Halozyme Pursues Anti-Cellulite Drug, Optimer’s Antibiotic Kills C. Difficile Germs, Tragara Pharmaceuticals Raises Funds & More San Diego Life Sciences News

2/11/10

There was a steady flow of drug development and funding news from San Diego’s life sciences industry over the past week. Here are the highlights.

Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO) CFO Kurt Gustafson talked with me about the experimental anti-cellulite drug that company is testing in preclinical studies.

Connect, a non-profit that supports local technology and entrepreneurship, opened a lobbying office in Washington D.C. to represent San Diego’s innovation community.

PatientSafe Solutions, formerly IntelliDOT, a company working on technology to prevent errors in hospitals, raised $30 million in a restructuring round of funding.

—An experimental antibiotic from Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OPTR) was equivalent in a clinical trial to mainstay drug vancomycin against C.difficile bacterial infections. The company expects to fil e a new drug application with the FDA later this year.

Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQMN)) obtained rights to develop and commercialize a genetic test for late-stage, age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

NexMed (NASDAQ: NEXM) raised $2.3 million in promissory notes from two investors for general corporate purposes and to advance its transdermal drug delivery technology.

Tragara Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on anti-tumor drugs, has raised $5 million of a targeted $10 million venture round.

Isis Pharmaceuticals of Carlsbad, CA (NASDAQ: ISIS) and Cambridge, MA-based partner Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) said an experimental drug lowered cholesterol in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited disorder that affects 1 in 500 people. Patients in the late-stage study had higher liver enzymes but no liver dysfunction, the companies said.

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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