2022-06-20| Special

BIO 2022: San Diego Biotechs

by Fujie Tham
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According to Biocom California’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, San Diego’s life sciences industry is an impactful growth sector, employing 72,000 people and generating $27.7 billion in gross regional product and $47.8 billion total sales in 2020. Additionally, the report found that life science was responsible for almost 178,000 jobs with total earnings of $16 billion in San Diego County alone. Earlier this June, we also saw Bristol Myers Squibb’s acquisition of Turning Point Therapeutics. 


Vividion Therapeutics


Bought by Bayer AG in a $2 billion deal on the brink of IPO in August 2021, the San Diego-based Vividion is now operating under an “arm’s length” business model under Bayer that allows it to operate largely autonomously and independently to develop and advance its novel pipeline and platform technologies.

Vividion addresses known limits in drug discovery by identifying small molecules for disease-relevant protein targets traditionally thought to be undruggable with its proprietary chemoproteomic drug discovery platform, beginning with disease-causing proteins in oncology and immunology with programs targeting NRF2, STAT3, and WRN. 

The biotech recently opened its San Diego campus and is now present in Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Research Triangle Park (North Carolina). 

Related article: BMS Buys Turning Point Therapeutics For $4.1 Billion, Bringing In Lung Cancer Drug 


National Resilience


On June 8, The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) and National Resilience launched a five-year strategic alliance to develop next-generation cancer therapies generated from PICI’s network of immunotherapy research centers. The alliance was revealed alongside its $625 million Series D financing, an addition to a previously unannounced $600 million Series C financing completed in August 2021.

Under the agreement, Resilience will also collaborate with PICI Network investigators on biomanufacturing and new treatment modalities. As PICI’s first manufacturing partner for complex modalities, Resilience will be with PICI Affiliated Partners (PICI-invested companies, PICI Network Institutions, and Network Investigators) on developing enabling biomanufacturing technology and lower barriers for technology access across the PICI network and within the therapeutic development community.

Last year, National Resilience inked a five-year pact with Harvard’s Office of Technology Development with a $30 million pledge to the development of complex medicines, including biologics, vaccines, nucleic acids, and cell and gene therapies to improve patients’ lives.


Entos Pharmaceuticals


Canadian Entos Pharmaceuticals recently announced its expansion into the US with its 9,600-square-foot facility in Torrey Pines, San Diego. Entos is developing its next-generation genetic medicines using its proprietary Fusogenix proteolipid vehicle (PLV) drug delivery system. Fusogenix PLVs are formulated with FAST proteins to enable the delivery of mRNA or DNA into target cells through direct fusion and deliver intact, unmodified nucleic acids into target cells.

In January 2022, Entos and Eli Lilly entered into a collaboration agreement and gained exclusive rights to Entos’ Fusogenix platform to research, develop, and commercialize nucleic acid products targeting the central and peripheral nervous system. In the $50 million deal, Entos will be responsible for the generation, development, and optimization of PLVs, while Lilly will be responsible for selecting PLVs for clinical development and commercialization.

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