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

Xconomy

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.

UC San Diego Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien Dies at 64

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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.

Economic Study Ranks San Diego Near Top in Genomics Innovation

Xconomy

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

Scientist.com Raises $24M for “Pharma Markets” that Outsource R&D

Xconomy

San Diego’s Scientist.com set out in 2006 to disrupt part of the pharmaceutical business by providing an Amazon-like approach to the business of hiring contract research organizations (CROs).

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

Xconomy

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.

As Drugs Fail, Some Researchers Urge a Return to Alzheimer’s Roots

Xconomy

As the quest to find treatments for Alzheimer’s disease keeps crashing against rocks, a group of researchers in the field want their peers to pay more attention to the part of the brain where Alzheimer’s disease first wreaks havoc.

Finistere Plants Investment Seed in Ireland With $24M Agtech Fund

Xconomy

Though Finistere splits its operations between San Diego and Palo Alto, CA, the firm has been expanding its reach globally. Ireland’s top agricultural exports are beef and dairy products. Arama Kukutai believes that in coming years, Ireland will send the United States and the rest of the world something different: innovative agricultural technologies that help make farms more productive and profitable.

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

Xconomy

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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JLABS Takes Stock of its Experiment in Life Sciences Innovation

Xconomy

The idea in 2011 was to create a space at what was then Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical research and development facility in San Diego for an “innovation center,” a place where 18 to 20 life sciences startups could incubate, replete with lab space and equipment.

Todd Hylton Adds Neural Tech Expertise to UCSD Robotics Institute

Xconomy

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

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New Biotech Viscient Partners with Organovo on Fatty Liver Disease

Xconomy

The San Diego company, founded a decade ago on 3D bio-printing technology developed by the University of Missouri’s Gabor Forgacs, appeared to be gaining momentum on multiple fronts.

Novartis Wins Historic FDA Nod, Prices CAR-T For Leukemia at $475,000

Xconomy

Ahead of schedule, Novartis has received the first-ever approval of a genetically modified living cell therapy called CAR-T, which uses a cancer patient’s own immune cells as the medicine.

Immunotherapy Clinical Tests Spur Hope, and Plenty of Headaches

Xconomy

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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San Diego Sees Strong Cybersecurity Growth As Firms Seek Talent

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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.

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.

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

Xconomy

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

Xconomy

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

Xconomy

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.

Spark CEO Marrazzo on Gene Therapy Pricing & Paving the Way for the Field

Xconomy

After decades of research and scientific ups and downs, the first U.S. gene therapy, a single, long-lasting treatment called voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna) for rare, inherited blindness, is now on the market. But the commercial challenge facing its developer, Spark Therapeutics, is daunting. Can Spark lead the way in showing that the new kinds of payment models it is experimenting with will succeed in getting the healthcare system to pay for such pricey, one-time treatments?

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

Xconomy

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.

Countering Cybersecurity Turnover: 57 Companies That Do It Best

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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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Phoenix Shops Its Cancer Drug as Potential Alzheimer’s Treatment

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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.

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

Xconomy

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.

Merck Invests $90M In San Diego Research Group

socalTECH

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

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

Xconomy

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

Xconomy

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.

Wireless Technology Firm Opens San Diego Research Center

socalTECH

Pennsylvania-based InterDigital , a developer of wireless technology products, said Monday that it is opening up a new office in San Diego. According to the firm, the new West Coast Research and Development Center will help the firm tap into the region's ecosystem of innovation. diego expansion jobs employment wireless research interdigital