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San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Santarus, Shire, Illumina, & More

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developing a hair-loss therapy and other products based on the manufacturing process.

—As I read Luke Timmerman’s fearless football and biotech picks for 2012, I despaired that San Diego’s life sciences industry had failed to make a showing, much like the San Diego Chargers. But at the end of his BioBeat column, Luke awarded his Tom Coughlin Coach of the Year honor to Illumina CEO Jay Flatley, who rallied his players at the San Diego maker of genome sequencing instruments to hold the line in a hostile takeover attempt by the Swiss medical giant Roche.

—San Diego-based ImThera Medical said a study of its implanted medical device for treating obstructive sleep apnea showed that the device improved the conditions of most patients. ImThera said 10 of 13 patients in a clinical study in Belgium responded to the therapy, which uses electrical neurostimulation to keep the tongue from blocking the airway of sleeping patients. The company said its treatment did not awaken patients and was not painful. The device has been approved for use in much of Europe, but not in the United States.

—San Diego-based MediciNova (NASDAQ: MNOV) said the National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded funding for a mid-stage clinical trial to study the use of ibudilast for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. The support builds on preliminary work the company has done with UCLA. Preclinical studies have shown the drug may prevent the activation of certain cells in the central nervous system that have been linked to drug dependence.

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