Verenium Returning to San Diego, Entra Health Systems Expands Use of Wireless Blood Sugar Test, Genomatica Raises $45M, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

3/3/11Follow @bvbigelow

The news was short and sweet out of San Diego’s life sciences sector over the past week, but it was still news you can use. My wrap-up is here.

—I profiled Entra Health Systems, a San Diego-based mobile health technology startup founded in 2007. In the company’s first two years, co-founders Richard Strobridge, John Hendel, and Larry Mahar developed the software and prototype for a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, and won regulatory approval to market the medical device for diabetes patients in both Europe and the United States.

—In his first BioBeat column, Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman gave his take on criticism that Avalon Ventures founder Kevin Kinsella leveled at pharmaceutical companies surrounding their acquisition tactics. The story caught the attention of Derek Lowe and other bloggers, and has been generating chatter all over the web.

—Cambridge, MA-based enzymes developer Verenium (NASDAQ: VRNM) is relocating its operations in San Diego, with a new CEO—former Executive VP and CFO James Levine. After shedding its cellulosic biofuels business to BP last summer, Verenium appears to be focusing its business on identifying and developing enzymes for biofuels and other industries.

Genomatica, a San Diego company focused on using biotechnology to create industrial chemicals, raised $45 million in a Series C round of venture funding. The company plans to use the funding to demonstrate its sustainable, “green” chemistry technology can work on a commercial-scale.

—San Diego’s Santarus (NASDAQ: SNTS) said the FDA rejected its application to sell a treatment for hereditary angioedema, a rare genetic condition that can cause a potentially fatal swelling of the throat. U.S. regulators said they want to see more results from the clinical trial of the drug Rhucin, which will take 12 to 18 months to complete.

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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