San Diego Life Sciences News: AnaptysBio, Life, NeuroGenetic & More

1/12/12Follow @bvbigelow

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Hana, Hawaii. He was 70 years old. In a statement from Neurocrine, CEO Kevin Gorman said, “Wylie’s intellect was matched by his terrific wit and disarming good nature. He was a good friend.” The company described Vale as a thoughtful leader with an incredible scientific mind who will be sorely missed.

—San Diego-based Cebix, a startup developing a peptide replacement therapy for vascular complications that arise from type 1 diabetes, said it plans to raise more than $20 million in a Series B round needed to fund pivotal trials.

—San Diego-based NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical startup focused on Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics, said Abbott Biotech Ventures has made an undisclosed investment to accelerate development of its lead drug candidate, NGP 555. The company, founded in 2009, earlier received a $280,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health for preclinical work on the compound. NeuroGenetic CEO William Comer said the funding from Abbott would help the company reach its immediate goal of initiating clinical trials.

—San Diego’s TrovaGene said it signed an agreement to acquire the laboratory assets of MultiGEN Diagnostics, a San Diego subsidiary of Canada’s Bio-ID Diagnostics. TrovaGene, which trades over the counter under the ticker TROV.PK, agreed to issue 750,000 shares of its common stock, with an additional $3.7 million in cash and stock subject to meeting certain sales and earnings milestones. The diagnostics lab has been certified by the State of California under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). TrovaGene is developing diagnostics technology to detect short nucleic acid fragments in urine that are indicative of diseased cell death.

Verenium (NASDAQ: VRNM), the San Diego-based industrial biotech, introduced a high-performance enzyme the company calls Vereflow alpha-amylaze for removing filter cake, which acts as a barrier to hydrocarbon in petroleum drilling operations. The company said its new enzyme-based treatment is environmentally safer than existing chemicals used in the oilfield services industry to clear the hole drilled in the creation of an oil well.

—San Diego’s Pfenex and Hayward, CA-based ProZyme said they agreed to collaborate in the development and production of complex reagent-grade proteins, which will be marketed to customers in research and diagnostics. Pfenex, spun out of Dow Chemical in 2009, will be responsible for developing production strains, fermentation process conditions and supplying bulk protein. ProZyme will be responsible for final product release, and global sales and marketing.

SkinMedica, a venture-backed skin care products company in Carlsbad, CA, said it acquired Dana Point, CA-based Colorescience, a mineral makeup company that provides cosmetics that cover skin discolorations and other blemishes. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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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