Sequenom Restarts Down Syndrome Test, Cytori Upbeat About Cardiac Study, Pathway Genomics Mass Markets Genome Tests, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

5/13/10

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program to create a “quantified self” by having his blood regularly analyzed for 30 or 40 measurements, like cholesterol levels. Smarr, founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, says taking his measurements helped him lose 20 pounds.

Astute Medical, a medical diagnostics startup, completed a $26.5 million series B round of venture funding co-led by Domain Associates and Delphi Ventures. The three-year-old company, which has raised total funding of more than $32.7 million, says its focus includes abdominal pain, acute coronary symptoms, cerebrovascular injury, kidney injury, and sepsis.

—Novocell, a preclinical stem cell engineering company focused on diabetes, changed its name to ViaCyte. In a separate announcement, the company says it also recently obtained three additional U.S. patents.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OPTR), a company working on antibiotics, named former Pfizer executive Pedro Lichtinger as its new chief executive officer. Lichtinger will replace Michael Chang, who will continue at Optimer as chairman of the board and as a consultant, the company said in a statement.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN) and its partners, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Waltham, MA-based Alkermes (NASDAQ: AKLS) said the FDA has set a deadline of Oct. 22 to finish reviewing the application to start selling exenatide once-weekly (Bydureon) for diabetes. The first application was filed in May 2009, and the FDA said in March that it wasn’t ready to be approved.

—Pat Bradley, CEO of Solana Beach, CA-based PriceDoc, a Priceline-type service for medical and dental care, told Luke that more than 1 million searches have been performed at the company’s site, but just 10,000 consumers have registered. Medical providers are using the site to advertise their prices, but few are accepting bids.

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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