Dendreon’s False Rumor, Cell Therapeutics’ New FDA Day, Microsoft’s Health-IT Plan, & More Seattle-Area Life Sciences News

3/4/10Follow @xconomy

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costs one-tenth as much as competitors’, and can read an impressive amount of DNA for $500 an hour. I wasn’t there to hear this buzzed-about talk, but I got the rundown from Todd Smith, the founder of Seattle-based Geospiza, who talked about what this could mean for biomedical research.

—The suspense has got to be agonizing for the people at Bellevue, WA-based Light Sciences Oncology. The company has been waiting almost a year longer for the results of a pivotal clinical trial, which will say whether its drug/device combo therapy can help people with liver cancer to live longer. The results, CEO Llew Keltner told me in this update, should arrive by this summer.

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals said its chief financial officer, Stephen Anderson, has left the company. The company (NASDAQ: OGXI), with operations in Bothell, WA and Vancouver, BC, didn’t say why Anderson is leaving.

—How can scientists trained in academia make the transition to working for a biotech company? That was the big question covered at an event last week, organized by the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association. Don Rule, the founder of Translational Software, offered up a guest editorial covering the highlights of the event.

SonoSite (NASDAQ: SONO), the Bothell, WA-based maker of portable ultrasound machines, said it spent $89 million of its cash to buy back shares—a financial engineering move that companies generally use to prop up their stock price.

Seattle Genetics said this week it has secured an undisclosed milestone payment from the Genentech unit of Switzerland-based Roche. The Bothell, WA-based biotech company (NASDAQ: SGEN) earned the cash because Roche is using its technology to link an antibody drug to a toxin to make it a more potent cancer fighter. The payment suggests that relations can’t be all bad between the companies, after Roche scrapped a separate partnership in December following the failure of another drug the companies had been co-developing.

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