Study Stakes San Diego’s Claim in Genomics: $292M in 2016 VC Deals


Preliminary findings from an economic impact study show that genomics is emerging as a distinct innovation cluster in San Diego. The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

Economic Study Ranks San Diego Near Top in Genomics Innovation


An economic impact study of San Diego’s emerging genomics industry counted 115 genomics-related companies operating in the region that directly employ over 10,000 people, and drive about $5.6

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UC San Diego Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien Dies at 64


Roger Tsien, a UC San Diego scientist who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry for research that led to the development of fluorescent proteins used to illuminate tissue and track biological processes, has died, according to a statement from the university.

EY Names 6 Startup Leaders as San Diego Entrepreneurs of the Year


Six San Diego business risk-takers have been inducted into the pantheon of EY Entrepreneurs of the Year, joining over 10,000 people around the world who have been honored over the last 30 years by the multinational professional services firm.

New San Diego Biotech Looks to Open Way for Anti-Cancer Drugs


In early 2002, the Finnish-born scientist Errki Ruoslahti stepped down as CEO of what is now San Diego’s Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. He continued his research on tumor vasculature and cancer metastasis.

Unanimous Advice To FDA: Approve Landmark CAR-T Cancer Therapy


A 10-member panel of doctors and researchers who advise the Food and Drug Administration recommended with a rare unanimous vote that the agency approve a treatment for kids and young adults with a severe form of leukemia who have run out of other options.

Ex-Xerox CTO Vandebroek Named Chief Operating Officer of IBM Research


When I last spoke to Sophie Vandebroek in December, it was for a kind of exit interview as she prepared to leave her longtime job as Xerox’s CTO and head of its worldwide research organization. We went over highlights of her Xerox tenure, her outlook on key technology trends for 2017 and beyond—the Internet of Everything, cognitive computing, healthcare IT, and cybersecurity chief among them—and her own plans for the future. Re that last point—she seemed completely unsure.

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Repare Nabs $68M To Find Synthetic Lethal Cancer Targets Beyond PARP


The concept of synthetic lethality has been around for decades, but only recently has it been exploited for cancer therapy. The idea is to hit cancer cells in at least two places at once; the trick is to find the right combination of genetic mutations that make the cells vulnerable.

Synthetic Genomics’ “Breakthrough” Algae Produces Twice as Much Oil


The San Diego biotech company Synthetic Genomics and supermajor ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) said today they have successfully inserted a gene in a particular strain of algae that more than doubled its oil content without slowing down the algae’s rate of growth. The two companies described the work in a statement as a “breakthrough in algae biofuel research.” [ Updated 6/19/17 1:17 pm. See below. ]

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Todd Hylton Adds Neural Tech Expertise to UCSD Robotics Institute


UC San Diego has named Todd Hylton, a veteran tech industry manager and expert in neural-based processing technology, as executive director of its new Contextual Robotics Institute. Hylton was previously the executive vice president of strategy and research at Brain Corp., Although much of the robotics industry has clustered in Silicon Valley and Boston, Hylton (pictured above) said San Diego still has an opportunity to claim a role for itself in robotics innovation. “It’s


ChromaCode Using $12M to Make Old-School PCR Tests More Powerful


The advent of high-throughput DNA sequencing has greatly accelerated biomedical research and discovery, and brought the cost of sequencing a whole human genome to roughly $1,000.

Countering Cybersecurity Turnover: 57 Companies That Do It Best


Research from the SANS Institute, a leading information security training provider, has identified 57 government contractors that do a better job of recruiting and retaining high-level cybersecurity professionals, based on the advanced technical certifications held by their employees.

Immunotherapy Clinical Tests Spur Hope, and Plenty of Headaches


But immunotherapy is also creating new challenges and exacerbating old ones for doctors, patients, and researchers. Mary Tagliaferri, vice president of clinical development at Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ) in San Francisco, agrees with Pazdur.

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RNA Specialist Arcturus Therapeutics Gets $3M R&D Grant for CF Drug


San Diego-based Arcturus Therapeutics said today Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics has agreed to provide $3 million to fund research and development of a new messenger RNA drug that could be broadly used to treat cystic fibrosis patients.

Possible Cures. Mystery Deaths. Daunting Costs. Can CAR-T Be Tamed?


But cancer has ways of evading the immune system, so researchers are engineering T cells to give them extra cancer-fighting talents. It’s a struggle that comic-book fans know well.

On ASCO’s Eve, Experts Fret Over Backlash to Cancer Combo Frenzy


When thousands of cancer researchers from around the world gather in Chicago this weekend for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, drugs that fight tumors by boosting a patient’s immune system will take center stage, as they have in previous years.

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In Maine, Making Cancer DNA Tests Free—And Asking Tough Questions


Has the era of genetic oncology arrived? Last week, the biomedical world took a notable step in that direction when the FDA said Merck’s drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda), already one of the world’s most successful cancer immunotherapies, could now treat any tumor with a particular genetic fingerprint. It was the first time a drug has been approved strictly for a genotype —a tumor’s genetic profile—regardless of the organ or body part where the tumor is growing.

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Phoenix Shops Its Cancer Drug as Potential Alzheimer’s Treatment


San Antonio — George Perry, a scientist at the University of Texas at San Antonio, has long proposed that drug developers and researchers need to look earlier into the roots of Alzheimer’s disease.

San Diego Sees Strong Cybersecurity Growth As Firms Seek Talent


San Diego’s cybersecurity workforce has grown by nearly 15 percent over the past two years, according to a study released today by the Cyber Center of Excellence, a nonprofit industry group created to boost cybersecurity jobs and technologies in the region. The center commissioned the report to help quantify the economic impact of the cybersecurity industry in San Diego, and to assess how employers view their prospects for growth and needs for future hiring.

Synthetic Genomics Creates Host Organism Optimized for Bio Industry


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.

Xconomy Q&A: Vuforia, Pokémon Go, and Augmented Reality


It’s been less than a year since Needham, MA-based PTC (NASDAQ: PTC ) shelled out $65 million to acquire Vuforia, the augmented reality technology created by San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ). Talk about auspicious timing.

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Organovo to Test Pre-Clinical Drugs on Bio-Printed Kidney Tissue


Since then, the San Diego company has built a thriving business as a contract research organization (CRO) that tests experimental drug compounds on bio-printed liver tissue.

Qualcomm and AT&T Partner to Use Wireless Network for Drone Flights


After signaling that it plans to operate drones via cellular technologies, San Diego-based Qualcomm says today it is working with AT&T to use commercial wireless networks for test flights beyond an operator’s visual line of sight.

Avalon Leads $18M in Early Funding for Cancer Immunotherapy Startup


Fortis Therapeutics, a new San Diego biotech, has raised $18 million in initial funding to develop drugs for hard-to-treat prostate and bone marrow cancers. Fortis also has recruited a prominent prostate cancer researcher, Eric Small of UCSF, to the company’s scientific advisory board.

Qualcomm Making Inroads with Wireless EV Charging Technology


The San Diego company sees many reasons why wireless charging will eventually become a robust global market, according to Steve Pazol, a Qualcomm vice president who took over the company’s wireless charging business in 2014.

Dragonfly, Tyler Jacks’s Disney-Backed Startup, Gets $33M in Celgene Deal


Dragonfly Therapeutics, a stealthy startup formed by well-known cancer researchers on both coasts and backed by a high-powered group of family offices, has inked its first partnership.

Protecting America’s Tech Prowess Amid the Hostile Rhetoric of 2017


Along with that comes the responsibility of leadership in developing the consensus to make long term investments in research and education and manage them effectively. With the inauguration of Donald Trump as president on January 20th, the editors asked some of our Xconomists to offer their thoughts on “How could the incoming administration significantly affect your industry?”

Cerf's Up in San Diego

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, June 29, 2017 -- Cerf's Up in San Diego is a series of roundtables to showcase San Diego’s Innovative Research and Technology.The event features a keynote by Dr. Vint Cerf, “Discovering San Diego Innovation”. link] (more

14 for ’17: Key Clinical Data To Watch For Next Year (Part 2)


Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Migraine ModeRNA Therapeutics Multiple Sclerosis National Institutes of Health National Multiple Sclerosis Society nicotine patch Novartis ocrelizmab ozanimod patisiran Pfizer phase 2 Phase 3 postpartum depression Receptos Repurpose RNA Interference RNAi Roche Sage Therapeutics SAGE-547 Sanofi Pasteur Servier Takeda Pharmaceutical Teva Tim Coetzee transthyretin amyloidosis UCART19 Vaccine Zika virus

Merck Invests $90M In San Diego Research Group


Biopharmaceuticals giant Merck said today that it is investing $90M in setting up a new, San Diego research organization, called Calibr. According to Merck, the new, independent not-for-profit will aim to accelerate translation of basic biomedical research into new medicines to treat disease, and will be led by Peter G. z is a professor at The Scripps Research Institute. merck diego calibre research biotech lifescience small molecule biomedicine

BlackThorn Emerges With $40M, New Weapons Against Neuro Disorders


As Xconomy reported last year, South San Francisco, CA-based BlackThorn was spun out of Scripps Research Institute , which on its website lists the company as one of its 2013 spinouts. It’s emerging from clinical research.”.

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ViaCyte Working with Gore to Improve its Synthetic Pancreas Device


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.

Precision Medicine In Trump Era? California Presses Own Modest Program


Bush healthcare Institute of Computational Health Sciences Life Sciences Obama PMI Precision Medicine Stem Cell Research UCSF University of California

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