SD Life Sciences Roundup: Accelrys, Illumina, & RainTree Oncology

4/19/12Follow @bvbigelow

There was a mix of news out of San Diego’s life sciences community over the past week. Get your briefing here.

—San Diego’s Sotera Wireless said the FDA has cleared its ViSi Mobile System, a wireless device that enables healthcare providers to continuously monitor their patients’ vital signs in hospitals. Continuous monitoring systems, which can provide an early warning for a deteriorating medical condition, are typically used only in hospital acute care units. The vital signs of general admission patients are typically collected by spot checks. Sotera’s ViSi system tracks a patient’s blood pressure, respiration, temperature, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate, and is well-suited for ambulatory hospital patients. Sotera, anticipating FDA approval this year, raised more than $12 million in venture financing in December.

—San Diego’s Illumina, (NASDAQ: ILMN) successfully fended off an unwanted $5.7 billion offer from Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, after its shareholders voted yesterday against several measures that were intended to wrest away control of Illumina’s board. Roche said it wouldn’t extend its $51 a share buyout offer.

—Venture funding for healthcare startups was kind of anemic during the first quarter of 2012, with $1.45 billion invested in 153 deals nationwide, according to a report from CB Insights, the New York financial data services firm. The $1.45 billion that VCs invested in healthcare during the first three months amounted to 24 percent of the $5.9 billion in total funding, and the 153 healthcare deals accounted for 19 percent of the 785 deals.

—San Diego-based RainTree Oncology Services, which provides oral cancer drug management services through a group purchasing organization for community oncology practices, has raised $11 million from investors, according to a recent regulatory filing. RainTree Oncology, which was founded last year, has been raising capital since July and plans to raise a total of $33 million.

—San Diego-based Accelrys (NASDAQ: ACCL) introduced its new Web-based technology for Scientific Innovation Lifecycle Management, or SILM, saying it’s intended to stimulate a new approach among pharmaceuticals, biotechs, and other customers. The company says SILM supports the full course of industrial innovation through manufacturing, and is foundational to helping its customers bridge a “productivity gap.”

—San Diego’s Eclipse Therapeutics received an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize fully human antibodies from Burlington, MA-based Dyax (NASDAQ: DYAX) for use in certain types of cancer. In a joint statement, the companies said Dyax gets an initial license fee and milestone payments, none of which were disclosed.

—San Diego’s Tioga Pharmaceuticals raised $10 million in a Series B round of venture funding that was led by Thomas, McNerney & Partners, the life sciences investor that moved its West Coast office to San Diego last year. Jason Brown, a principal at Thomas, McNerney, joined Tioga’s board.

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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