Dendreon Commercial Guy Leaves, Light Sciences CEO Exits, Amgen Wins FDA OK, & More Seattle-Area Life Sciences News

Xconomy Seattle — 

This was a short holiday week, and so we have an appropriately short biotech roundup.

—Seattle-based Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) said last week that its top sales and marketing executive, Varun Nanda, left the company effectively immediately. Nanda was hired back in April to lead the market introduction of Dendreon’s first product, sipuleucel-T (Provenge), and stayed in that job less than a year.

—Nanda wasn’t the only executive departure we reported on in the past week. Light Sciences Oncology, the Bellevue, WA-based maker of a drug/device combo treatment for cancer, said its CEO, Llew Keltner, has left to take a job at another biotech company. A replacement hasn’t been named.

Omeros (NASDAQ: OMER), the Seattle-based developer of neurological drugs, said this week it had completed its acquisition of drug discovery technology that it hopes will help it develop new therapies aimed at G-protein coupled receptors—some of the most lucrative targets in the pharmaceutical business today.

Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), the biotech giant with operations in Seattle, said it won FDA clearance to start selling denosumab (Xgeva) as a to fight bone fractures in cancer patients. The drug was approved earlier this year as a treatment for osteoporosis, but this anti-cancer usage, long championed by Bill Dougall at Amgen Seattle, might be equally or even more lucrative, analysts say.

—Lastly, we had a national op-ed piece from Lisa Suennen of Psilos Group, who recently moderated an Xconomy Forum in San Diego. She takes on health IT data security in this post.

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