Synthetic Genomics Creates Host Organism Optimized for Bio Industry

Xconomy

Scientists from Synthetic Genomics, the San Diego-based industrial biotech, have re-engineered a fast-growing microorganism found in salt marsh mud to maximize its production of proteins and to optimize other common bio-based processes.

Pharma’s Productivity Problem: Finding More Blockbuster Drugs

Xconomy

A recent Wall Street Journal article that raised the possibility of Biogen as the target of another huge pharma buyout cited the lack of productivity as a major driver of M&A in the pharmaceutical industry. A recent Silicon Valley Bank report noted that large corporations have dramatically increased pre-clinical acquisitions in the last three years under the pressure of limited supply and competition from IPOs.

Trending Sources

ViaCyte Working with Gore to Improve its Synthetic Pancreas Device

Xconomy

San Diego-based ViaCyte said today it is collaborating with W.L. Gore & Associates, the privately held company that makes Gore-Tex fabrics, medical devices, and other products, in a bid to improve its stem cell-derived treatment for diabetes.

IBM Watson Health Launches Imaging Effort for Cancer, Other Diseases

Xconomy

Watson Health is teaming up with 16 partners, which include imaging and diagnostics company Hologic; Sentara Healthcare; Sheridan Healthcare; UC San Diego Health; University of Miami Health System; and Merge Healthcare, which was acquired by IBM last year and is now part of Watson Health.

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Despite Low Crop Prices, Corporate and VC Agtech Investments Soar

Xconomy

Venture capital firms have increased their agtech investments by 80 percent since 2012, bringing total VC investment in the sector to a total of $3 billion in 2015, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group and AgFunder, an online investment marketplace for agriculture technology.

The Xconomy Immuno-Oncology Resource: A Mid-ASH T Cell Update

Xconomy

Xconomy reported last week on the new use of these cells to treat multiple myeloma. The resource is a top-line look at how people have fared with the growing array of products, most of them still experimental, which have.

Bio Roundup: RIP Roger Tsien, Novartis CAR-T Wheel, Zika News & More

Xconomy

Nobel Prize winner Roger Tsien, a UC San Diego chemist, passed away in Oregon this week. As the San Diego Union Tribune reported in 2013, Tsien (pictured) was also unafraid to shine the spotlight on what he considered suspect scientific approaches, even when espoused by legends like DNA co-discoverer James Watson. He was a professor at UC San Diego.

What Startups Can Do About Cyber Attacks

Xconomy

Additionally, with the cloud becoming the de facto choice for product development and deployment, newer and more challenging security threats continue to emerge.

MEI Pharma Partners with Helsinn on Drug with Potential $464M Payoff

Xconomy

After reporting encouraging news last week from a mid-stage trial of its lead anti-cancer drug, San Diego’s MEI Pharma (NASDAQ: MEIP ) said it has signed a drug development deal with the Swiss pharmaceutical group Helsinn that could eventually be worth over $464 million.

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Recruitment Goal In Obama Precision Med Study: 1M in 3 or 4 Years

Xconomy

The money will also help with outreach at community health centers in six cities, including Knoxville, TN, and San Ysidro, CA—part of the administration’s goal of enrolling people across economic strata.

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Biotech Roundup: Kadmon Debt, Hemo Data, Loose Lips & More

Xconomy

The filing held some surprises , however, as Xconomy reported: plans to convert about $200 million in debt—a massive amount for a privately held biotech—into shares at the IPO, with some of those shares holding special privileges for their owners. Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GBT ) of South San Francisco, CA, updated its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial for GBT-440, a sickle cell disease treatment. —Ben Fidler contributed to this report.

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Bio Roundup: Precision Med and Google, Heron, Lilly, Sarepta & More

Xconomy

In other Google-related news, Recode reported that Bill Maris, the founder and president of Google Ventures (now called GV), has left the firm and will be replaced by David Krane. The wait continues.

Biotech Roundup: Biogen Rumors, Theranos, Electro-Drugs & More

Xconomy

The Wall Street Journal reported that Cambridge, MA-based Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB ) has drawn interest from the likes of Merck (NYSE: MRK ) and Allergan (NYSE: AGN ) as a possible takeover target. CNBC subsequently reported that Allergan isn’t interested, and Reuters followed with a report that Biogen doesn’t want to sell, but the rumors have surfaced at a time when Biogen is in significant flux. Bigelow contributed to this report.

Intel Combines Global AI Work Under Former Nervana Systems CEO

Xconomy

Roughly seven months after Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) acquired San Diego-based Nervana Systems, the chipmaker is consolidating its portfolio of artificial intelligence businesses in one group, headed by former Nervana CEO Naveen Rao. Rao (pictured above right) will report directly to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, spokesman Daniel Francisco said today. Rao plans to remain in San Diego, according to a spokeswoman for Intel Nervana.

Biotech Roundup: CRISPR’s 1st Trial, IPO Insiders, Zika & More

Xconomy

—IBM’s Watson Health group said that a commercial product could arrive in 2017 that uses machine learning to digest patient scans, medical records, and other information to help doctors with care decisions. —The Associated Press reported that surgeon Paolo Macchiarini faces involuntary manslaughter charges in Sweden related to two patients who died after surgeries he conducted to implant artificial tracheas to replace their damaged windpipes.

Balancing Risks and Opportunities: The Board’s Perspective

Xconomy

Then there are product risks (can we translate our vision into a successful product?), market risks (do we have customers who are willing to buy our product?), Once risk professionals have a seat at the table, the onus is on them to report risk data to the board as effectively as possible. It’s also important to set a context for the issues that are reported. People start a business for many reasons.

Websense Rolls Out New Mobile Security Product

socalTECH

San Diego-based security software developer Websense reported Wednesday that it has launched a new, mobile security product aimed at mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones, and Android. The firm said its Websense TRION Mobile Security product offers up data loss protection, prevents malicious app downloads, protects against malware and also offers mobile device management to users. Pricing on the new product was not announced.

Biotech Roundup: Moonshots, Pink Slips, Gilead, Brexit & More

Xconomy

At the gathering, Biden took verbal shots at scofflaw cancer researchers and at drug prices, while the FDA said it would take a shot at restructuring the way it evaluates oncology products. But as Xconomy reported, details about the reorganization were scant, leaving open questions whether drug regulation actually needs to move faster. —Buzzfeed ran a lengthy report Wednesday on the sexual harassment charges against University of Washington vaccine researcher Michael Katze.

Bio Roundup: CAR-T & Migraine Races, Intra-Cellular, Rockefeller & More

Xconomy

TOP STORIES : —Kite Pharma (NASDAQ: KITE ) released data from an ongoing non-hodgkin lymphoma trial that, while early, bolster the view that the Santa Monica, CA, company could be the first to market with a cell-based immunotherapy product known as CAR-T. —Cambridge-based Bluebird Bio (NASDAQ: BLUE ) will work with Germany’s Medigene to develop T cell-based immunotherapy products for cancer.

Bio Roundup: Bristol & Illumina Blues, Sickle Cell News & More

Xconomy

—Shares of San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN ) fell more than 32 percent after the next-gen sequencing giant slashed its revenue projections once again. —New York-based Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT ) said that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has recommended conditional approval of obeticholic acid (Ocaliva) in Europe to treat patients with the rare liver disease primary biliary cirrhosis. Alex Lash contributed to this report.

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How Will Apple Innovate Beyond the iPhone 7? With Next-Gen Siri

Xconomy

The first point to acknowledge is that if the reports are right, it would be the first time Apple has departed from its traditional two-year upgrade cycle. Already on that plateau are products like the commercial jet airliner, which hasn’t changed much since Boeing introduced the 747 in 1970.

VMIX Rolls Out Video Rental Product For Facebook

socalTECH

San Diego-based VMIX , the developer of online video management and hosting services, reported today that it has launched a new product aimed at helping its customers rent videos on the Facebook social networking site. VMIX said its new VMIX Social product will allow studios and distributors a way to offer up live and on-demand video rental on Facebook.

CODA Automotive's First Vehicle Rolls Off Production Line

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based CODA Automotive , the electric vehicle startup, reported last night that its first, fully assembled CODA has rolled off the final assembly line at its Northern California factory.

Announcing Xconomy’s Agtech and Food Channel

Xconomy

And human food production is just one aspect of agricultural technology—a vast field that also includes animal food and more. The annual AgTech Investment Report from AgFunderNews found that investment in agriculture and food-related technology startups alone hit $4.6 Coming down the pike, we will be reporting on efforts in areas such as urban agriculture, water and sustainability, robotics, and other innovative approaches in farming and food.

TerrAvion’s Eye in the Sky For Growers, And Now, Ranchers

Xconomy

His San Leandro, CA-based company, TerrAvion , relies on a network of contract pilots to capture weekly shots of his customers’ vineyards, corn fields, and strawberry rows. Those images translate into data that TerrAvion analyzes and also shares with its distribution partners, who have developed farm management software geared to particular products with their own growing quirks, such as grapes.

Bio Roundup: Cancer Wishes and Shopping Lists, Allergan Pricing & More

Xconomy

The full report is here ; a summary is here.). Xconomy reached Tyler Jacks, the co-chair of the panel and director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, to ask about the report. There were plenty other cancer headlines, including an Xconomy report about problems that the predominance of immunotherapy—“taking over the field of cancer,” as Jacks put it—is causing for doctors and patients. What do cancer experts want?

Tyler Jacks, Cancer Moonshot Panel Co-Chair, Discusses Roadmap

Xconomy

The FDA agreed this summer to reorganize the way it evaluates drugs, diagnostics, and other cancer-related products. The full report is here ; a summary is here.). X : The report starts by recommending a national cancer patient network.

LumaTax Raises $2M For Small Business Tax Reporting Software

socalTECH

LumaTax , a new startup has offices in both San Diego and Seattle, Washington, has raised $2M in a funding, the company said on Thursday. The company is initially launching its product in California. The startup is led by Robert Shulte, who was founder of sales tax software provider Taxient, which was based in San Diego, and who he sold to tax software developer Avalara in 2010. taxient avalara diego filing capital venture reporting business small lumatax

Caltech, UCLA, UCSD Rank Highly On Tech Transfer Ranking

socalTECH

The California Insitute of Technology (Caltech), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of San Diego (UCSD) have all ranked very highly on a new ranking of universities for their technology transfer efforts, issued by The Milken Insitute , the Santa Monica-based thinktank.

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Southern California Venture Investments Top $1.3 Billion In Q4

socalTECH

billion in Southern California startup, according to the latest MoneyTree Report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association last night, based on data from Thomson Reuters. The report tallied $1.09 in investments in San Diego.

Pernix Therapeutics Slashes Staff to Shake Up Sales Strategy

Xconomy

As of the end of 2015, Pernix reported a headcount of 274. The remaining neurology and pain sales staff will operate under the same management, a streamlining move that the company hopes will help the company better target the key physicians who prescribe the company’s products.

Roambi Connects To Oracle

socalTECH

San Diego-based MeLLmo , the developer of the Roambi business application for the iPhone and iPad, said this morning that it has integrated its software with Oracle's Business Intelligence (BI) suite. Roambi allows users to monitor various enterprise products via their mobile device. The Oracle support comes on top of existing support for SAP, IBM, and Microsoft products.

Novatel Wireless Gets Wifi Hotspot Patent

socalTECH

San Diego-based Novatel Wireless , the maker of the MiFi mobile hotspot products, reported this morning that it has gained a patent covering that product and its other products. Novatel said it was awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,208,517, covering "Systems and methods for multi-mode wireless modem". The patent filing shows that the patent was awarded to Slim S. Souissi, Michael Loh, and Humphrey GOrdon.