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Lorcaserin Weight-Loss Trials Weigh Heavily on Arena, Ramius Raises Offer to Buy Cypress Bio, Santarus Adds to Its Drug Portfolio, & More San Diego Life Sciences News

Xconomy San Diego — 

The game is afoot for Ramius Value and Opportunity Advisors, the private equity group in New York pursuing San Diego’s Cypress Bioscience, as it made a direct appeal to Cypress shareholders to support its unsolicited buyout offer. At Xconomy, we’re issuing a direct appeal to get your life sciences news here.

—The stage has been set for a crucial review today of lorcaserin, the weight-loss drug that San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: [[ticker:ARNA) has spent a dozen years and almost $1 billion developing. As Luke reported, Food and Drug Administration scientists reviewing Arena’s clinical trial data found “noteworthy” safety issues and said lorcaserin barely met the agency’s performance criteria. An independent FDA advisory panel is set to review locaserin data today.

—Ramius Value and Opportunity Advisors appealed directly to shareholders of San Diego’s Cypress Bioscience (NASDAQ: CYPB) yesterday when it raised its unsolicited buyout offer by 25 cents to $4.25 a share. That increased the private equity firm’s offer for all 38.6 million outstanding shares of Cypress to $164 million from almost $160 million. Cypress said it would review the increased offer and respond in 10 business days.

—Cambridge, MA-based Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) says it is cutting 1,000 jobs from its estimated global workforce of roughly 12,000 people. Genzyme, which operates a diagnostics manufacturing and a gene therapy facilities in San Diego, says the cuts will happen over the next 15 months.

—San Diego-based CareFusion (NYSE: CFN) said it has formed a partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois in a program to track infection rates in 23 hospitals, using a CareFusion data mining system called Med Mined. CareFusion says almost … Next Page »

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  • Why is it that the FDA comes up with noteworthy safety issues but ARNA somehow never reports these through their entire testing phases? I think companies need to be a little more honest and transparent when they do their research.