A Baldness Update from Histogen; Sequenom Agrees to Settle a Suit; the Life Sciences Job Outlook Improves & More San Diego Life Sciences News

1/21/10

There were new developments over the past week in some big ongoing stories.

Histogen CEO Gail Naughton told Bruce the San Diego-based biotech expects to report results from a one-year follow-up of study of its experimental baldness treatment by the end of this month. Histogen plans additional clinical studies on volunteers with male-pattern baldness—all of them in Asia. (Sorry, guys.)

— The job market in San Diego’s life sciences industry is showing signs of, well, life. Recruiter Meredith Dow of Proven Inc. told me that layoffs appear to have slowed and some biotech startups are beginning to talk about hiring. Some occupations have a brighter outlook than others, she noted.

Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), the San Diego-based tools company, introduced a machine that can decode an individual’s genome for under $10,000 in a bid to establish the company’s leadership in the gene-sequencing business.

Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM) agreed to pay shareholders $14 million from its insurance proceeds and issue them new shares worth a 9.95 percent stake in the company to settle a class action suit. The settlement, which requires court approval, would resolve one problem related to what the company characterized as the mishandling of data from a clinical trial involving the company’s experimental Down syndrome test.

Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego startup developing biosensors for drug discovery applications, signed a collaboration agreement with the Ferring Research Institute, the peptide research center established in San Diego by Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

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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