Xconomy San Diego Hosts its Premiere Event, A Regional Algae Initiative Blooms, Mpex Pharmaceuticals Raises $27.5M, La Jolla Pharmaceuticals Fails Key Trial, & More San Diego BizTech News

2/17/09Follow @bvbigelow

The highlight last week for Xconomy San Diego was our premiere event, “Physics for Future Presidents,” which drew a big turnout (about 200 people registered), including at least two Ph.D. physicists—Lowell Burnett of Quasar Federal Systems and J. Robert Beyster, the founder and retired chairman and CEO of defense contractor SAIC. Yet it also was an eventful week in San Diego for the life sciences, cleantech, software, and information technology sectors.

—As an equal-opportunity “Debunker in Chief,” UC Berkeley Physics professor Richard Muller separated science from mythology in his talk, “Physics for Future Presidents,” which touched on nuclear terrorism, energy, and global warming.

—San Diego Internet entrepreneur Lee Stein, who helped to pioneer online payment systems, travels in rarefied circles, which include PayPal founder Elon Musk, Ariana Huffington of the Huffington Post, and Segway inventor (and Boston Xconomist) Dean Kamen. His latest project is Prize Capital, a Del Mar, CA, investment firm he founded to help support the development of breakthrough green technologies.

—San Diego’s Mpex Pharmaceuticals says its $27.5 million in venture funding will carry the life sciences startup through Phase 2 clinical trials of its inhaled version of approved antibiotic levofloxacin for treating certain lung infections.

The San Diego “regional algae initiative” has formed a virtual network to encourage the growth of all companies algal. Project manager Rick Halperin told me San Diego’s experience in aquaculture, expertise in algae biology, and sunny climate gives the region an early advantage in developing a new algae industry cluster here.

—San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA), which has run … Next Page »

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

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