News From SDEE Members

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Neuropore Therapies receives 2nd grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research!

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research awarded Neuropore Therapies a second grant on its TLR2 antagonist Program for Parkinson's disease.  READ MORE:

Michael Swit announces re-launching of his FDA regulatory law practice.

The Law Offices of Michael A. Swit, devoted to Solving FDA Legal Challenges for the Life of a Life Sciences Company

Please visit our website at

Happy Holidays!

Looking for Lab Clean Room 2,000-3,000 square foot

An international bio-tech company is looking urgently for lab space (plus office space of 2,000-3,000 square foot) to buy or lease. They would prefer a setting where the clean room space is already built, but will consider any location where the building is properly zoned and has the utilities to support tenant improvement.

As a member of SDEE I would highly appreciate any help from the community. Please reach out to me at if you have any information on potentially available lab space.

Fibromyalgia Therapeutics: Why has progress has been slow?

Fibromyalgia is a common medical condition characterized by chronic widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance affecting two to three percent of the total population. It is five to ten times more common in women than men, increases with age and can also be worsened by many factors, including physical trauma and emotional stress. In this post, I share a few thoughts on why advances in the field have been slow and what developments may be coming soon.

Fibromyalgia involves central amplification of peripheral sensory signals, so that otherwise normal sensations are perceived as painful. Most patients afflicted with fibromyalgia also experience excessive tenderness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, problems concentrating, and functional impairment. A major obstacle to diagnosis is the absence of specific laboratory or imaging tests for fibromyalgia, although lab testing can be used to rule out other conditions associated with fatigue. Since the symptoms of fibromyalgia are shared with other conditions, patients should also be evaluated for mood disorders and sleep impairment.

In the decades prior to the introduction of the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) classification criteria in 1990, there was considerable skepticism about fibromyalgia as a legitimate medical condition. The 1990 ACR criteria ushered in an era of increased recognition of fibromyalgia and provided a standardized diagnostic approach. This was a boon for academic rheumatologists and even more so for researchers looking to test the efficacy of drugs. Despite widespread dissemination of the diagnostic criteria, skepticism abounded. For example, the very year ACR published the criteria for fibromyalgia, the British Journal of Rheumatology and the Canadian Family Physician journal published papers questioning the existence of fibromyalgia. However, the ACR criteria provided a major boost to research, resulting in the 2006 FDA approval of pregabalin (Lyrica®); the 2008 approval of duloxetine (Cymbalta®); and the 2009 approval of milnacipran (Savella®), which remain the only FDA-approved medicines for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Although the ACR classification system was a major advance, it proved problematic in a number of ways. First, it required assessment of tenderness on pressure (tender) points in at least 11 of 18 specified sites and the presence of widespread pain for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Second, tender point assessment failed to address the symptoms that bothered patients. And finally, digital palpation of 18 tender points was hard for most non-rheumatologists to perform. It became apparent that primary care physicians had neither the time nor the training to perform extensive tender point assessment. Therefore, in 2010, the ACR simplified its criteria, eliminating tender point assessment, and changed the definition of fibromyalgia to an illness characterized by self-reported multiple painful regions and core symptoms such as such as fatigue, sleep disturbances and impaired cognition. In 2011, the ACR provided a self-report version for survey and clinical research purposes, thus spurring further testing of treatments for fibromyalgia. In December 2016, ACR released a further revision to the 2010/2011 criteria to reduce misclassification of regional pain disorders and improve diagnostic clarity. The 2016 modifications provide physician-based criteria for patient diagnosis and self-report criteria for research studies.

Although there are no definitive treatments for fibromyalgia, evidence indicates that lifestyle changes including relaxation, patient education, counseling, and exercise all improve symptoms and should therefore be an active part of any management program. In recent years, several promising drug treatments have failed in clinical trials, although companies such as Astellas, Daiichi Sankyo, Zynerba and SWITCHBIOTECH are pursuing new treatments for fibromyalgia. As awareness is raised and research studies continue, the contributing causes of fibromyalgia will be better understood and allow for the development of superior treatments. Najib Babul, PharmD, MBA

Alzheimer's Disease Year-in-Review 2016

Journey with me through this mini and wholly incomplete Alzheimer's disease 2016 year-in-review.

For the full post on LinkedIn, please see:

Does the 505(b)(2) Regulatory Pathway for NDA's Provide an Adequate ROI?

I have a post on LinkedIn where I share a few thoughts about the benefits and limitations of developing drugs using the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway. Hardly a week goes by without a pharmaceutical company expressing the desire to reap the benefits of developing a drug using the “505(b)(2) regulatory pathway”. What are 505(b)(2) new drug applications (NDAs) and do they really provide a meaningful advantage to pharmaceutical companies?

For the full post on LinkedIn, please see:


ALT Lab Equipment Celebrates Expansion to New Site

Congratulations to ALT Lab Equipment San Diego on their recent expansion to a 14,000 sq ft site at 6444 Nancy Ridge Dr! ALT is a great resource for local biotech startups looking for affordable refurbished lab equipment. Check out this article for more details. Want to see the facility and meet the staff? Join the ALT launch party and ribbon cutting November 30 at 4-6:30 pm.

CureMatch Makes the Xconomy List of San Diego Tech Startups to Watch in 2017

Congratulations to SDEE member, CureMatch, for being named one of Xconomy's 12 San Diego tech startups to follow in 2017! CureMatch Inc. is a startup company founded in 2015 and currently incubating at JLABS San Diego. They have developed a "decision support software platform" to assist physicians in selecting the optimal treatment for cancer patients. The program provides a personalized medicine approach to cancer patient therapeutics. 

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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.

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