San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Otonomy, Verdezyne, and IPOs

5/2/14Follow @bvbigelow

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treat various types of inflammation of the middle ear in children who are 6 months to 5 years old, and who undergo tympanostomy tube placement surgery.

—With San Diego’s Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) in the middle of a controversy over Zohydro, its pure hydrocodone pain-killer, Stamford, CT-based Purdue Pharma said it has filed a New Drug Application seeking authorization to market its own pure hydrocodone pain-killer. Unlike Zohydro, Purdue says its version incorporates abuse-deterrent properties that make it more difficult for illicit drug users to crush its tablet for snorting, chewing, or intravenous injection. Zohydro has come under fire as a potential drug-abuse threat.

—Meanwhile, back at Zogenix headquarters in San Diego, the company said it has agreed to sell its proprietary Sumavel DosePro needle-free injection delivery system, which was developed as a way to quickly treat migraine headaches. Endo International (Nasdaq: ENDP) of Dublin, Ireland, agreed to pay $85 million in cash and milestone payments of up to $20 million for the drug-and-device combo. Zogenix CEO Roger Hawley said the sale allows the company to have greater focus on its commercial launch of its Zohydro, its hydrocodone pain-killer, and to continue the development of abuse deterrent formulations of Zohydro.

—The Malaysian agricultural conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad became the lead investor in a $48 million funding for Verdezyne, the Carlsbad, CA-based industrial biotech. Verdezyne and Sime Darby executives signed the agreement in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in a ceremony attended by President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak. Verdezyne, founded in 2005, genetically engineers various strains of yeast to produce key industrial chemicals like adipic acid and dodecanedioic acid (DDDA) that are currently made from petroleum-based intermediates.

Domain Associates said it has invested $6.5 million through its Beijing-based partnership, Domain Elite, in Smart Medical Systems, an Israeli company with an innovative design for endoscopes and colonoscopes. Domain Elite plans to introduce the device, which uses a flexible tube equipped with a camera to look at the inside the human digestive tract, in China.

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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