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San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Sophiris, Isis, Qualcomm, & More

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statistically significant in comparison to RA patients who received a placebo. Isis said it would halt further development of ISIS-CRPRx for RA, but plans to continue to evaluate the drug for treating other diseases, including atrial fibrillation.

Assay Depot, an e-commerce marketplace for scientific services, said it has created an online medical research exchange in partnership with the Center for Cancer Research, part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The Center for Cancer Research Exchange, or CREx, is intended to enable NCI scientists to connect to a global network of internal and external research partners. In a statement, Assay Depot’s NCI Site Director Sherman Tang, said, “CREx is an entirely new way for NCI scientists to collaborate effectively with internal and external research partners.”

—A “Wired for Health” study undertaken by scientists at San Diego’s Scripps Translational Science Institute has set out to determine if wireless health devices and online social networks can have a direct effect on healthcare spending. Scripps Health said the project targets patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart arrhythmias who have generated high health costs over the past year. Collaborators in the effort include Scripps Health, Qualcomm Life, HealthComp, and Accenture.

—San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) said it is collaborating with Rady Children’s Hospital on a 3G-enabled kit for monitoring the activities of 50 asthmatic patients between 7 and 17 who were chosen from hospital’s the Pulmonary and Asthma/Allergy clinics. The kits, funded by Qualcomm Reach and using Qualcomm Life technology, are intended to help determine whether therapies can be personalized, reducing serious asthmatic attacks, hospitalization, and associated health costs. Qualcomm noted that asthma is the third-leading cause of hospitalization among children under 15.

—San Diego’s Targeson said it has been awarded a first-year grant of nearly $924,000 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to explore the use of Targeson’s targeted microspheres in diagnostic testing for heart disease. Targeson President Jack DeFranco wrote in an e-mail that the Small Business Innovative Research grant totaled $1.6 million, with the remaining portion to be funded in the second year, upon completion of first-year milestones. DeFranco said the grant would fund research that uses microspheres that target a molecular marker of recent myocardial ischemia as a contrast agent, enabling visualization of reduced blood flow to the heart muscle during echocardiography.


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