San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Cadence, Mast, Illumina, and More

2/14/14Follow @bvbigelow

Last year’s biotech buyout spree continued apace last week with the acquisition of San Diego’s Cadence Pharmaceuticals. I’ve got the details, along with the rest of the local life sciences news.

—Looking to accelerate growth in its specialty pharmaceuticals business, Irish Big Pharma Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK) said it plans to buy San Diego’s Cadence Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CADX) for about $1.3 billion, or $14 a share. The buyout came several months after Cadence prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit against Exela Pharma Science, which had tried to market a generic version of Cadence’s only product—a proprietary formulation of the painkiller acetaminophen (OFIRMEV) for intravenous injection. Cadence has marketed the drug as an option for hospital-based patients who can’t take oral pain relievers, and as an alternative to opioid-based narcotic pain relievers. Venture firms that still have a stake in Cadence include Domain Associates, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Wellington Management, Versant Ventures, Bay City Capital, and NEA.

—San Diego-based Mast Therapeutics (NYSE: [[ticker: MSTX]]) said it plans to acquire another San Diego specialty pharmaceutical, Aires Pharmaceuticals, in an all-stock deal valued at about $5 million. Aires, which has raised at least $20 million in venture funding from MPM Capital and ProQuest Investments, would become a Mast subsidiary under the deal. Aires, founded in 2006, has licensed technology from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Cincinnati and is developing treatments for pulmonary vascular disorders such as pulmonary arterial hypertension. Mast is testing its lead drug candidate, MST-188, as a potential treatment for sickle cell anemia and acute limb ischemia.

—San Diego’s Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) said it is creating an accelerator program for genomics-focused startups in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district that is modeled on the Y Combinator program for Web 2.0 and app developers. Illumina said it will … 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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