BioNanomatrix Moves HQ, Awarepoint CEO Talks Strategy, Ambit Raises $30 Million, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

6/16/11Follow @bvbigelow

There seemed to be a spate of financings among San Diego’s life sciences companies in recent weeks, and some local CEOs are telling me more deals are in the works. Your briefing begins now.

San Diego has added another startup to its growing cluster of companies developing next-generation genome sequencing and molecular diagnosis technologies. BioNanomatrix, which has raised nearly $29 million to develop its proprietary nano-scale DNA mapping technology, said it has moved its headquarters from Philadelphia to San Diego’s Torrey Pines mesa.

Awarepoint‘s new CEO, Jay Deady talked with me about his strategy for expansion at the company, which specializes in proprietary wireless real-time location system for tracking equipment and supplies in hospitals and other health care facilities. Deady, who has been working to raise another round of venture capital, has moved to diversify Awarepoint’s products and has beefed up the company’s sales reps and account managers.

—Cambridge, MA-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: [[VRTX]]), which has substantial operations in San Diego, agreed to pay $60 million upfront, and as much as $1.46 billion in follow-on payments to license new hepatitis C drug candidates from South San Francisco-based Alios Biopharma. I got a note from the Latham Watkins law firm, which was involved in the deal, that says: “This is the largest partnering deal Latham has ever done, the largest preclinical deal in history, the largest [hepatitis C] deal in history, and one of the 5 largest deals overall in biotech history. Had the full economics been announced, it would have been the largest biotech deal ever.”

—Luke’s BioBeat column argued that Twitter has become too useful for biotech executives to ignore anymore, and I think the same argument could be made for executives in other industries as well. As Luke put it: “I’ve been careful to follow people that have valuable and relevant information to report and share, while unfollowing everything else. I’ve expanded my professional network around the world by having conversations with readers I never would have met any other way. I’ve gotten story tips. And this is all happening even while … Next Page »

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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