Trius and Bayer Sign Deal, Brooks Buys Nexus Biosystems, Wildcat Discovery Gets $7.5M Financing, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

7/28/11Follow @bvbigelow

Against a backdrop of rising worries over the U.S. economy, we saw San Diego life science companies forming new partnerships, raising new funding, and closing some new deals over the last week. We also saw drops in share prices at two of our biggest life science companies. Your briefing is ready now.

—San Diego’s Trius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TSRX) agreed to an exclusive licensing agreement that gives Germany’s Bayer rights to market its new torezolid phosphate antibiotic in most of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Bayer agreed to pay Trius $25 million upfront and to provide $69 million in future milestone payments, along with lucrative royalty payments. Trius retained ownership of the drug in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

—Chelmsford, MA-based Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS), which makes a variety of semiconductor-based equipment, paid more than $79 million to acquire Nexus Biosystems of Poway, CA. Nexus makes automated equipment used to handle chemical and biological sample in laboratories worldwide.

—Chemist Peter Schultz, who was director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation until a year ago, is listed as a co-founder and scientific adviser at Wildcat Discovery Technologies, a San Diego startup specializing in cleantech materials development. Wildcat, which just raised $7.5 million, is applying high-throughput screening technologies to synthesize and test thousands of new materials for potential use in batteries and elsewhere.

—Shares of Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), the San Diego maker of genetic diagnostic equipment, plunged by nearly 18 percent yesterday, after the company’s revised 2011 forecasts fell short of Wall Street estimates. Illumina’s stock closed last night at $57.33 a share, down $12.32 from the previous day’s close of $69.65. The company estimated its profit will increase this year by 33 to 36 percent over 2010 and revenue should rise by 24 to 26 percent. Both estimates are less than analysts were expecting, however.

—The price of shares in San Diego’s Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALMN) lost almost 10 percent after the diabetes drug developer reported a bigger loss Tuesday than analysts were expecting. In a conference call with investors, Amylin CEO Dan Bradbury led with positive news out of Europe, where regulatory agencies gave marketing authorization for the long-acting version of exenatide (Bydureon). Amylin’s partner, Eli Lilly, recently launched the product in the United Kingdom.

—San Diego-based ResMed (NYSE: RMD) agreed to give San Diego-based CareFusion (NYSE: CFN) a license that gives CareFusion exclusive rights to distribute two of ResMed’s non-invasive ventilators and accessories in the United States. ResMed has not previously sold these ventilators here, and expects to gain a marketing advantage by using CareFusion’s extensive sales contacts at hospitals, acute care, and nursing facilities.

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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