There was a whole lot of life sciences news over the past week. Here’s my roundup.
—Carlsbad-based Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) said it’s taking orders for a benchtop genome sequencer that can to decode an individual’s DNA within 24 hours and at a cost of roughly $1,000. The company priced its new Ion Proton Sequencer at $100,000 to $150,000, which also represents a dramatic reduction compared with the cost of existing DNA sequencers, and might even entice some practicing physicians to buy into the idea of personalized medicine. A cross-town rival, San Diego-based Illumina, also introduced an improved version of its gene-sequencing machine capable of same-day service, although Forbes’ Matthew Herper says Illumina’s HiSeq 2500 is priced at $740,000.
—A $1 million gift to the Tech Coast Angels from the family of slain TCA member and life sciences investor John G. Watson has enabled the angel group to establish a nonprofit foundation to support entrepreneurism in the San Diego region. A financial adviser, who awaits sentencing following his conviction two months ago, murdered Watson in his La Jolla town home. Watson’s sister, Gillian Ison, told the TCA, “John loved investing, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit that he discovered when he arrived in San Diego. We believe that a foundation supporting entrepreneurism is the best way to honor his memory and his life.”
—San Diego’s AnaptysBio said it has established strategic alliances with Novartis and an undisclosed pharmaceutical company. The company plans to use its proprietary technology to discover and develop new therapeutic antibodies with multiple cancer-related therapeutic targets. AnaptysBio said the two deals provide global rights to develop and commercialize a limited number of antibodies against each cancer target that AnaptysBio generates.
—In his BioBeat column, Luke previewed the five myths likely to make the rounds at this week’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. You could say that Luke inoculated readers from excessive optimism by writing, “Hope and hype are a couple essential ingredients in this business, and every year both are on display at this conference. Sometimes the wishful thinking can congeal into conventional wisdom.” Is that good, or what?