Venture and private equity firms apparently have clamped down on much of their funding activities in San Diego, but some local firms were able to take advantage of state and federal sources of cash last week. We also saw the Food and Drug Administration give Amylin a break and Qualcomm’s top executives offer their outlook for next year.
—One significant development for San Diego’s biotech community is that the state’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, opened its spigot for funding business ventures. The change is important because the institute has doled out more than $614 million through 229 grants since it was created in 2005, with all but one grant going to academic scientists at non-profit universities and research centers. Last week the institute awarded six grants to life science companies, and four with operations in San Diego got a total of more than $3.3 million.
—San Diego’s Cohu, which has traditionally been one of the most cautious players in the semiconductor industry, agreed to pay $80 million in cash to buy German rival Rasco from Dover Corp. Cohu makes thermal pick-and-place test handling machines used by chipmakers to test the performance of semiconductors with wire leads. Rasco specializes in gravity-feed machines that test smaller chips used increasingly … Next Page »