San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Zogenix, Ignyta, AnaptysBio, & More

Xconomy San Diego — 

[Updated 3/18/14 10:05 am. See below.] Here is a quick rundown of the strategic partnerships, funding deals, clinical trials, and other developments that kept San Diego’s life sciences sector hopping last week.

—San Diego-based AnaptysBio and Waltham, MA-based Tesaro (NASDAQ: TSRO) agreed to collaborate in the development of certain antibody drug candidates that could be used to enhance the body’s immune system to fight solid tumor cancers. Tesaro agreed to pay AnaptysBio $17 million upfront, and as much as $324 million in milestone fees and other payments if work under their strategic partnership advances antibody drugs against three specific targets. The deal gives Tesaro a new opening in the hot field of cancer immunotherapy.

Ignyta, a San Diego startup developing companion diagnostics and cancer drugs, began trading on the Nasdaq market Friday under the ticker symbol RXDX after the company said it had raised gross proceeds of $48 million through an underwritten public offering. Ignyta shares rose above $10 a share in trading Friday, after the company priced more than 5.2 million shares at $9.15 a share. Ignyta shares traded over the counter before moving to Nasdaq. The company said it expects to generate about $44.5 million in net proceeds from the offering.

—San Diego’s Lumena Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical developing new treatments for rare cholestatic liver diseases and metabolic disorders, said it raised $45 million in a Series B round of financing led by New Enterprise Associates. New investors Adage Capital Management and RA Capital Management joined existing investors Pappas Ventures, RiverVest Venture Partners, and Alta Partners. Proceeds will be used to advance clinical development of two experimental drugs that inhibit a protein responsible for recycling bile acids from the intestine to the liver. The company says blocking bile acid transport could reduce the liver’s absorption of bile acid and could potentially slow disease progression and improve liver function.

—San Diego’s PatientSafe Solutions said it raised $3 million in additional funding as part of a strategic deal with Telus Ventures, the investment arm of Canada’s second-biggest telecom. The digital health technology company said it also signed a related deal that makes Telus Health the exclusive reseller of the company’s proprietary PatientTouch system in Canada. The deal represents PatientSafe’s first move beyond the U.S. market.

—After taking over as the new CEO of Connect on March 3, Greg McKee said the nonprofit group still plays an … Next Page »

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