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Monday, April 18, 2005 | San Diego’s more-than-500 life science companies employ more than 38,000 people, making it the region’s largest tech cluster.

The addition of large pharmaceutical companies in San Diego has helped to strengthen the local biotech industry. Here are a few local acquisitions by large pharmas over the past few years:

Aurora Biosciences – acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2001 for $592 million.

Applied Molecular Evolution – acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. in 2003 for $400 million.

Egea Biosciences – acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2004 (financial terms were not disclosed).

Syrrx Inc. – acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. in Feb. 2005 for $270 million.

Xcel Pharmaceuticals – acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for $280 million.

Angiosyn Inc. – acquired by Pfizer in January 2005 for $527 million.

Idun Pharmaceuticals – acquired by Pfizer in February 2005 (financial terms were not disclosed).

The following are some recent partnerships large pharmaceutical companies have made with San Diego biotechs:

– Isis Pharmaceuticals signed a major collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly in 2001. Isis received $25 million in upfront cash, a $100 million loan, $75 million equity investment and $50 million in milestone payments from Lilly.

– Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. signed an agreement with Eli Lilly in 2002. As part of the collaboration, Amylin received an upfront payment of $80 million, plus a $30 million equity investment from Lilly.

– Neurocrine and Pfizer announced a global development and commercialization agreement in 2002. Under the deal, Neurocrine received an initial payment of $100 million and was promised up to $300 million in milestone payments. Pfizer also pledged to fund the ongoing development of Neurocrine’s drug candidate indiplon and to pay royalties on worldwide sales and co-promotion fees in the United States.

– Arena Pharmaceuticals announced a partnership in 2004 with Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company. As part of the deal, Arena received an upfront payment of $17.5 million and could receive up to $295 million for achievement of pre-specified development, approval and sales milestones for each compound developed under the collaboration. Arena is also eligible to receive low double-digit royalties that will rise with increasing sales levels on worldwide sales of marketed products. Arena was also promised $4.8 million in research funding over two years.

– ANDREA SIEDSMA

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