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San Diego’s Biotech Leaders of Tomorrow: ‘We Are the Wildcatters’

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biologics perspective, San Diego probably outperforms” the comparable per capita indices in San Francisco and Boston, he said.

“For me, San Diego has a fundamentally different feel” than either San Francisco or Boston, said Suria, who has lived in both places. “It feels a whole lot less consolidated and a whole lot more fragmented. Maybe you can take that as a negative if you don’t have a big anchor institution…But actually I think fragmentation is helpful from a drug discovery level. You get a lot more innovation if people are not sitting on the exact premise and approaches and logic that are used within Genentech [in South San Francisco] or at Biogen Idec in Boston… There are plenty of smart people here, and they are forced to innovate new tools and new approaches, and I don’t think that happens as much in San Francisco and Boston.”

San Diego already has become a capital for industrial biotechnology, according to Cellana CEO Martin Sabarsky. “No other area in the world has the same concentration of algae-based biotech companies as San Diego,” Sabarsky said. “There’s Sapphire Energy, Synthetic Genomics, Cellana, General Atomics, Verenium. When it comes to algae—which really is a platform technology that’s kind of going to transform fuel, feed, and nutrition—we have a very disproportionate share of the deals and funding.”

UCSD Campus and Torrey Pines Mesa

Attendees said bringing together San Diego’s academic, biotech, and computer science sectors could accelerate innovation in emerging fields with high growth potential, such as health IT, wireless health, and bioinformatics. Venture capital funding also can be invested more … Next Page »

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