San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Rempex, Pfenex, Halozyme & More

12/19/13Follow @bvbigelow

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially at San Diego’s Rempex Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired in one of the bigger deals of the year. We have details, along with the rest of the region’s recent life sciences news.

—The Medicines Co. (NASDAQ: MDCO) of Parsippany, NJ, agreed to pay $474 million—including $140 million upfront—to acquire Rempex Pharmaceuticals, a two-year-old San Diego biotech developing drugs for multi-drug resistant bacteria. With the buyout, the New Jersey pharmaceutical gets Minocin IV, a ready-to-market drug for treating once-rare acinetobacter infections that are now prevalent in hospital intensive care units, and the lead compound from a new class of anti-infectives, which is set to enter pivotal studies next year.

—Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), the McLean, VA-based defense technology company spun out from SAIC on September 30, has awarded a subcontract to San Diego-based Pfenex to support development of an anthrax vaccine. Financial terms were not disclosed. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded the prime contract to Leidos to improve the effectiveness of vaccines for both anthrax and West Nile virus. Pfenex says it is providing its recombinant protective antigen and a novel, immune-enhancing adjuvant.

Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO) named Helen Torley as CEO and said outgoing CEO Greg Frost is joining Germantown, MD-based Intrexon (NYSE: XON on January 6. Frost, who spent 15 years at Halozyme, is taking over Intrexon’s Health Sector. Torley was previously executive vice president at Amgen subsidiary Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where she oversaw oncology products.

—San Diego-based Cognitive Medical Systems said it has been named as a health IT infrastructure vendor for Health Net Federal Services, a Health Net subsidiary providing services for the Veterans Affairs’ Patient Centered Community Care program. Financial terms were not disclosed. Cognitive Medical Systems said its IT infrastructure will be created entirely on Amazon’s GovCloud platform.

—Mexico’s Compañía Mexicana de Radiología (CMR) has acquired certain assets, intellectual property, and trademarks of Naviscan, a San Diego maker of high-resolution medical imaging equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed. Naviscan, backed by San Diego’s Sanderling Ventures and others, specialized in positron emission imaging. The business, now known as CMR Naviscan will continue to operate in San Diego.

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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