Shire Pays $750M for Advanced BioHealing, Amylin Sues Lilly, Pacira CEO Describes His Most Difficult Task, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

5/19/11Follow @bvbigelow

Our roundup of San Diego’s biotech news is short, but we had some important developments over the past week. Your update begins now.

— Westport, CT-based Advanced BioHealing, which makes Dermagraft bio-engineered skin patches in San Diego, agreed to a $750 million buyout offer from Shire (NASDAQ: SHPGY), the Irish pharmaceutical drug maker. The deal was announced the day before Advanced BioHealing was scheduled to go public through an initial public offering.

—San Diego’s Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN) filed suit in federal court in San Diego against Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), claiming that Lilly violated the companies’ 2002 agreement covering the marketing of the diabetes drug exenatide (Byetta). Amylin filed the suit a few months after Lilly formed a new partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to market a rival diabetes drug. Lilly says it remains committed to its Amylin partnership and will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.

—Xconomy New York editor Arlene Weintraub talked with Pacira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PCRX) CEO Dave Stack about the turnaround at the company, which is based in Parsippany, NJ, with manufacturing and R&D operations in San Diego. Stack, an MPM Capital partner, hopes to emulate the success he had at The Medicines Company at Pacira with a long-acting version of the painkiller bupivacaine (Exparel), although he says this has been his most-difficult job, ever. Pacira is the latest reincarnation of DepoTech, a San Diego company that developed a controlled-release drug-delivery technology called DepoFoam.

—Xconomy national med tech editor Tom Lee reported on the changing global market for implantable cardio-defibrillators (ICDs). He found the pacemakers have matured into a commodity market, where price/volume players like Germany’s Biotronik and Italy’s Sorin Group, are challenging traditional players like Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and St. Jude Medical.

—Carlsbad, CA-based AutoGenomics withdrew its nearly three-year-old IPO filing. The company says it might now raise capital through a private stock placement.

—Luke’s BioBeat column featured a talk with Stelios Papadopoulos, the longtime life sciences investment banker, who explained that investor expectations for life sciences deals have been tempered through years of experience. “We have a pretty good idea of what can happen, in terms of how much money it takes, how long it takes, what the FDA process is about,” Papadopoulos says. “It’s a pretty difficult proposition. There was a time in the early ’90s, people believed every year there would be one or two new Genentechs. They were looking for it. Now we realize the next Genentech occurs maybe once every 10 years, not once a year. People have come to accept that.”

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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