San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Aragon, Illumina, CareFusion, & More

3/8/12Follow @bvbigelow

We saw some sizable deals in the life sciences domain over the past week, including an interesting partnership that Domain Associates formed with Moscow-based Rusnano.

—The venture capital firm Domain Associates and Moscow-based Rusnano, the government-owned Russian Corporation of nanotechnologies, agreed to jointly invest $760 million on both sides of the globe. Under the deal, Rusnano will match mostly late-stage investments that Domain and its venture partners invest in Domain’s portfolio of U.S. life sciences startups. The partners also agreed to jointly establish a drug and medical device manufacturing facility in Russia, where technology licensed from the Domain-backed companies would be produced for the Russian market. Domain has offices in Princeton, NJ, and San Diego.

—San Diego’s Aragon Pharmaceuticals raised $42m in a Series C financing to advance its small molecule drug candidates that target hormone-driven cancers, including a therapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer. Aragon, founded in 2009, will use the proceeds to advance cancer drugs capable of blocking and even degrading the androgen receptor (AR) and other sex hormone receptors.

—San Diego biotech pioneer Ted Greene was officially inducted as the 10th member of the Connect Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. The nonprofit entrepreneurship group hailed Greene as the founding CEO of Hybritech, which developed a monoclonal antibody assay system that led to a new generation of immunodiagnostics, and for his role in starting diabetes drug developer Amylin Pharmaceuticals and other life sciences companies.

—In a provocative BioBeat column, Luke argued that if Roche were successful in its hostile bid to acquire San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), “it would be bad for Illumina shareholders, bad for the genetic tools industry, bad for science, bad for the … 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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