ZymoGenetics Plays Hardball, Targeted Genetics’ Legacy, Omeros Preps for Fall IPO, & More Seattle-Area Life Sciences News

8/27/09Follow @xconomy

We’re supposed to be oh-so-laid-back here in the Northwest, so the surprise of the week came when one of the local biotech mainstays showed it was willing to step up and punch a competitor in the nose.

—Seattle-based ZymoGenetics (NASDAQ: ZGEN) showed it was willing to ruffle some feathers in its quest to gain market share for its sole marketed product, recombinant thrombin (Recothrom) for surgical bleeding. The company asked the FDA to pull a competing product from Bristol, TN-based King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: KG) off the market, citing two deaths attributed to the product.

Targeted Genetics (NASDAQ: TGEN) only has enough cash to operate through this month, so these could be the final days for this 17-year veteran of the Seattle biotech scene. It never cured anything, but this company is leaving a legacy, with a generation of biotechies making an impact at other local companies. I’ve pulled together a list of 60 Targeted Genetics alumni at last count. If you know of someone I’ve overlooked, please add a comment at the bottom of the story or send me an e-mail at ltimmerman@xconomy.com.

—Seattle-based Omeros is preparing to make a renewed attempt at an IPO, possibly as soon as next month, according to this story we broke on Xconomy yesterday. The IPO market is expected to open up again in the middle of September, because institutional investors like the caliber of companies in the IPO queue, and the bargain prices, says Cascadia Capital CEO Michael Butler.

—Speaking of the IPO market, Kirkland, WA-based OVP Venture Partners sees IPO potential in one of the most flush members of its portfolio, Mountain View, CA-based Complete Genomics. This is the company that’s on a quest to introduce full human genome sequencing for as little as $5,000. OVP joined a syndicate this week that pumped in another $45 million to help the company get its commercial sequencing facility up to full capacity.

Seattle Genetics has been saying it’s six months ahead of schedule in enrolling patients in the pivotal trial of its drug for Hodgkin’s disease, and this week the Bothell, WA-based company (NASDAQ: [[ticker:SGEN]) made it official. It completed enrollment in the trial, and expects results in the second half of 2010.

—Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTIC) said the FDA has agreed to review its application to market pixantrone for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The company still hasn’t heard from the FDA on when the review should be completed, although it expects to be informed of the deadline by Sept. 4.

AVI Biopharma, the developer of RNA-based drugs that moved its headquarters from Portland, OR to Bothell, WA, loaded up its balance sheet this week with more cash. The company (NASDAQ: AVII) ended up pulling in $34 million through selling common stock and warrants.

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