San Diego Biotechs With Good News Step Forward at Roth Conference

2/18/09Follow @bvbigelow

Many investors are nursing their wounds in the recession, so some of the big technology investment conferences have been canceled—or the investment banks that sponsored them no longer exist.

That’s why the turnout at Roth Capital Partners’ 21st annual growth stock conference has been a pleasant surprise for Aaron Gurewitz, a managing director at Roth’s headquarters in Newport Beach, CA. The conference started yesterday, and continues today at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point, CA.

“We set our expectations really low for this year,” Gurewitz says, and it’s definitely exceeded expectations.” Almost 1,800 investors and analysts registered for the financial conference, which is down about 15 percent from last year’s attendance. One explanation could be that more private equity firms signed up, Gurewitz says. Another factor may be that the Roth conference is focused on the smallest public companies—which traditionally have the highest potential for exponential growth.

Fewer companies are presenting, though. Organizers say executives from 212 companies are making presentations to investors this year—compared with 320 companies last year. There are many more companies focused on energy and media this year, and Gurewitz says investor interest is especially high in companies that are already doing business in China.

Several San Diego biotechs made presentations yesterday, and they had mostly good things to say. (Why attend otherwise, right?) Here is a sampling:

—Cadence Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CADX), which also reported a private stock placement yesterday, is getting ready to apply for FDA approval of its germ-killing Omnigard gel. CEO Ted Schroeder says the company is expecting results of a Phase 3 clinical trial of its gel by the end of March. If the results are positive, Schroeder says Cadence anticipates … 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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