Follow the Money
TP Therapeutics raised $45 million in a Series C round with Lilly Asia Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors, and S.R. One, Limited. The company is developing precision and non-resistant drugs to fight cancer.
Aira just announced a $12 million Series B with investors JAZZ Venture Partners, Arboretum Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, and Felicis Ventures. We told you recently about Aira’s work in using technology to improve the lives of the blind and visually impaired. The company plans to use the funds to serve a greater number of individuals in need.
CureMatch Proves Itself
Metastatic melanoma is one of the most difficult forms of cancer to treat. Once the disease spreads it is fast moving and aggressive. In a recent case, CureMatch, a company that uses genomic sequencing to identify the most effective cancer treatments for patients, was able to identify the most effective treatment for a metastatic melanoma patient.
When the patient was being treated, a sample was not available to be tested. Doctors treated the patient with multiple lines of chemotherapy that were unsuccessful. Then the patient was given the combination of two drugs and showed a “remarkable response.” Six months after treatment began, the tumor was tested by CureMatch and the successful two drug combination ranked highest in their analysis in terms of effective treatments. The results were published in BMC Cancer by UCSD oncologist and CureMatch co-founder Dr. Razelle Kurzrock.
San Diego Jumps 7 Spots in Kauffman Startup Ranking
The Kauffman Index has released its annual report on startup activity and the San Diego region jumped seven spots from 11th to fourth in the rankings. The index ranks metropolitan areas for startups based on three factors: rate of new entrepreneurs, opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, and startup density. Cities/regions San Diego surpassed to arrive at fourth on the list are Las Vegas, New York, Houston, Denver, and San Francisco. Other big jumpers on the list include the cities of San Antonio, Cincinnati, Sacramento, St. Louis, Portland, and Cleveland.
Startup Week Starts Up
San Diego Startup Week is just a few short weeks away. Final plans are coming together including this week’s announcement of the keynote speaker Jason Calacanis. Calacanis is an angel investor and founder. He invested in Uber, Tumblr, Thumbtack, and Evernote. He founded Weblog and sold it to AOL for $25 million. Some of Calacanis’ investors include Elon Musk, Sequoia Partners, and Mark Cuban. And if that isn’t enough, he owns the first Tesla Model S ever sold. The keynote address takes place on Tuesday, June 20 at 7 p.m.
Now in its 5th year, Startup Week is still growing each year in offerings and attendance. One strong indicator of its growth this year is the sponsors. In the past, the event planners have sought out a few, roughly five to ten, sponsors at a lower level of $5,000 each. This year’s approach shows a larger and more mature event with more than 25 sponsors ranging from $1,500 to $25,000. The week’s Key Sponsor and Underwriter is Cox Business, and Downtown Works, ESET, Mindtouch, and Tealium have sponsored individual tracks for the week.
Like a BOSS
Local Congressman Scott Peters has introduced the BOSS Act, Building Opportunity for Student Startups. To understand best practices and what is working nationally at university incubators, the bill requires the National Academy of Sciences to report within a year back to Congress about comparing outcomes and best practices so that Congress can identify the best ways to support these efforts.
Peters said, “The growth of student entrepreneurship has tremendous potential to expand economic opportunity for the next generation and create jobs. This is an important first step towards providing more support for incubators that attract talent and resources to public universities and capitalize on the investment that the federal government is already making.” Congressman Peters certainly has a few national examples in his own backyard. UCSD and SDSU both boast robust startup resources and incubators. In fact, SDSU was recently named the National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program for 2017 by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Be There or Be…
- Urban Innovation: How to Be a “Smart Citizen” with SCALE SD
Tuesday, May 30, 6–8 p.m., Downtown Works, 550 West B Street
- Get Launched with Microchip
Thursday, June 8, 12–8 p.m., UCSD Jacobs Hall
The Get Launched Program helps you take a hardware project from prototype to the marketplace.