Sequenom Makes Buyout Offer, Anadys Zooms on Promising Results, Michael Robertson Gives iPod Last Rights, Forward Ventures Going Virtual, & More San Diego BizTech News

1/12/09Follow @bvbigelow

The best part about last week’s deals and biztech news was that so much of it amounted to the first act in a continuing drama. Will the deal go through? Will that drug get approved? Stay tuned…

Who needs TV soaps when a corporate buyout drama is unfolding before your very eyes? Will San Diego’s Sequenom prevail in its buyout offer for Massachusetts’ Exact Science? Could it turn into a hostile takeover? Luke wrote the first installment of the saga-to-be here.

We keep hearing VCs say the traditional business model for venture capital is broken, which may just be another way of saying they were investing too much money for insufficient returns. Now, San Diego-based Forward Venture says it’s adapting to the new reality by paring its operations and going virtual.

Anadys Pharmaceuticals of San Diego reported an experimental drug did a better-than-expected job in killing the hepatitis C virus, and Wall Street sent the company’s shares soaring 80 percent Thursday.

Novato’s BioMarin agreed to pay La Jolla Pharmaceuticals $15 million up front for rights to an experimental lupus drug in a deal that could be worth as much as $289 million in cash and stock purchases.

MP3.com founder Michael Robertson launched a new Internet site called TuneRoom that delivers free digital music to cell phones, and he used the announcement to perform last rights for the iPod.

Anaphore, a La Jolla biotech developing protein therapeutics, raised $25 million in a Series A round of venture funding led by 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, and Apposite Capital.

Drug development companies are adopting some innovative strategies to lower the costs, reduce risks, and improve their odds for success. Among the more interesting is La Jolla-based Huya Biosciences International’s multi-faceted approach for in-licensing prospective drugs from China.

A final-stage clinical trial of San Diego’s Orexigen Therapeutics’ experimental obesity drug helped patients lose an average of 20 pounds, or 9 percent of their body weight, but Wall Street apparently expected them to be even bigger losers for Orexigen to be a winner, as the news sent shares down about 15 percent.

And finally, Carlsbad’s Callaway Golf Co. said last week it acquired uPlay, a crosstown maker of high-tech electronic distance-measuring devices. Financial terms were not disclosed. The devices combine GPS technology with aerial and satellite photography to display hyper-accurate layouts of the hazards, distance, and overall layout of each hole on a golf course—so players will know precisely whether to use the 7 iron or the wedge from the bunker to the green.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.