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SD Life Sciences Roundup: Organovo, Aethlon, & Deals, Deals, Deals

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego’s life sciences community saw a spurt of venture deals over the past week. We’ve got a roundup for everyone who’s been on vacation.

Ignyta, a San Diego startup focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, said it had raised a total of $6 million for its Series B round in a combination of venture funding and debt. The company, which was founded in 2011 as NexDx, uses molecular diagnostics to identify key traits in DNA methylation, changes in methyl group compounds in DNA that affect the function of the genome without changing the nucleotide sequence. Ignyta’s diagnostics technology takes advantage of advances in epigenetics, a broader field that studies how individual genes are activated and deactivated.

—San Diego’s Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute said it has agreed to collaborate with Intrexon, a synthetic biology specialist based in Germantown, MD, on research using induced pluripotent stem cells. The deal gives Sanford-Burnham access to Intrexon’s latest stem cell processing technology in exchange for commercial and intellectual property rights to technological advances. Financial aspects of the deal were not released.

—Congressional lawmakers agreed to raise personal income taxes to avoid going off the fiscal cliff, but the deal didn’t resolve substantial cutbacks mandated for the federal budget through a process known as sequestration. In his BioBeat column, Luke said the fallout could result in an 8 percent budget cut to biomedical research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

—San Diego-based Independa, a health IT startup developing Web-based services to help seniors keep their independence, said it had raised a total of $5 million in an expanded Series A financing that included … Next Page »

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