Acadia Takes a Fall, CareFusion Spins Off, Life Technologies Takes $450M in Cash, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

9/3/09Follow @bvbigelow

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$1.3 million venture round. The startup’s second focus is to develop stem cell therapies for animals that suffer from acute and chronic diseases.

—San Diego-based MabVax Therapeutics, which is developing new vaccines and human antibodies to treat cancer, raised about $500,000 and intends to raise an additional $3.5 million.

Palkion, a San Diego-based biotech startup, hopes to develop an oral drug that will provide a slow, steady increase in red blood cell levels for patients with anemia. As Luke reported, the company hopes to stake a claim in the $11.5 billion worldwide market for anemic patients.

—Carlsbad, CA-based Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) says it’s selling its mass spectrometry business, used in molecular analysis, to Washington, D.C.-based Danaher (NYSE: DHR) for $450 million in cash. Life, which was formed last year in the merger of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems, is focusing on selling biotechnology-related tools with higher profit margins.

—San Diego-based Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OREX), which is developing an obesity drug, has looked like a different company since former Amgen vice president Mike Narachi took over as CEO in March. Luke reports that Orexigen has strengthened its financials, added more depth to its bench in management, and issued a comprehensive report on the results of its clinical trials results.

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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