In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news:
- Durham-based Chimerix looks to raise $150 million for drug development
- Jawbone sues Fitbit – again
- Spotify raises $115 million to fight Apple
- Tesla’s SUV is coming soon
- RTP-based TransEnterix looks to raise money for robotic surgery system
- Chimerix looks to raise $150 million
Durham-based Chimerix plans to raise $150 million through a stock offering.
The move comes after the company says it recently reached a “major milestone” in registering some 450 people for a Phase 3 clinical trial of a proposed drug to treat infection in bone transplant patients.
- Jawbone files 2nd lawsuit against rival Fitbit
Fitness tracker maker Jawbone has filed its second lawsuit in two weeks against competitor Fitbit.
The complaint filed Wednesday says that essentially all of Fitbit’s products violate patents belonging to Jawbone, and asks the court to stop Fitbit from making and selling those products. Jawbone wants a jury trial to resolve the issue, and it is also seeking compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, and other payments if the court deems them appropriate.
Fitbit, based in San Francisco, said it will defend itself against the lawsuits. It said its products are independently developed and that the company has more than 200 patents and patent applications.
In late May, Jawbone filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in San Francisco saying Fitbit and a group of employees who quit Jawbone to work for Fitbit stole trade secrets, business plans, market research, and other information.
Both companies make watch-sized devices that capture fitness data like how many steps a wearer takes and estimate how many calories they are burning, how far they’ve traveled, and how long they’ve been active. Some of them also capture heart rate and running speed and sleep duration and quality, among other things. They can be synced up with smartphone apps.
- Spotify gets investment as it faces competition from Apple
Music streaming company Spotify said Wednesday it has gotten a new investment from a Nordic telecoms company as it looks to compete globally, particularly with a rival service that Apple is due to launch this month.
Swedish operator TeliaSonera is paying $115 million for a 1.4 percent stake, which would value Spotify at about $8.2 billion.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Spotify offers free streaming music and a premium service for a monthly fee that lets users listen to music offline and without advertisements.
It says it has over 20 million paying subscribers, and another 55 million who use a free version of the streaming music service. It has over 30 million songs with over 20,000 added each day.
It is seeing increasing competition, however, with Apple launching its Apple Music streaming service at the end of June.
Though Spotify has managed to grow its revenue, it remains unprofitable. In 2014, the unlisted company increased its revenue by 45 percent to $1.3 billion but booked a $197 million operating loss.
- Musk says Model X SUV will be delivered in 3-4 months
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that the company expects to start deliveries of its new SUV, the Model X, in three or four months.
Musk also told investors at Tesla’s annual meeting that the company plans to let some drivers start testing an autopilot feature at the end of this month.
The Model X will be Tesla’s third vehicle since the company was founded 12 years ago. Currently Tesla makes one car, the Model S sedan.
Tesla originally planned to put the Model X into production in 2013, but has delayed it several times to work on technical issues. Musk said he’s test- driving the Model X now and is pleased with its progress. He said the company is focused on making sure key features, like the Model X’s wing-like doors and its sliding rear seats, are working properly.
“It’s got to be a genuine improvement in utility and aesthetics,” he said.
Tesla began 2015 with 20,000 reservations for the Model X. The company plans todeliver 55,000 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs this year.
- TransEnterix plans to raise funds for product rollout
Fresh from filing for product approval of its SurgiBot robotic surgery system with the FDA, RTP-based TransEnterix says it now plans to raise capital for product rollout through a stock offering.
How much the company plans to raise was not disclosed although it has filed for up to $100 million through a so-called shelf offering.
Tech news site xConomy reported that TransEnterix would raise $50 million.