Consortium Find New HIV Antibodies, Zogenix Gets Drug to Clinical End Point, TrovaGene Reclaims Technology, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

8/18/11Follow @bvbigelow

Our roundup of San Diego’s life sciences news is short and sweet this morning. Could these be the dog days of summer?

—Scientists from Seattle’s Theraclone Sciences, San Diego’s Scripps Research Institute, South San Francisco’s Monogram Biosciences, and the New York-based International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have identified 17 new human antibodies that target a chink in the armor of HIV. Under their collaborative agreement, IAVI owns the rights to all the antibodies for potential development of an AIDS vaccine; Theraclone keeps commercial rights to the broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies for therapeutic purposes.

—San Diego-based Zogenix reported encouraging results from a late-stage efficacy study of hydrocodone bitartrate (Zohydro), an experimental extended-release pain-killer intended to treat moderate to severe chronic pain in patients who require 24/7 opioid therapy for extended periods. Zogenix says the pain-killer met its end point for efficacy and was safe and well-tolerated. If approved, the drug would be the first extended-release hydrocodone available without acetaminophen.

—San Diego-based TrovaGene, which was previously known as Xenomics, said last week it has regained development rights for transrenal technology for prenatal and cancer diagnostics. TrovaGene had licensed its technology to San Diego-based Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM) in 2008, only to learn that Sequenom had “mishandled” its clinical trials data. TrovaGene alleged in a 2009 lawsuit that Sequenom had deliberately falsified the data.

—In his BioBeat column, Luke says the volatility roiling the markets these days is not as bad as the 2008 financial crisis that triggered the great recession—despite all the scary talk. Even though biotech investments carry considerable risks, Luke says this is no time for life sciences investors to hide their cash under the mattress.

—DNA sequencing tools from companies like San Diego’s Illumina (NASDAQ: [[ticker: ILMN]]) and Carlsbad, CA-based Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) are improving so fast that it will soon be possible to generate the 3-billion-letter signature of a person’s complete genome for $1,000—and possibly in as little as 15 minutes. Xconomy has organized an afternoon conference with prominent leaders in this emerging field to explain the implications for personalized medicine. The event will be held Oct. 24, at the Byers Auditorium on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. Online registration is here.

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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