San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Halozyme, NuVasive, Lumena, and More

4/7/14Follow @bvbigelow

[Corrected 4/8/14, 12:15 pm. See below.] It was a relatively quiet week for San Diego’s life sciences community. Here’s my wrap up of the latest developments over the past week.

—The share price of San Diego’s Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO) fell by $3.16, or 27 percent, in heavy trading Friday, after the company said it had suspended a mid-stage pancreatic cancer trial of PEGPH20, a pegylated formulation of its human hyaluronidase enzyme (Hylenex) as a “precautionary measure.” Halozyme said an independent data monitoring committee asked for the pause until it could determine if the drug increases the risk of blood clots in participants receiving PEGPH20. Halozyme specializes in a family of human enzymes that are used as adjuvants to increase the absorption of biologics, drugs, and fluids in tissue.

—[Corrects plaintiff to Neurovision Medical Products instead of National Medical Products] NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), a San Diego a medical device company that has developed minimally disruptive surgical products and procedures for the spine, said a federal jury in Los Angeles rendered a $30 million verdict against the company over its use of “NeuroVision” as a trade name. The company said it strongly disagrees with the verdict, and intends to seek a new trial, or to have the judgment overturned on appeal. The claim filed by Ventura, CA-based Neurovision Medical Products (NMP) began five years ago when Neurovision Medical broadly alleged that when NuVasive was a start up, it deliberately appropriated for itself the goodwill associated with Neurovision Medical’s established trademark. NuVasive said it does not anticipate the verdict will disrupt its sales or ability to meet demand.

—San Diego’s Lumena Pharmaceuticals filed for a $75 million IPO, just a few weeks after raising $45 million in venture funding. The three-year-old startup specializes in developing drugs for treating a rare group of metabolic disorders that cause bile acid to build up in the liver, leading to a variety of unusual liver diseases that can progress to liver failure. Lumena says bile acids are increasingly being recognized as signaling molecules that regulate metabolic processes. By blocking a … 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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