Zogenix Files for IPO, Orexigen Licenses Obesity Drug to Takeda, ImThera Raises Capital For Sleep Apnea, & More San Diego Life Science News

9/9/10Follow @bvbigelow

The big news: San Diego’s Orexigen inked a marketing deal around its obesity drug compound whose value could soar into the billions of dollars. We’ve got that and the rest of San Diego’s life science news for you here.

Zogenix, the four-year-old San Diego startup that develops compounds for treating pain and central nervous system disorders, has filed for a $90 million IPO. The venture-backed biotech began marketing a treatment for migraines with its proprietary “DosePro” needle-free injector earlier this year.

—San Diego’s Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OREX) awarded Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical an exclusive license to marketing Orexigen’s obesity drug combination of bupropion/naltrexone (Contrave) in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. In return, Takeda agreed to pay Orexigen $50 million in upfront cash, as much as $1 billion in regulatory and sales milestone payments, and sales royalty payments of between 20 and 35 percent if the drug is ever brought to market in North America.

—Cambridge, MA-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) said combining its drug candidate for hepatitis C with a standard treatment was able to cure 65 percent of patients who had not responded to a prior round of standard drugs alone. Vertex, which has substantial operations in San Diego, said more than 660 patients enrolled in its “Realize” study.

—San Diego Biopharmaceutical Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: [[ticker: HALO]]) today priced its offering of 8.3 million shares of its common stock at $7.50 a share, which would generate a total of almost $62.3 million to help fund further research and development of its product candidates. Halozyme has been developing products based on enzymes known as hyaluronidases that are a major component of both normal tissues, such as skin and cartilage, and tumors.

Santarus (NASDAQ: SNTS), the San Diego specialty biopharmaceutical company, said it plans to launch a new Type 2 diabetes drug in the U.S. market this November. Santarus said bromocriptine mesylate (Cycloset) is the first FDA-approved drug for patients with type 2 diabetes to target the activity of dopamine, a chemical messenger between neurons within the central nervous system.

—San Diego’s ImThera Medical, which is developing an implantable device for treating sleep apnea, raised $1.3 million last month in a Series B round planned to total $3.5 million, according to a regulatory filing. ImThera CEO Marcelo Lima said in an e-mail that all funding in the round should be completed by next month, and came from high net-worth individuals. The startup, which I profiled in March, plans to use the funding to complete its European clinical trial studies.

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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