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San Diego’s Biotechnology Companies: Who’s Taking Off?

Submitted by on March 8, 2012 – 9:13 am

Image Courtesy Flickr User JoF

Here at SDBN we’ve been updating our directory of 400+ San Diego biotech companies.  We were surprised to find close to 40 companies removed from the local scene – due to acquisition or shut down.  But we also found a net gain in companies, with 68 added. We’ve begun to add some of the ‘provenances’ of new companies, as well as what’s happened to those that are no longer listed, and welcome your comments and additions as well, please leave them as a comment below. Note that some companies are not new, we just missed them in our original directory and wanted to feature them in this post.

Updates to San Diego Biotechnology Company Directory

Company Status Details
1060 Discovery Engineering Added
Adnavance Removed
ALARIS Medical Systems Removed Now under Cardinal Health
Alere Added Acquired Biosite
Altair Therapeutics Removed Shut down
Amira Pharmaceuticals Removed Acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb
Amplyx Pharmaceuticals Added
Aperio Added
Applied Proteomics Added
Aragon Pharmaceutical Added
Astute Medical Added BioSite spinoff
AvantGen Added
Avelas Biosciences Added
Azco Biotech, Inc. Added
Balboa Bio Removed
Bio Applied Technologies Joint, Inc. Added
BioAtla Added
Biocept Added
BioLaurus Added
BioMedica, Inc. Removed
BioSettia Added
BioSite Removed Acquired by Alere
Biotix Added
BPS Bioscience, Inc Added
Calmune Corporation Removed
Carolus Therapeutics Added
Cebix Added
Crinetics Added Started by ex-Neurocrine employees
CryoCor, Inc. Removed
Diverse Diagnostics Removed
Dx Innovations Removed
Elcelyx Added
Enigma diagnostics Added
Essentialis Added
Etaluma Added
EuMederis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Added
Expedeon Added
Genetex Added
Genofi Added
GenTarget Inc, Added
GenVault Added Existing, missed in original directory
Harbor Biosciences Added Changed name from Hollis Eden
Helixis Removed Acquired by Illumina
HemaQuest Added
Hollis-Eden Removed Changed name to Harbor Biosciences
Iapyx Medical Removed
Icx Biosystems Removed
IDM Pharma, Inc. Removed Acquired by Takeda 2009
Inception Sciences Added Amira spinoff
Inhibrx Added
KFx Medical, Inc. Removed
Kinagen, Inc. Added
Kinexis, Inc. Removed
Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, Inc. Added
LeGene Biosciences Added
LiquidGrids Added Previously known as Swarmology
MabPrex.com Added
MediVas LLC Removed
Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. Removed
MO BIO Laboratories Added Existing company missed in original directory
Molecular Response Added
Mpex Pharmaceuticals Removed Name change to Rempex
Nacalai usa Added
NeoMPS, Inc. Removed Now part of PolyPeptide Group
NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals Inc. Added
Novalar Removed
Nventa Removed Merger with Akela Pharma, Inc March 27, 2008
Oceanside Pharmacuticals Added
Orbigen Removed
ORQIS Medical Corporation Removed
PAGEgel, Inc. Removed Merged with Expedeon/Protein Discovery
Paramount BioSciences, LLC Removed
Pegasus Cleanroom Services Added
Perry Scientific Removed Acquired by Absorption Systems
Pfenex Added
PharmaCircle Added
Phenometrics Added
Phenomix Removed
PliCare Therapeutics Added
ProteinLabs Added
Rebexsess Added
Rempex Pharmaceuticals Added Name change from Mpex
Renascions Added
SeaSpine Added
Serametrix Added
SG Biofuels Added
SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Removed As of 2008, acting as subsidiary of Lilly
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Removed
Sonexa Therapeutics Added
SorrentoTherapeutics.com Added
Sova Pharmaceuticals Added
Strategic Enzyme Applications Added
Tanox Removed
TargeGen, Inc. Removed Acquired by Sanofi-Aventis
Targeson Inc Added
Theragence Inc. Added
TheraKem Removed
Torrey Path, LLC Removed
TorreyPines Therapeutics Removed
TrovaGene Added
Tulip BioMed, Inc. Removed
Ultimate Labs Added
Vasgene Removed
Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc Removed
ViaCyte Technologies: Stem Cell Engineering Added
VivaMab, LLC Added
West Wireless Health Institute Added
Zacharon Pharmaceuticals Added

A recent report suggests evidence that the San Diego biotech scene is going strong. Released in December 2011 the Life Sciences Cluster Report by Jones Lang LaSalle rates San Diego #7 in the global biotech clusters.  The report examines global locations for viable industry hubs, and defines a “cluster” by a multiple data points including:

  • Educated workforce
  • Venture and investment capital
  • Centers of excellence and innovation
  • Industry-friendly political structures
  • Institutions of higher learning
  • Target economic development incentives
  • Patent protection
  • Other associations and supporting infrastructure

Ranking in the top 10 for funding – third in VC and sixth for NIH funding – it seems that the money is rolling in for San Diego. The 97-page study says San Diego’s dense concentration of incubator and start-ups is expected to continue growth in the near future.

Each of the submarkets reviewed – UTC, Torrey Pines, Sorrento Mesa, and Sorrento Valley – experienced growth in 2011, aside from Sorrento Mesa being almost completely leased.  The report forecasts continued recovery in rents, vacancies tightening and, due to a lack of new development, re-positioning of older properties to meet demands for higher quality facilities, particularly in Sorrento Mesa.

Additionally, Torrey Pines, San Diego’s largest submarket, has seen a resurgence of growth, with more life science companies acquiring larger spaces. The report states that in 2011 Verenium signed a deal larger than Torrey Pines has seen in two years.

NIH grants have increased 28 percent from 2010 and by 70 percent from 2008.  The outlook is sunny for San Diego in 2012, with a continued increase expected in the number of start-ups and dispersal of capital from venture capital and government funds.

A PDF of the complete report can be downloaded here.

Thanks to Flickr user JoF for this image of gliders taking off and landing at Torrey Pines, where many San Diego life science companies also ‘take off.’

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