San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Illumina, Sequenom, Acutus, & More

1/26/12Follow @bvbigelow

The unsolicited $5.7 billion offer that Roche made for Illumina will no doubt dominate San Diego’s biotech news for weeks to come. We have it and more.

—Switzerland’s Roche offered $5.7 billion, or $44.50 a share, for San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN in a hostile bid disclosed yesterday. Roche’s bid to stake a claim in genetic diagnostics by acquiring the market-leading maker of DNA sequencing instruments would be the Swiss pharma giant’s biggest deal since its $46.8 billion buyout of Genentech almost two years ago. Roche is the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, which suggests its quest for Illumina represents a significant move to base cancer treatments on each patient’s genome.

—Venture capital investors sank $4.73 billion into 446 biotechs nationwide in 2011, according to the MoneyTree report from the National Venture Capital Association, PwC, and Thomson Reuters. But as Luke pointed out in his BioBeat column, there is an alarming drop in support for early stage life sciences startups. Only 153 biotech and medical device startups got their first round of financing in 2011, the lowest amount of seed investment activity in 15 years.

—At an Xconomy dinner discussion, former Amira Pharmaceuticals CEO Bob Baltera said insufficient access to capital is the biggest driver for decision-makers on both sides of biotech-pharma partnerships. So what are some other key factors? We asked some of San Diego’s life sciences leaders to explore the question in an “on the record” dinner discussion late last year.

—San Diego’s Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM) completed its secondary public offering, raising roughly $62 million in gross proceeds (before underwriting costs) in the sale of 14.95 million shares, including additional allotments granted to underwriters. Sequenom said it plans to use the net proceeds for … Next Page »

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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