San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Regulus, Ocera, Lithera, and More

7/18/13Follow @bvbigelow

A number of San Diego life sciences companies appeared to be taking advantage of the strengthening biotech market on Wall Street by raising capital or repositioning themselves—or both. Here’s my rundown on the deals and other news.

—San Diego-based Lithera, which is developing an injectable fat-reduction drug, said it has raised an additional $6.7 million from investors, extending its Series C financing round to $27.3 million. An existing investor, Rusnano subsidiary RusnanoMedInvest, led the financing, and was joined by new investors Mirae Asset Venture Investment, the venture arm of Korea’s Mirae Asset Financial Group, and Andrea Holdings. In a statement, Lithera said it plans to use the proceeds mostly to support efforts to advance its lead compound, salmeterol xinafoate, for reducing abdominal fat.

—San Diego-based Regulus Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RGLS) priced a secondary stock offering at $9.50 a share, less than a year after going public. The company, which is developing microRNA drugs for cancer, fibrosis, and metabolic diseases, is offering 4.5 million shares and expects to raise $42.8 million in gross proceeds. Regulus said the secondary offering is expected to close next week.

—San Diego’s Ocera Therapeutics said it received $20 million through a private placement financing after completing a merger with Durham, NC-based Tranzyme Pharma. Ocera is now a public company and trades under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: OCRX). Domain Associates, Thomas McNerney & Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, InterWest Partners, Greenspring Associates, Agechem, CDIB, and Wasatch Advisors, invested approximately $20 million in the company through a private placement financing

MediStem, a San Diego regenerative medicine company previously known as MediStem Laboratories, said it has filed paperwork with federal securities regulators to regain … 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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