VC firm sets up digs in new domain

Early stage life sciences investor Domain Associates has relocated its West Coast office to be nearer the action. Domain this month relocated from Orange County to San Diego County.

Partners in the office include Robert More, who last year moved from Princeton, N.J. – the firm’s East Coast headquarters – to the San Diego area. Another Domain partner, Eckard Weber, lives near downtown San Diego

But rather than moving to make the partners’ commute more convenient, the attraction was obviously to get closer to the biomedical industry growing in San Diego, which has drawn more interest from venture investors in recent years. For example, the biotech corporate giant Amgen Inc. opened a $100 million fund based in San Diego, called Amgen Ventures, in 2004.

Just last week, Domain and a host of other investors took part in the $54 million Series B funding of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based developer of drugs, such as pain-killers, for hospital use. And in January, Domain and other investors backed Carmel Valley, Calif.-based Ocera Therapeutics with $14.5 million in a Series A round.

In all, Domain says it has invested in more than 40 San Diego County-based companies.