Trius Therapeutics Reveals Plans for IPO, SpectraScience Raises $4.3M, Sequenom Tightens its Belt, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

11/12/09

Some San Diego life sciences companies reported a burst of new financing, while embattled Sequenom told investors it’s trying to conserve its available cash. Here’s our rundown of the latest highlights:

—San Diego’s Trius Therapeutics, a venture-backed biotech developing a new antibiotic for treating acute and life-threatening bacterial infections, disclosed plans to raise as much as $86 million in an initial public stock offering. With additional funding, the company will proceed to Phase 3 clinical trials of torezolid, which Trius describes as a second-generation successor to linezolid, the Pfizer antibiotic known as Zyvox.

Life Technologies (NASDAQ: [[ticker: LIFE]]), the Carlsbad, CA-based provider of biotech instruments and lab supplies, agreed to acquire Woburn, MA-based BioTrove, which has developed a high throughput gene expression and genotyping analysis system.

SpectraScience, the San Diego medical device maker, has raised more than $4.3 million through a private placement that combines preferred shares and warrants. SpectraScience (OTCBB: [[ticker: SCIE]]) CEO Jim Hitchin told Bruce the offering closes a $5 million round the company began earlier this year.

PaxVax, a San Diego startup backed by Seattle’s Ignition Capital, has raised $2 million of a planned $6 million investment round. The biotech founded in early 2007 is developing a new type of vaccine that is administered as oral tablets and avoids much of the requirements that conventional vaccines require.

Sequenom, San Diego’s embattled diagnostics company, said it expects to end the year with $39 million in cash—but that’s not enough to get through 2010 without raising funds or slowing spending. In April, Sequenom (NASDAQ: [[ticker: SQNM]]) disclosed that it had “mishandled data” from a prenatal Down syndrome diagnostic test, indefinitely postponing that product launch.

Denise Gellene is a former Los Angeles Times science writer and regular contributor to Xconomy. You can reach her at dgellene@xconomy.com Follow @

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