San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Sophiris, Isis, Qualcomm, & More

Xconomy San Diego — 

Another San Diego life sciences company is in line for an IPO, and the untimely death of Connect CEO Duane Roth has left a void in the leadership of San Diego’s innovation community. Here’s our review of developments over the past week.

—San Diego’s Sophiris Bio is nearing its debut as a U.S. public company, after setting its terms last week at about $13 per share in an initial public offering of 5 million shares. Sophiris said it plans to use net proceeds of $66 million to initiate two late-stage clinical trials of its drug PRX302 (Topsalysin) to treat non-cancerous prostate enlargement. According to a recent SEC filing, The company’s shares are currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and will begin trading on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol SPHS following a nearly 54.2-to-1 consolidation of shares. Warburg Pincus, which recently sold 50 million of its Sophiris shares to Tavistock Life Sciences, will hold an 11.9 percent stake after the IPO. Tavistock, which also has invested in San Diego’s Ambryx and Kalypsys, will hold an 11.5 percent stake post-IPO.

Duane Roth

Duane Roth

—Duane Roth died Saturday of injuries he sustained in a July 21 bicycling accident. He was the CEO of Connect, the San Diego nonprofit that promotes technology entrepreneurship and vice chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state-run stem cell organization. He was scheduled to become chairman of the board at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute next month. Roth, a  longtime pharmaceutical executive, took over Connect at the end of 2004, and led a turnaround that expanded the nonprofit group’s reach throughout San Diego’s innovation economy. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Aug. 9) at the University of San Diego’s Church of the Immaculata.

—Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals said patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were treated with its antisense drug ISIS-CRPRx reduced their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) by as much as two-thirds. That was the good news, as CRP is associated with many diseases, including numerous inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. The bad news, however, was that improvements in the RA patients’ symptoms were not … Next Page »

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