San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Accelrys, Celladon’s IPO, and More

1/31/14Follow @bvbigelow

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the institute’s adoption of a new 10-year strategic plan that sets forth a vision for aligning the nonprofit institute’s basic biomedical research, translational research, and drug discovery and development.

—The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded a $40 million grant to establish a new Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Genomics, which will be based at Stanford University and led by Stanford molecular geneticist Michael Snyder. Five San Diego life sciences organizations will collaborate in the research and development effort: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies; UC San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, The J. Craig Venter Institute, and Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN). UC Santa Cruz will run the center’s data coordination and management.

—San Diego’s Epic Sciences, founded in 2008 to advance ultra-sensitive technology for detecting circulating tumor cells in prepared blood samples, signed an agreement with LabCorp (NYSE: LH) to speed up European clinical trials that are using its technology. Epic has completed eight clinical studies of its technology, and has another 27 clinical trials underway around the world.

—About 100 people interested in recently-published regulatory guidance on mobile medical apps turned out for an FDA roadshow at UC San Diego that was organized by the mHealth Regulatory Coalition, a digital health consumer group that includes San Diego’s Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance. The four-hour educational workshop was intended to answer questions from software developers about mobile health technologies that are likely to fall within the new regulations. UT San Diego reported that the FDA regulators told the crowd that health apps intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of diseases must meet FDA guidelines.

Cibus Global, the San Diego agricultural biotechnology company, recently raised about $13.6 million from investors in exchange for equity and the rights to acquire more securities, according to a regulatory filing. The company has not said anything publicly about raising additional capital. However, Cibus said earlier this month it had acquired Nucelis, and industrial biotech using Cibus technology to make an oil compound used in cosmetics and other industries.

TP Therapeutics, a startup pharmaceutical company using structure-based design to develop new drug compounds, has raised $1.4 million of a planned $3 million round of equity, according to a regulatory filing. The company was founded last year by J. Jean Cui, a renowned oncology drug developer with more than 18 years of experience in drug discovery and project management in Big Pharma and biotech companies.

Suja Life, a San Diego startup founded less than two years ago to sell certified organic juices and vegetable drinks that have not been genetically modified, has raised $16.5 million of a $17.5 million round of equity funding, according to a regulatory filing.

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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