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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

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100,000 people die in the U.S. each year from hospital-acquired infections, and nearly one in 20 hospital patients acquires an infection during their stay.

—San Diego’s Santarus (NASDAQ: SNTS), which faces competition from generic drug-makers as its acid reflux drug comes off patent, acquired two more experimental drugs for its development pipeline. Santarus got recombinant human C1 inhibitor (Rhucin) for hereditary angioedema from the Pharming Group and a humanized anti-VLA1 antibody drug for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases through its buyout of Covella Pharmaceuticals.

Sequel Pharmaceuticals, the San Diego biotech that CEO Randall Woods founded as a sequel to NovaCardia (and with the same core group), has raised almost $1.4 million in a combination of debt, rights, and securities as part of a round intended to bring in more than $1.9 million. Sequel has been developing a drug candidate for treating an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

—Shareholders of NexMed, the San Diego contract research organization (CRO), voted to change the name of the company to Apricus Biosciences (NASDAQ: [[APRI]]). The company’s previous ticker symbol was NEXM.

Fierce Biotech, an e-mail newsletter published by the Washington, DC-based Fierce Markets B2B digital media group, named two San Diego life sciences companies—Amira Pharmaceuticals and VentiRx Pharmaceuticals—to its eighth annual list of “Fierce 15” most promising private biotech companies.

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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.