Drugmaker Zogenix Inc. saw its value more than double over the weekend, so those following San Diego biotech might think the local company is making a comeback.
As the drugmaker’s market cap climbs toward $1 billion, Zogenix could be on its way to drug development glory. But the gains won’t be felt in San Diego.
That’s because the public company quietly closed its San Diego headquarters last year, and moved its main office to Emeryville, Calif. The company never announced the closure of its San Diego office, but a spokesperson for the company said the plan was put in motion in 2015 after the company sold its painkiller business. That year, Zogenix sold its drug program Zohydro ER to New Jersey-based Pernix Therapeutics in a deal worth $283.5 million. As part of that deal, some staff moved to Pernix and others connected to the painkiller business were laid off.
A spokesman for Zogenix said the layoffs were not reported to California’s Economic Development Department because the layoffs did not exceed 50 individuals, the minimum threshold for the EDD requirement.
After that deal went through, Zogenix shifted its focus from painkillers to drugs for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In 2016, the company closed its San Diego office permanently and moved its main operations to Emeryville, where the company had previously housed a satellite operation.
The company did not comment on why the Zohydro deal warranted a location change.
Last Friday, the company’s stock skyrocketed following news that the company’s new drug had performed well in patients. The drug, called ZX008, is meant to reduce seizures for Dravet syndrome patients. The company plans to seek regulatory approval for the drug next year.
The company’s stock (Nasdaq: ZGNX) closed at $38.90 on Monday, up 213 percent since Friday. Its stock was trading at $38.30 midmorning Oct. 3. If the company were still headquartered in San Diego, it would now be the sixth largest public drugmaker in the city based on the size of its market cap