Welcome to SDEE

Welcome to San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange! 

The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization run by local entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and pre-entrepreneurs interested in Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices, Tech and Alternative Energy. SDEE was founded to provide a voice and resources for early stage startups, to encourage new entrepreneurs, and sponsor networking and educational services to help develop skills necessary to bring new businesses and funding to the San Diego area. 

SDEE Businesses Directory SDEE Consultants Directory


ALT logo



Ted Jacobs, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield


Takeda San Diego


Duane Morris MaxCyte Wagenknecht Law Group Barney and Barney

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 05:30 PM · 68 rsvps
    New English Brewing Company in San Diego, CA

    February Happy Hour

    Come network with your fellow San Diego entrepreneurs at Happy Hour held at the New English Brewing Company in Sorrento Valley. Everyone is welcome! This month's happy hour is sponsored by member company Managed Lab Services. SDEE members - stop by the SDEE table, make a name-tag, and then exchange your business card with Managed Lab Services for one free drink ticket and one free food ticket. Moonage food truck will be serving food this month. You must be an SDEE member to receive the free tickets.  Not a member yet? Just ask SDEE about the benefits of joining and/or ask members at the event about the benefits they've received from joining. Our members are happy to spread the word!  Everyone is welcome (registration is free!), SDEE members get 10% drinks discount.
    Sunday, March 03, 2019 at 12:00 PM through March 06, 2019
    Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Pl, San Diego, CA 92101

    Festival of Biologics

    The inaugural Festival of Biologics USA is landing in San Diego on March 4th -5th 2019 (pre-conference day on March 3rd), and we want to make sure you know everything there is to know about this brand-new event. The Festival of Biologics USA will be combining three high-level commercial events: The Americas Antibody Congress, The Word Immunotherapy Congress, and Clinical Trials USA, under one roof, with 200+ speakers, 600+ attendees and 60+ sponsors and exhibitors. Snapshot of Confirmed Speakers Andrew Korytko, Research Advisor, Group Leader Protein Engineering, Eli Lilly and Company Scott Glaser, Director, Antibody Therapeutics, GNF Sanjaya Singh, VP & Global Head, Janssen BioTherapeutics Partha Chowdhury, Senior Director and Head, Antibody Discovery, Sanofi Patrick Burke, Associate Director, Seattle Genetics Johanna Mercier, President and Head, U.S. Commercial, Bristol-Myers Squibb Jim Caggiano, CEO, Dendreon Karin Jooss, Executive VP of Research, Chief Scientific Officer, Gritstone Oncology Peter Emtage, Global Head of Cell Therapy Research, Kite Fred Ramsdell, SVP, Research, Parker Institute Rob Scott, VP Development and Chief Medical Officer Abbvie Christopher Boone, VP, Head of Real World Data and Analytics Center, Pfizer Jean Claude Zenklusen, Director, The Cancer Genome Atlas, NCI/NIH Brenda Hann, Head of Clinical Trials, Stanford Medicine Andreas Koester, VP Clinical Innovation, Janssen Hubert Chen, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Pfenex Bruce Leicher, Senior VP and General Counsel, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Bryan Kim, Vice President, Business Development, Samsung Bioepis Ian Henshaw, Global Head of Biogen’s Biosimilars Unit, Biogen Bernd Liedert, Senior Clinical Director, TA Biosimilars, Boehringer Ingelheim VIEW THE FULL AGENDA & SPEAKER LINE UP   REGISTER TODAY
    Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 05:00 PM

    Get to Know Your Neighbors

    SDEE Presents: Get to Know Your Neighbors with John Hood Event Sponsors: Featuring Keynote Speaker: John Hood Founder of Impact Biomedicines John Hood is the founder or co-founder of Impact Biomedicines, Endeavor Biomedicines, Neuronomix and Samumed. Currently John is the acting Chief Executive Officer at Actavalon, a San Diego biotechnology company developing therapies for autoimmune disease and oncology, Board Chairman of Endeavor Biomedicines and Founder of Neuronomix.  Most recently he was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Impact Biomedicines, a company that was acquired for up to $7 billion by Celgene in 2018.  Prior to founding Impact, Dr. Hood was the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Samumed, a pharmaceutical company focused on advancing regenerative medicine and oncology therapies. Prior to that, Dr. Hood was Director of Research and co-inventor of fedratinib at TargeGen, Inc., (subsequently acquired by Sanofi SA), where he led a team identifying small molecule kinase inhibitors for the treatment of eye diseases and cancer. He is an inventor on 100+ patents and author on 50+ scientific articles. Dr. Hood obtained a Ph.D. in medical physiology and B.S. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University. Join us for a networking event to hear about John’s experiences starting multiple successful San Diego companies. Find collaborators, vendors, customers, advisers and investors, jobs, employees, and meet your fellow San Diego entrepreneurs. Cost: FREE for SDEE members (RSVP below) Non-members purchase tickets here. Program 5:00 – 6:00pm         Networking Reception & Exhibition, appetizers & refreshments provided.  6:00 – 6:20pm         Introduction to SDEE and 30 second pitches 6:20 – 7:00pm         Keynote Speaker:  John Hood 7:00 – 8:00pm         Continued Networking and Exhibition   SDEE Members can apply to give a 30 second pitch (Deadline to apply March 15th) Exhibit tables are available to SDEE Small Business, Corporate, and Consultant members (Deadline to reserve March 15th) Members: Contact Danielle Hayes, dhayes@sdentrepreneurs.org
    Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 05:30 PM
    New English Brewing Company in San Diego, CA

    March Happy Hour - new date - March 28th

    Come network with your fellow San Diego entrepreneurs at Happy Hour held at the New English Brewing Company in Sorrento Valley. Not a member yet? Just ask SDEE about the benefits of joining and/or ask members at the event about the benefits they've received from joining. Our members are happy to spread the word!  Everyone is welcome (registration is free!), SDEE members get 10% drinks discount.

  • News From SDEE Members

    Erythropoietic Protoporphyria: An Unmet Medical Need for a Severe Photodermatosis

    Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is a rare inherited disease of heme biosynthesis characterized by dermal photosensitivity which occurs secondary to a partial deficiency of ferrochelatase. In a phenotypically similar X-linked protoporphyria (XLP), there is overactivity of the heme biosynthesis enzyme, erythropoietic aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS2). Both EPP and XLP result in the accumulation of the photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) in erythrocytes, plasma, skin and liver. The accumulated PPIX is activated by sun exposure generating free radicals which result in tissue damage and severe pain. EPP is a devastating lifelong disorder with very few evidence-based clinical management tools and no approved treatments in the United States. The number of patients affected by EPP in the US is unknown. In Europe, it  is estimated that about 1 in about 75,000 to 1 in 200,000 individuals are affected. Worldwide, EPP is the third most common porphyria, with an incidence of about 2 to 5 per 1,000,000 individuals. Diagnostic delay is not uncommon due to a lack of symptom awareness among pediatricians. Clinically, EPP is characterized by both cutaneous and extracutaneous manifestation. Phototoxicity usually begins in infancy and manifests as intolerance to sunlight, including tingling, stinging, burning, itching and pain with an onset within minutes of exposure to sun or UV light. EPP can also be accompanied by lichenification, loss of lunulae, edema, erythema and petechiae. A phototoxic reaction typically lasts from hours to a few days, although reactions lasting 10 or more days have been reported, often accompanied by social isolation, excruciating pain, anxiety and sleep impairment. Extracutaneous manifestations include PPIX-mediated bile duct obstruction, resulting in cholestatic liver injury in 20-30%, and eventually cholelithiasis, cholestatic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure in 3-5% of patients. Progressive liver disease can require liver transplantation, although replacement of a diseased liver with the healthy liver can start the reaccumulation of PPIX. Thus, liver transplantation is not curative without a sequential liver and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to correct the underlying enzymatic defect. Absent effective treatments, photoprotection against UV-A and visible light, including sun avoidance are required to minimize cutaneous reactions and pain. Patients with EPP have to maintain a high level of vigilance about ambient and expected light conditions and undertake measures to minimize the risk of phototoxicity. Drastic lifestyle modification, including the use of protective clothing, skin foundation, shade, tinted windows and indoor living are essential to minimize the cutaneous sequelae of EPP. These symptoms, along with required behavioral modification markedly impact employment choices, socialization (sun avoidance), work or school attendance, productivity, activities of daily living and quality of life. Not surprisingly, one study reported that while most individuals with EPP were employed or attending school, almost half felt their choice of vocation had been influenced by their symptoms. Both lifestyle modification and sunlight avoidance can place a significant burden on families of individuals with EPP. Although a number of treatments, including high dose β-Carotene, Vitamin C, N-Acetyl Cysteine and narrow band UVB therapy have been suggested in the literature, there is little evidence to support their use. The only evidence-based treatment for preventing phototoxicity in EPP is afamelanotide (Scenesse®), a controlled release subcutaneous implant (depot) from Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals, a Melbourne, Australia headquartered company. Afamelanotide, a structural analog of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) was developed, patented and initially tested by Drs. Victor Hruby, Robert Dorr and (the late) Mac Hadley at the University of Arizona more than two decades ago. It was first envisaged developed as a sunless tanning agent. It is a melanocortin receptor agonist that binds predominantly to the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), activating the synthesis of eumelanin which provides photoprotection through absorption of UV and visible light, scavenging of free radicals and increased superoxide dismutase availability. Scenesse was approved by the EMA in December 2014 for prevention of phototoxicity in adult patients with EPP as a 16 mg subcutaneous implant administered every two months. The UK marketing authorization for Scenesse is under “exceptional circumstances” for ‘the prevention of phototoxicity in adult patients with EPP. Unfortunately, in 2017, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) concluded that Scenesse “is not recommended, within its marketing authorization, for preventing  phototoxicity in adults with erythropoietic protoporphyria” and this ruling was upheld in 2018 on appeal. This means that the National Health Service (NHS) will not reimburse for Scenesse in England. In reaching its decision, NICE made several observations about data on Scenesse submitted by Clinuvel, including treatment allocation unmasking (unblinding), a modest albeit statistically significant benefit in daylight exposure without pain (approximately 10 minutes per day) and the choice, validation, and relevance of quality of life instruments used. In June 2018, Clinuvel submitted and NDA for which FDA has assigned a PDUFA date of July 8, 2019 and granted Scenesse a Priority Review. There is a need for improved early diagnosis to reduce sun exposure and provide appropriate follow up, including monitoring for hepatic complications. This can be done through improved education and point of care protoporphyrin testing. There is also a need for improved treatments with robust efficacy in EPP, preferably by the oral route for both cutaneous and extracutaneous manifestations. There is also a need for improved study designs that leverage our increased understanding of adaptive clinical trials, quality of life and health economic outcomes, evaluating the role of photoprovocation in clinical trials, and understanding the role of geographic and seasonal differences in natural sunlight duration and time spent outdoors as potential variables in timing, site selection and data analysis of EPP clinical trials. Dr. Najib Babul, PharmD, MBA, is an entrepreneur and experienced pharmaceutical scientist, drug developer, inventor, author and consultant with over two decades of experience in bringing new and repurposed drugs to market. 
    read more

    What Do Increased Overdose Deaths Tell Us About the Opioid Overdose Crisis?

    In this post, I share a few thoughts about the most recent data on the opioid overdose crisisfrom Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (January 4, 2019) which show a 12% year over year increase in opioid overdose deaths (2016-2017). The opioid overdose crisis continues to worsen and evolve due to the ongoing increase in fatalities involving synthetic opioids. Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a chronic relapsing illness characterized by repeated, compulsive opioid seeking or use despite harm. Opioid addiction generally refers to moderate to severe OUD, which the American Society of Addiction Medicine defines as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.” More than 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder (OUD), including 626,000with heroin related OUD. Overall life expectancy in the U.S. began to decline in 2015 due to the opioid overdose crisis, the first such decrease since the 1960s. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the year 2017, 47,600 Americans died of opioid overdoses, a 12% increase over 2016. This means that on average, 130 Americans died each day from opioid overdoses in 2017, up from 116 daily opioid overdose fatalities in 2016. Synthetic opioids which include illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs were involved in almost 60% of opioid overdose deaths, an increase of about 45% from the previous year. Overdose deaths from prescription opioids and heroin remained stable during 2016-2017. A diagnosis of OUD confers a high risk for adverse medical consequences, including poor physical and mental health, increased health care utilization, a higher incidence of HIV and Hepatitis C, opioid overdose deaths and a 14-fold higher all-cause mortality than the general population. OUD is also associated with many adverse non-medical consequences, including higher rates of criminal behavior and incarceration, impaired social functioning, reduced labor force participation and lost productivity. The Council of Economic Advisers(CEA) estimated the economic cost of the opioid crisis at $504 billion in 2015. The CEA noted that previous economic cost estimates greatly undervalued the most important component of the loss - fatalities resulting from overdoses. The CEA estimate was derived from 2015 data, when opioid overdose mortality was 30% lower than the most recently available estimate (2017). The increase in opioid overdose and deaths is not for lack of significant efforts on the part of operating divisions of the HHS, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and SAMHSA. These efforts have included the NIH HEAL Initiative, a public-private partnership in conjunction with the FDA to address the opioid crisis via more effective and safe ways to prevent and treat OUD and overdose; increased availability of the opioid overdose reversal agent naloxone; expanded access to medication-assisted treatments; and linking individuals with OUD to treatment and harm-reduction services. Without significant Congressional appropriations for the opioid overdose crisis, and intervention by various HHS operating divisions and other stakeholders at the Federal, State and local level, the devastation from the opioid overdose crisis would be far greater.     Dr. Najib Babul, PharmD, MBA, is an entrepreneur, experienced pharmaceutical scientist, drug developer, inventor and consultant.
    read more
    See all news or Share Your Own News

  • Meet SDEE Community

    Amy Rasdal’s 5 Things to Know About Consulting

    Never stop networking and always be selling. That was Amy Rasdal’s key message when she spoke to consultant members from San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) on January 31, 2019 at a workshop held at LabFellows.
    read more

    LaunchBio – Evening With An Entrepreneur

    The Office of Innovation of the University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with Launch Bio, organized an evening with entrepreneurs and startup showcase on January 15, 2019 at Genesis in Campus Point. The event was sponsored by the City of San Diego, Biolabs, Procopio, CSC Leasing Company, and Hughes Marino, and started with a networking reception and the exhibit of local startup companies. Representatives of UCSD and Launch Bio introduced the panelists.
    read more
    See all news

Attend SDEE Events Donate | Sponsor SDEE Become a Member

Connect with SDEE

Sign Up for SDEE Newsletter


ALT San Diego



Ted Jacobs
Managing Director
Cushman & Wakefield


Takeda San Diego


Duane Morris MaxCyte Wagenknecht Barney and Barney

SDEE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs
in order to provide a voice for the early stage start-up, to support new entrepreneurs and their companies,
and to sponsor networking and educational events
to help develop the skills necessary to bring funding, business, and jobs to the San Diego area.

© 2015 San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange. All Rights Reserved