San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Santarus, Cytori, IPOs, and More

11/8/13Follow @bvbigelow

This was a big week for life sciences news in San Diego. A very big week. So without further ado:

—Salix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SLXP) of Raleigh, NC, said it’s buying San Diego-based Santarus (NASDAQ: SNTS) in a deal valued at $2.6 billion. Santarus, founded in 1996, has built up a diverse portfolio of drugs for treating ulcerative colitis, diabetes, and other ailments through acquisition rather than internal drug development. Santarus has ranked as San Diego’s largest drug company since Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired Amylin in mid-2012 for $5.3 billion. As usual, the lingering question for San Diego’s life sciences community is whether Salix will retain any Santarus operations here.

—The billionaire banker and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford committed $100 million to establish the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego to accelerate development of drugs and cell therapies arising from human stem cell research. In a statement, UC San Diego said the new Sanford Center is intended to integrate stem cell R&D with new therapeutic treatments at four locations—the UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center and a nearby proposed clinical space (both scheduled to open in 2016); the UC San Diego Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine; and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

—San Diego’s Cytori Therapeutics said it received $12 million as the first installment in 30-year exclusive licensing agreement with Beijing-based Lorem Vascular that is expected to eventually be worth as much as $531 million. The agreement enables Lorem to commercialize Cytori Cell Therapy for the cardiovascular, renal, and diabetes markets in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. Cytori Cell Therapy is based on the company’s Celution System, technology that uses stem cells derived a patient’s own fat cells in treating a range of injuries and conditions. Lorem Vascular plans to offer the therapy immediately in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, and introduce it in China and Malaysia following regulatory approvals expected next year.

Celladon, a San Diego biopharmaceutical developing new drugs for treating heart disease, is ready to begin trading on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol CLDN. The 13-year-old company plans to raise $75 million in a pending IPO that … 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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