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Biocom’s Terri Somers is out with the latest Deals and Data, her regular trip through the happenings in local biotech.

Leading the way is our recent story on the battle for Small Business Innovation Research grants. She also links to Xconomy’s latest on San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals, which is set to release make-it-or-break-it clinical trail data this month on its obesity drug lorcaserin. We’ve written extensively on the company’s ups and downs this year.

And Xconomy has more news on the algae front. Locally based Sapphire Energy, which is a leader nationwide in the development of algae-based fuels, is planning a production facility in New Mexico. The significance of the news is two-fold: On one hand it shows that algae continues to gain traction as a viable commercial biofuel. On the other, it lends credence to the concerns raised in our story from early this year that while San Diego might be a hub for the science of algae fuel, other states might get the jobs and taxes that come with actually manufacturing it.

I’ll give Sapphire a call and ask them what went into their decision to choose New Mexico.

DAVID WASHBURN

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