego’s Acutus Medical, founded in 2011 to develop minimally invasive technology for creating a 3-D mapping system for treating complex heart arrhythmias, said it has raised $21 million in a Series B financing round led by OrbiMed, the New York healthcare investment fund. The company says proceeds will be used to support its continuing efforts in research and development. Existing investors Advent Ventures and Index Ventures joined in the round.

Banyan Biomarkers, based in Carlsbad, CA, and Alachua, FL (near Gainesville), said it raised $6 million from private investors to advance development of a blood test for biomarkers that indicate the extent of damage in traumatic brain injury. The company is now enrolling 2,000 patients at eight locations for a pivotal clinical trial funded by a $26.3 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. In a Q&A with UT San Diego’s Brad Fikes, Banyan CEO Jackson Streeter says there are 1.7 million brain injuries in the U.S. each year.

—The FDA has granted an investigational device exemption to San Diego’s Aethlon Medical for its blood purification device, a dialysis-like system for filtering life-threatening infectious disease and cancer glycopathogen particles from the blood. The FDA exemption allows a medical device to be used in a clinical study in order to collect safety and effectiveness data. In a statement, Aethlon said it has focused primarily on using the device to remove hepatitis C viral particles from the bloodstream.

—San Diego’s Elcelyx Therapeutics drew wide attention at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago last weekend by releasing primary data for a mid-stage clinical trial of NewMet, a new delayed-release version of the generic drug metformin. Elcelyx said the study showed that metformin works primarily in the lower gut. If borne out in further studies, the results would dispel the … Next Page »

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