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

6/16/11Follow @bvbigelow

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I surmise that fewer than 1 percent of all U.S. life sciences professionals are using the service.”

—Shortly after withdrawing its IPO, San Diego’s Ambit Biosciences said it raised $30 million in a second Series D round of venture capital. Ambit said that among other things, the additional funding would enable the company to continue a pivotal mid-stage trial for its lead drug candidate, a potential treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.

—Pacira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PCRX), a Parsippany, NJ-based specialty pharma with operations in San Diego, said the FDA asked for more information and extended its review of Pacira’s lead drug candidate, a long-acting version of the pain drug bupivacaine. Investors reacted to the three-month extension by chopping roughly 15 percent from the price of Pacira shares.

—Peter Dresslar, who moved his analytics software startup Torrey Path to San Diego in 2009, told me he’s now unwinding the business and selling its assets. Dresslar has started a new company, Sequencethree, with bioinformatics scientist Derren Barken, to develop new uses of computational technology for analyzing the immunological properties of peptides and similar molecules.

—San Diego’s Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SOMX) raised a total of $5 million by selling nearly 2.2 million shares of its stock to Paladin Labs in a private placement. Paladin has exclusive rights to commercialize Somaxon’s doxepin (Silenor) in Canada, South America, and Africa.s

—San Diego-based Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM) said it secured a $30 million financing commitment from Silicon Valley Bank. The medical diagnostics company plans to will use the financing to support the development and commercialization of new products and other near-term growth initiatives.

AnaBios, a contract research provider that raised $800,000 in April from Southern California’s Tech Coast Angels, raised an additional $200,000, according to a recent regulatory filing. That brings the running tally to just over $1 million of a potential $2 million series A round. The two-year-old startup deploys assays and develops databases to assess drug safety and efficacy.

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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