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San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: ResMed, Alexandria GradLabs & More

Xconomy San Diego — 

Spring has sprung, and it’s shaping up to be another busy season for San Diego’s life sciences community. As we head into the weekend, crossing our fingers that the seemingly endless rain showers will be replaced by our usual sunshine, here’s a quick rundown of some recent news developments.

—ResMed (NYSE: RMD) acquired a South Korea-based medical equipment provider, the company said Friday. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition of privately held HB Healthcare comes less than a year after the South Korean’s national healthcare system began offering reimbursement for sleep apnea diagnosis and ventilation devices for treating patients with breathing problems, like the devices that ResMed makes. ResMed has sold its devices in the country for more than a decade.

ResMed, which sells its products and services in about 120 countries, has been on an acquisition spree as of late, primarily of companies intended to bolster its “connected healthcare” offerings.

—Alexandria Real Estate Equities is building another life science campus in San Diego, a property slated to have 98,0000 square feet of rentable space intended for startups that have raised seed funding.

Called Alexandria GradLabs, the development, just east of the University of California San Diego campus, will have furnished offices and laboratory suites. It is scheduled to open in 2020.

Alexandria (NYSE: ARE) is a real estate investment trust that focuses on urban offices. Anchor tenants at Campus Pointe, its flagship San Diego campus, include Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG).

“We are seeing a significant need for laboratory and office space from promising life science companies that have outgrown or will soon outgrow incubator space in our cluster,” Dan Ryan, Alexandria’s co-chief investment officer and regional market director for San Diego, said in a news release.

—Roche’s Genentech has received FDA approval for a subcutaneous version of an already-approved breast cancer drug, trastuzumab and hyaluronidase-oysk (Herceptin Hylecta), for some early-stage forms of the disease. Genentech used technology developed by San Diego-based Halozyme (NASDAQ: HALO) to develop a co-formulation for under-the-skin delivery, which takes about two to five minutes, rather than intravenous delivery, which typically takes 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

—Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD) announced that sales of pimavanserin (Nuplazid), its treatment for psychosis associated with Parkinson’s disease, totaled about $224 million in 2018, 79 percent more than sales in the previous year. San Diego-based Acadia reported a net loss of about $245 million in 2018, compared to a net loss of about $289 million the year prior. The company anticipates revenues from the product will be between $275 million and $300 million this year. Acadia is also testing the drug as an adjunct therapy for a number of other disorders, including depression and schizophrenia.

—Nex Cubed, a San Francisco-based startup accelerator with an satellite office in San Diego, has launched a program for digital health startups. The four-month, “semi-remote” course—it is based in San Diego, but companies don’t have to relocate there to participate—is intended to prep companies that have received angel or seed funding for their next round of investment.

The seven startups that are participating are RISEcx, RockStep Solutions, Caressa, OOTify, PreMinder, SaRA Health, and Visom Technology.

Nex Cubed plans to hold a showcase and demo night at the digital health program’s end. Applications for its second cohort open April 1. The firm also runs an accelerator in San Francisco for “frontier tech,” such as robotics and autonomous vehicles, as well as one in Washington, D.C. for aerospace and defense startups.