Amylin Buoyed by Diabetes Trials, Vital Therapies Raises $22.6M, Acutus Medical Gets Seed Cash, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

6/30/11Follow @bvbigelow

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a very simple interface for the elderly to send and receive e-mail, download photos, use other Web-based services.

—San Diego-based Verenium and St. Louis, MO-based Novus International said they are collaborating to develop and commercialize enzymes that can help farm animals and pets digest and absorb nutrients in grains and protein-based feed. Verenium, which has a library of industrial enzymes collected from around the world, also plans to move into a new facility atop Torrey Pines Mesa sometime next year.

—In his BioBeat column, Luke pondered the significance of reports that BIO, the life sciences industry group, has been working behind the scene to change the formal legal mission statement of the FDA. In a talk before home-state biotech leaders at the BIO conference earlier this week, Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown also said the FDA is “throwing a wet blanket” on innovative new drug discovery. Brown suggested that FDA regulators should consider whether people would die if the agency is slow to give its approval to a new drug.

—A new San Diego-area medical device startup, Acutus Medical, has raised $1 million in debt options and securities, according to a recent regulatory filing. Acutus Medical’s president and co-founder is Randy Werneth, who was previously a co-founder and vice president of engineering at Ablation Frontiers, a Carlsbad, CA, medical device company acquired by Minneapolis, MN-based Medtronic in early 2009 for $225 million. Acutus Medical is developing what Werneth has described only generally as “a breakthrough technology in electrophysiology.”

—San Diego-based TearLab, known previously as OccuLogix, raised $2.3 million in equity and options, according to a recent regulatory filing. As we reported last year, the company moved to San Diego from Toronto, to develop its lab-on-a-chip technologies used to diagnose disease markers in tears at the point-of-care. The company’s common shares trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol TEAR and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TLB.

—The San Diego-based West Wireless Health Institute named Robert Matthews as its chief technology officer. Matthews, who joins WWHI from Archinoetics, will oversee the institute’s biomedical engineering research and development strategy.

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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