Amylin Braces to Battle Carl Icahn, Calit2′s Network for Institutional Innovation, Sangart Ponders Its Next Move, & More San Diego BizTech News

4/13/09Follow @bvbigelow

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human hemoglobin. A new CEO has taken over for founder Robert Winslow, who died earlier this year. Sangart also has a new chief scientific officer, and recently raised $50 million from its principal investor. Now Sangart must decide whether clinical trials of its “oxygen therapeutic” should go forward as a treatment for trauma or sickle cell anemia.

—Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) founder Irwin Jacobs was among the featured speakers at the La Jolla Research and Innovation Summit. The wireless giant’s former CEO and chairman said that cell phones are getting smarter, computers are getting smaller, and the two industries are coming together like two colliding galaxies. Jacobs also noted that Amazon’s Kindle has “a Qualcomm chip in it, and all the data going to Amazon goes through our data center.”

—Is there a second act for newspapers in America? In a speech in San Diego last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggested news organizations create a new three-tier subscription model using micropayment systems. “The reality is the vast majority of people will only want the free model, so you’ll be forced, whether we like it or not, to have a significant advertising component as well as a micropayment and a traditional payment system,” Schmidt said.

—In an interview with Ardea Biosciences (NASDAQ: RDEA) CEO Barry Quart, Luke reported the company discovered a new drug for treating gout while reviewing data from Ardea’s lead drug candidate for HIV. The San Diego biotech saw the prospects of developing a new treatment for gout as a great business opportunity. Quart expects to report results from Ardea’s small pilot study of gout patients this month.

—The U.S. headquarters for Sony Electronics in suburban San Diego is not escaping the global restructuring that the Japanese giant began in January. Sony’s San Diego operation, which currently has about 2,000 employees, is downsizing—although details on the reductions are not yet available.

—After nine years as director of CalIT2, the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Larry Smarr notes, “What we’ve succeeded in is this idea of institutional innovation.” By using the power of high-speed networks and high-performance computing, CalIT2 is tackling really big problems that require multi-disciplinary solutions, from atmospheric science to genomics. Smarr calls CalIT2 a “persistent framework for collaboration.”

—Another reason for San Diego’s prominence in IT innovation is SPAWAR, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which operates the Navy’s premier laboratory for information technologies atop Point Loma. Frank Gordon, who heads SPAWAR’s navigation and applied sciences department, gave a presentation last week that outlined some R&D projects at the lab, which holds more than 300 patents and employs 2,000 scientists and engineers.

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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