Cytomx Pockets $30M, AvidBiotics Eyes Food Safety Market, Rigel Passes Arthritis Trial, & More Bay Area Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Francisco — 

We had the usual wide variety of stories this week from the worlds of antibody drugs, antibiotics, medical devices, and oral small molecules. Get caught up here.

—The Bay Area has a new player in the world of antibody drugs—Cytomx Therapeutics. This company, founded in February 2008 in Santa Barbara, CA, is primed to move into the Bay Area and grow with a new $30 million Series B financing from Third Rock Ventures and Roche Venture Fund.

AvidBiotics, the lean little South San Francisco startup led by Dave Martin and Jim Knighton, gave me a up-close look at their strategy to fight the infamous E.coli O157:H7 bacteria, through developing a food safety agent, and a therapeutic.

—South San Francisco-based Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RIGL) reported on a mid-stage clinical trial that showed its oral pill for rheumatoid arthritis was effective in patients who didn’t adequately respond to a prior round of therapy. The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

—The medical device industry’s big event this week was the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference in Washington D.C. I did a preview story highlighting four major trends to watch, based on a chat with Steve Salmon of Latterell Venture Partners.

—Lastly, we had an op-ed piece on the importance of science education from Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell, the outgoing president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. I know this issue resonates with readers in all five of our cities, so if you missed it, check it out. If you have something to add to the conversation, let us know.