FivePrime Nabs Partner, Solazyme’s $100M IPO Plan, Where Blockbuster Drugs Come From, & More Bay Area Life Sciences News

I was a teensy bit preoccupied this week organizing and moderating our first life sciences event this week at Xconomy San Francisco, but managed to keep up with a few of the big headlines that crossed my desk.

FivePrime Therapeutics, the South San Francisco-based developer of protein drugs, said this week it struck a deal with Rockville, MD-based Human Genome Sciences to co-develop a novel anti-cancer drug. FivePrime is getting $50 million upfront, and is eligible for another $445 million in payments as part of this deal if this drug candidate can reach certain milestones.

—One of the biofuel companies in South San Francisco, Solazyme, announced its intention to raise as much as $100 million in an IPO through a prospectus filed with securities regulators. Solazyme has struck a variety of deals with big companies and government agencies, like Chevron, Unilever, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL) said this week that underwriters elected to buy all the extra shares they could to cover over-allotments on a secondary stock financing, which means it netted about $179 million after expenses. The company is pushing to develop cabozantinib (XL184) as a treatment for prostate cancer.

—About 150 people turned out for the Xconomy event I hosted this week at UCSF Mission Bay, which looked at the 20-year outlook for life sciences in the Bay Area. Corey Goodman, Peter Hirth, Jeff Bluestone, and Randy Scott were part of an all-star panel, and we also heard short talks from Dave Martin, Mickey Urdea, Nancy Stagliano, and Bill Newell. Thanks to everyone who helped make this event such a big success—and stay tuned for more events like this from us in San Francisco.

—This week’s edition of the BioBeat column focused on where the really big blockbuster drugs of the future are really coming from—drugs that really make a difference scientifically, medically, and in the business world. The Bay Area does not have a monopoly on these precious new treatments.

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