Stories for February 2010

Friday, February 26

GlaxoSmithKline Deal May Mean $150M for Regulus

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has forged a deal with Carlsbad-based Regulus Therapeutics worth more than $150 million to develop drugs for treating hepatitis C.

SGIS Surpasses $100M in Revenue

SGIS, a San Diego-based government contractor, said its annual revenue last year passed $100 million, and was 13 percent greater than the revenue generated in 2008.

Thursday, February 25

USD Index Rises in January

The University of San Diego Index of Leading Economic Indicators continued its positive trend in January, rising 0.6 percent, with five of six index components showing gains.

Anadys, Shareholders Ponder Midstage Trial Results

Shares of Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc. plummeted in after-hours trading Feb. 24 after the San Diego biotech unveiled results of a small, midstage study testing its experimental treatment for hepatitis C.

California Community Bank Finishes Year With Loss, New Branch

California Community Bank, based in Escondido and with $220 million in assets, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $235,000, compared to a net profit of $112,000 for the like quarter of 2008.

Sempra Net Income Stays Flat

Sempra Energy reported Feb. 25 that it had fourth quarter net earnings of $288 million, down from net income of $319 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Wednesday, February 24

Acquisition to Boost Sempra’s Mexico Operations

Sempra Pipelines and Storage, a unit of Sempra Energy, said Feb. 24 that it will acquire the Mexican pipeline and gas infrastructure assets of El Paso Corp. of Houston for $300 million.

EvoNexus Elated at Startup Firm’s Funding

EcoATM, a business that makes self-service kiosks for the return and recycling of used electronics, has received an initial round of funding led by San Diego-based Tao Venture Capital Partners.

Tuesday, February 23

Executive Departs Illumina for Synthetic Genomics

Joel McComb, who served as senior vice president and general manager of Illumina’s $650 million life sciences unit, has left the San Diego-based genetic sequencing company to join Synthetic Genomics Inc. of La Jolla.

DJO Hits Production Milestone

DJO Inc., the Vista-based maker of prosthetic devices, announced Feb. 23 it produced its 1 millionth knee brace.

Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon to Follow New Course

The San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon on June 6 will finish this year at SeaWorld instead of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot as it had since the big race was started here in 1998,

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Gets $36.7M Support Deal

The U.S. Department of Defense said Feb. 19 that the U.S. Army has awarded Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a $36.7 million contract to support its drones.

Monday, February 22

La Jolla Bank Fails, OneWest Bank Takes Over

La Jolla Bank, the area’s third largest bank with about $3.6 billion in assets, failed on Feb. 19 and its 10 offices opened Feb. 22 as branches of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank.

Silvergate Bank Nearly Triples Net Income

Silvergate Bank in La Jolla reported net income of $1.8 million for 2009, compared to $636,000 for the prior year.

Executive Spotlight: Emilie Hersh

Focusing on executives in San Diego County.

Getty Grant Supports ‘Light and Space’ Exhibit at Art Museum

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has received a second $225,000 grant from The Getty Foundation. The funds are designated for the exhibition and accompanying publication, “Phenomenal: California Light and Space.”

Making the Case for Merging Municipalities

About a year ago, City Council President Ben Hueso was thinking of consolidating the city and county governments of San Diego similar to the city-county model used in San Francisco.

Postpone the Temporary Shutdown of Airport

Last summer, San Diego County published a plan to shut down McClellan-Palomar Airport on alternating weeks to accomplish the runway repair work they claim is immediately required.

Sales and Leases

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

San Diego People

New hires and promotions around San Diego County

New hires and promotions around San Diego County

Electronic Records Translate to Better Patient Care, Doctors Say

HEALTH CARE: Convenience, Reduced Errors Balanced By Privacy, Security Issues

In the near future, more medical practices in San Diego County are likely to adopt electronic systems of their patients’ medical records.

Medical Offices Get Up to Speed on Digitizing Paper Records

TECHNOLOGY: Feds Offer Financial Incentives To Make the Conversion

Encouraged by a federal incentive program, hospitals throughout the San Diego region are updating electronic medical records systems to reduce the potential for errors and cut their administrative costs.

CliniComp Tasked With Managing Military’s Massive Patient Data

DEFENSE: E-Documentation Technology Offers Access to Integrated Health Information

As taking care of the wounded warrior continues to be a key focus for the U.S. military’s health care facilities, managing the massive amounts of patient data has become an enormous task.

Health Care Systems Aligning for Automated Overhaul

TECHNOLOGY: E-Records Hold Promise for Improving Work Flow, Reducing Errors

Health care reform topics that continually surface in political and societal discussions touch on an aging population, a shortage of providers and specialists, skyrocketing costs and 45 million uninsured citizens.

Tax Collector Sets Property Auction for Feb. 26

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister is conducting a property auction at 9 a.m. Feb. 26 for 270 parcels that have been in default of their taxes for at least five years.

Series C Funding Arrives at Allylix

San Diego biotech Allylix Inc., which has developed a technology for using genetically engineered yeast to manufacture specialty chemicals for the food and flavor industry, said Feb. 10 that it has raised $6 million in venture funding.

Executive Profile: Ken Hughes

Ken Hughes is president of Spring Valley-based TV Ears Inc., a company that makes products to help people hear television better through speaker and headset systems that are designed to enhance the viewer’s understanding of the spoken dialogue on TV programs and movies.

Nonprofit Profile: The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to improve the quality of life within all of our communities by promoting and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy.

Tri-City Resists PPH Plans to Expand Grocery Store-Based Clinics

Palomar Pomerado Health, the North County operator of two hospitals and a string of medical centers, will look to grow its Albertsons-based walk-in clinics outside of the district’s 800-square-mile boundaries.

Bankers Don’t Expect Directive to Change Regulators’ Approach

The president wants the banks to lend more, as does Congress, and of course, all those creditworthy borrowers, some of whom have been declined, want that loan.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Tioga Pharmaceuticals Puts Together $18M in Financing

San Diego-based Tioga Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Feb. 17 it has raised $18 million in an equity financing that it will put toward late-stage testing of an experimental treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

MIR3 Works Behind Scenes At Vancouver Olympic Site

MIR3 Inc., a San Diego maker of software used to communicate across a broad array of devices, said BC Hydro, Canada’s third largest utility, adopted the service to ensure important message delivery during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. BC Hydro is the electric utility serving Vancouver.

Swing in Economic Index May Be Cause for Optimism

The San Diego economy may be turning the corner, based on the Feb. 11 report from the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego.

Same-Store Sales Slow Down, But Jack Keeps Building

Jack in the Box Inc. reported a net profit of $24.2 million for its first quarter ended Jan. 17, compared to a net profit of $28 million in the like quarter of 2009, the company said Feb. 17.

Hollis-Eden Changes Name: Now Harbor BioSciences

Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc., which fired its namesake founder Richard Hollis last year, is changing its name.

Removing Barriers to Green Movement Takes Unified Effort

CONSTRUCTION: Forum Panelists Encourage More Energy-Efficient Building

The need for green, environmentally friendly commercial and residential buildings is widely recognized by businesses and government, but the lingering recession has slowed the implementation of energy-efficient technologies.

Cadence Holds Off on Bringing Drug to Market

BIOTECH: FDA Raises Manufacturing Concerns During Routine Inspection

A manufacturing problem at a Mississippi plant has postponed Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s application to market an intravenous form of the popular painkiller acetaminophen.

Training Program for Veterans Gets $5M Grant

LABOR: Workers Interested In Life Sciences Careers to Benefit From Stimulus Funds

A new program aimed at recruiting San Diego’s military veterans to fill a demand for clinical laboratory technicians and other support staff for the biotechnology industry has received a $4.95 million boost in the form of federal stimulus dollars.

Sony Electronics Launches Line of 3-D Televisions

TECHNOLOGY: Company Conservative With Sales Projections for New TVs

You have to hand it to Sony. When it comes to moving aggressively with a new technology, the company generally comes at it with all guns firing at once.

Economic Bigwigs Scheduled to Give Important Talks

Money, money, money makes the world go round. And money, or the lack of it, is a featured topic in one two-day period coming up in San Diego.

Encore Capitalizing On Consumers’ Credit Card Woes

FINANCE: Company Reports Soaring Net Profits, Gross Collections

The recent trend in more consumers paying off their debt and getting their financial houses in order worries the folks at San Diego-based Encore Capital Group Inc., a collector of charged-off credit card debt.

Telehealth Network to Virtually Link Remote, Metro Caregivers Statewide

TECHNOLOGY: FCC Pledges $22.1M To Facilitate the Broadband Connection

A few years from now, hospitals and clinics serving patients in remote areas of San Diego County will be able to connect with major medical centers across the state.

Peering Through The Clouds

Advanced Technology Images the Earth

High-flying, unmanned spy planes have the media’s attention. Impressive as those aircraft might be, however, they are nothing without the specialized instruments that grab images to be transmitted back to the United States.

Stimulus Bill Helps Spur Demand for SBA Loans

FINANCE: Congress Considers Moving $30B to Small-Biz Lending Fund

While many banks are hunkering down, dealing with more problem loans, and being more careful about lending, lenders providing loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration are seeing increased activity.

Friday, February 19

Net Income Jumps at Gen-Probe

San Diego diagnostics company Gen-Probe reported a 14 percent jump in quarterly net income Feb. 18, led by strong sales of its test kits for influenza and sexually transmitted diseases.

CONNECT Association Names Three to Board

CONNECT has named Phil Jelsma, Bill Walton and Jim Waring to the CONNECT Association board of directors, the organization said Feb. 16.

Sheraton Carlsbad Sets Job Fair

The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is hosting a job far on Feb. 26 and 27 to fill 30 positions, the resort said Feb. 18.

Barney & Barney to Advise on Executive Compensation

San Diego-based Barney & Barney LLC has opened a compensation consulting practice, the insurance brokerage said earlier this month.

Thursday, February 18

Tax Collector Sets Property Auction for Feb. 26

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister is conducting a property auction Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. for 270 parcels that have been in default of their taxes for at least five years.

Despite Same-Store Sales Decline, Jack Keeps Building

Jack in the Box reported a net profit of $24.2 million for its first quarter ended Jan. 17, compared to a net profit of $28 million in the like quarter of 2009, the company said Feb. 17.

Hollis-Eden Changes Name to Harbor BioSciences

Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc., which fired its namesake founder Richard Hollis last year, is changing its name.

Wednesday, February 17

Tioga Pharmaceuticals Raises $18M

San Diego-based Tioga Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Feb. 17 it has raised $18 million in an equity financing that it will put toward late-stage testing of an experimental treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

Tuesday, February 16

Regents Bank Reports Seventh Year of Profits

Regents Bank, based in La Jolla and celebrating its ninth year, reported net profit of $1.25 million for 2009, up 3.64 percent from its 2008 net profits.

Monday, February 15

Only a Handful of Region’s Lenders Reporting Net Profits for 2009

As of early February, only four San Diego County banks had reported net profits for 2009. Thirteen others had announced net losses.

Encore Capital Finds Profit In Other Firms’ Bad Debts

Encore Capital Group Inc., a San Diego buyer and collector of bad credit card debt, reported fourth-quarter net income of $8.4 million and full 2009 net income of $33 million, compared to a 2008 fourth-quarter net loss of $2.1 million, and full 2008 net income of $13.8 million in a Feb. 9 announcement.

U.N. Designates Salvation Army a Leader in Haiti Relief Efforts

Kudos/Giving — Joyce Glazer

The United Nations has named The Salvation Army the “lead agency” responsible for the well-being of the Haiti earthquake survivors and to serve that community and have a prominent voice to communicate their needs of food, water, shelter and security.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Marco Thompson

TPG Leads $30M Funding Round for PatientSafe

San Diego-based PatientSafe Solutions Inc. said Feb. 8 it has closed a $30 million round of financing it will use to advance its platform technology for eliminating hospital-based medical errors.

Bio-Quant Successor Attracts $2.3M Investment

NexMed Inc., a specialty contract research organization that formed from the acquisition of San Diego-based Bio-Quant Inc. three months ago, said Feb. 9 it has raised $2.3 million in promissory notes from two investors.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Cuts Loss Dramatically in 2009

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Feb. 9 that it turned a profit in the fourth quarter compared with a year-ago period when it recorded a $72 million charge related to its purchase of New Jersey-based biotech Pharmacopeia.

It’s Time for CAVE Men, Women to Let Projects Get Under Way

Business in the North County — Ted Owen

The economy has been blamed for nearly everything. I imagine the Indianapolis Colts can say the economy stopped many of their fans from attending the Super Bowl. Consequently, they lost the game. For the New Orleans Saints, it was like a home game with more than half the stadium cheering for them.

Processes in Place to Notify Ex-Workers of Extended Cobra Benefits

An extension to the COBRA health benefits subsidy for laid-off workers caught some employment attorneys by surprise late last year, when the defense spending bill extended the time frame for former workers who qualify.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Jet Rhys Hair Salon, based in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, plans to celebrate the opening of a second location Feb. 16 in Solana Beach.

Airport Traffic News Is as Close as Your Browser

Flying out of Lindbergh Field will get more complicated beginning in March, as construction on the Terminal 2 expansion project gets going.

SG Biofuels Aims to ‘Green’ Transportation With Fuel From Shrub

ENERGY: Plant Product Could Be Competitively Priced With Existing Fuels

Kirk Haney is focused on the business of biofuels. Haney and his crew at Encinitas-based SG Biofuels are working on turning a Central American shrub called jatropha into the next cash crop for “greening” transportation around the globe.

Palomar Pomerado New Hire Primes for High-Tech Upgrades

HEALTH CARE: Veteran Nurse Preparing Workers for $917M Hospital in Escondido

Joy Gorzeman, a 30-year nursing veteran armed with a master’s degree in business administration, will help lead the charge as Palomar Pomerado Health prepares to open a $917 million hospital in Escondido.

Preserving Affordable Housing at Heart of Deal

REAL ESTATE: Nonprofit Is Selling Hotel to the Housing Commission for $12.2 Million

Two city agencies recently approved a deal to preserve one of the oldest single room occupancy hotels, the 130-room Hotel Sandford, through an unprecedented purchase/loan agreement.

With an Eye on Diseases, Company Grows Corneas in the Lab

BIOTECH: Stem Cell Corp. Pursues Alternative To Animal Testing

An Oceanside stem cell company that demonstrated it could grow a human cornea in a Petri dish has a business proposition it hopes will catch on with researchers testing products on live rabbits: use our cells instead.

Airport Traffic Delays Forecast as Building Project Begins

Flying out of Lindbergh Field will get more complicated beginning in March, as construction on the Terminal 2 expansion project gets going.

More Able to Afford Homes, Realtors Group Reports

The percentage of California households that can afford an entry level home was 64 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 61 percent for the same quarter in the prior year, according a California Association of Realtors report.

County Is Flying High in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Space

DEFENSE: GA Aeronautical Systems’ Reaper a Hot Commodity

Citing a greater need for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, the Pentagon is pushing for more unmanned spy aircraft in the sky at any one time, and plans to grow the number of missions by 75 percent by 2015.

Commercial Real Estate Woes Generate Business for Court

REAL ESTATE: Trigild, Douglas Wilson Adding Workers

The commercial real estate market is a mess and getting messier by the month, but local companies involved in the process of cleaning it up are enjoying the best of times.

Wind Power Industry Finds Financing Elusive

ENERGY: Region Is Home to 24 Companies in The Sector

Just like nearly every other sector, those involved in wind generation are finding money in short supply.

Multitude of Specialty Courses Guide Environmental Law Students

EDUCATION: Legislative Actions, Federal Support Advance Opportunities

Environmental law has been expanding since the 1960s, but rising concerns about climate change, protection of biodiversity and wildlife are expected to further increase demand for environmental lawyers in the future.

Varied Experiences Are Valuable Assets in Practicing Law

PROFILES: Seminary to Science Training Applies To Solving Complex Issues

When businesses and governments, from gas stations to water districts, face environmental problems and questions, they turn to San Diego’s environmental law community for specialized help.

Environmental Regulations Require Compliance, Litigation Expertise

LAW: EPA Stance on Health Impacts of Greenhouse Gases May Trigger Emissions Caps

Water regulations, greenhouse gas emission controls and litigation over alleged cancer-causing chemical exposure have given San Diego attorneys specializing in those areas plenty of work.

Lawyers Help Builders Decipher New Green Building Codes

CONSTRUCTION: Additional Support Also Available With Growing Water Supply Issues

Real estate owners and developers have huge challenges to survive one of the toughest economic times in the country’s history.

Sam Zell No Longer the Property Grave Dancer

According to an audience poll of attendees at the recent University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate forum on the state of the real estate market, only 5 percent of the approximately 700 people in attendance felt “suicidal” about the prospects for the commercial real estate market in 2010.

Sales and Leases

Sales and Leases

It’s All Over for Failed Down Under Eatery

Good night, mates. Bondi, the Australian-themed “bar and kitchen” that opened in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter with a big splash in 2006, has shuttered its doors, according to one of our far-flung correspondents.

Real Estate Roundup

Interior design and strategic planning firm ID Studios Inc. of Solana Beach has completed the interior design, furniture fixtures and equipment for Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s new campus in the East Village of downtown.

TPG Leads $30M Funding Round for PatientSafe

San Diego-based PatientSafe Solutions Inc. said Feb. 8 it has closed a $30 million round of financing it will use to advance its platform technology for eliminating hospital-based medical errors.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals Battling Deadly Infection

BIOTECH: Drug’s Peak Sales Might Hit $350 Million, According to Analysts

If San Diego drug developer Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc. succeeds in getting its experimental treatment for Clostridium difficile to pass muster with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it will be the first drug aimed at the potentially deadly bacterial infection to reach the market since the 1960s, according to Optimer.

County Is Flying High in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Space

DEFENSE: GA Aeronautical Systems’ Reaper a Hot Commodity

Citing a greater need for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, the Pentagon is pushing for more unmanned spy aircraft in the sky at any one time, and plans to grow the number of missions by 75 percent by 2015.

Commercial Real Estate Woes Generate Business for Court

REAL ESTATE: Trigild,

The commercial real estate market is a mess and getting messier by the month, but local companies involved in the process of cleaning it up are enjoying the best of times.

It’s All Over for Failed Down Under Eatery

Bondi, the Australian-themed “bar and kitchen” that opened in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter with a big splash in 2006, has shuttered its doors.

With an Eye on Diseases, Company Grows Corneas in the Lab

BIOTECH: Stem Cell Corp. Pursues Alternative

An Oceanside stem cell company that demonstrated it could grow a human cornea in a Petri dish has a business proposition it hopes will catch on with researchers testing products on live rabbits: use our cells instead.

Preserving Affordable Housing at Heart of Deal

REAL ESTATE: Nonprofit Is

Two city agencies recently approved a deal to preserve one of the oldest single room occupancy hotels, the 130-room Hotel Sandford, through an unprecedented purchase/loan agreement.

SG Biofuels Aims to ‘Green’ Transportation With Fuel From Shrub

ENERGY: Plant Product Could Be Competitively Priced With Existing Fuel

Kirk Haney is focused on the business of biofuels. Haney and his crew at Encinitas-based SG Biofuels are working on turning a Central American shrub called jatropha into the next cash crop for “greening” transportation around the globe.

Encore Capital Finds Profit In Other Firms’ Bad Debts

Encore Capital Group Inc., a San Diego buyer and collector of bad credit card debt, reported fourth-quarter net income of $8.4 million.

Airport Traffic News Is as Close as Your Browser

Flying out of Lindbergh Field will get more complicated beginning in March, as construction on the Terminal 2 expansion project gets going.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Cuts Loss Dramatically in 2009

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Feb. 9 that it turned a profit in the fourth quarter compared with a year-ago period when it recorded a $72 million charge related to its purchase of New Jersey-based biotech Pharmacopeia.

Bio-Quant Successor Attracts $2.3M Investment

NexMed Inc., a specialty contract research organization that formed from the acquisition of San Diego-based Bio-Quant Inc. three months ago, said Feb. 9 it has raised $2.3 million in promissory notes from two investors.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Only a Handful of Region’s Lenders Reporting Net Profits for 2009

As of early February, only four San Diego County banks had reported net profits for 2009. Thirteen others had announced net losses.

Processes in Place to Notify Ex-Workers of Extended Cobra Benefits

An extension to the COBRA health benefits subsidy for laid-off workers caught some employment attorneys by surprise late last year, when the defense spending bill extended the time frame for former workers who qualify.

Lawyers Help Builders Decipher New Green Building Codes

CONSTRUCTION: Additional Support Also Available With Growing Water Supply Issues

Real estate owners and developers have huge challenges to survive one of the toughest economic times in the country’s history.

Environmental Regulations Require Compliance, Litigation Expertise

LAW: EPA Stance on Health Impacts of Greenhouse Gases May Trigger Emissions Caps

Water regulations, greenhouse gas emission controls and litigation over alleged cancer-causing chemical exposure have given San Diego attorneys specializing in those areas plenty of work.

Varied Experiences Are Valuable Assets in Practicing Law

PROFILES: Seminary to Science Training Applies To Solving Complex Issues

When businesses and governments, from gas stations to water districts, face environmental problems and questions, they turn to San Diego’s environmental law community for specialized help.

Multitude of Specialty Courses Guide Environmental Law Students

EDUCATION: Legislative Actions, Federal Support Advance Opportunities

Environmental law has been expanding since the 1960s, but rising concerns about climate change, protection of biodiversity and wildlife are expected to further increase demand for environmental lawyers in the future.

Real Estate Roundup

ID Studios Completes Design for Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Sales and Leases

Sales and leases around San Diego County

San Diego People

San Diego people

U.N. Designates Salvation Army a Leader in Haiti Relief Efforts

The United Nations has named The Salvation Army the “lead agency” responsible for the well-being of the Haiti earthquake survivors and to serve that community and have a prominent voice to communicate their needs of food, water, shelter and security.

Sam Zell No Longer the Property Grave Dancer

According to an audience poll of attendees at the recent University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate forum on the state of the real estate market, only 5 percent of the approximately 700 people in attendance felt “suicidal” about the prospects for the commercial real estate market in 2010.

Wind Power Industry Finds Financing Elusive

ENERGY: Region Is Home to 24 Companies in The Sector

Just like nearly every other sector, those involved in wind generation are finding money in short supply.

Palomar Pomerado New Hire Primes for High-Tech Upgrades

HEALTH CARE: Veteran Nurse Preparing Workers for $917M Hospital in Escondido

In a move toward wireless, paperless health care, it’s sometimes the people behind the scenes who ensure that the big ideas turn into practical realities.

It’s Time for CAVE Men, Women to Let Projects Get Under Way

Business in the North County

The economy has been blamed for nearly everything. I imagine the Indianapolis Colts can say the economy stopped many of their fans from attending the Super Bowl. Consequently, they lost the game. For the New Orleans Saints, it was like a home game with more than half the stadium cheering for them.

Friday, February 12

Sempra Declares 39-Cent Dividend

Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric and other businesses, reported Feb. 12 its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend payment of 39 cents per share of common stock.

Cadence Hits Second Regulatory Setback

The FDA has again rejected San Diego drug developer Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s application to market an intravenous form of acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol.

MIR3 Works Behind Scenes at Olympic Site

MIR3 Inc., a San Diego maker of software used to communicate across a broad array of devices, said BC Hydro, Canada’s third largest utility, adopted the service to ensure important message delivery during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Thursday, February 11

Small Shifts in Economic Index May Be Cause for Optimism

The San Diego economy may be turning the corner, based on the Feb. 11 report from the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego.

Series C Funding Arrives at Allylix

San Diego biotech Allylix Inc., which has developed a technology for using genetically engineered yeast to manufacture specialty chemicals for the food and flavor industry, said Feb. 10 that it has raised $6 million in venture funding.

Wednesday, February 10

Bank’s Majority Owner Passes Away

Ernest Auerbach, who owned about 90 percent of First Business Bank, died Feb. 1. He was 93, according to several obituaries.

Encore Capital Turns Bad-Debt Business Into Profit

Encore Capital Group, a San Diego buyer and collector of bad credit card debt, reported fourth quarter net income of $8.4 million and full 2009 net income of $33 million.

Investors Put $2.3M Into NexMed

NexMed, a specialty contract research organization that formed from the acquisition of San Diego-based Bio-Quant three months ago, said Feb. 9 it has raised $2.3 million in promissory notes from two investors.

Tuesday, February 9

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Cuts Loss for 2009

Ligand Pharmaceuticals said Feb. 9 that it turned a profit in the fourth quarter compared with a year-ago period when it recorded a $72 million charge related to its purchase of New Jersey-based biotech Pharmacopeia.

State and Janitorial Service Reach Settlement

About 200 janitors of Tidy Building Services in San Diego and Los Angeles will be receiving checks ranging from $100 to $2,000 later this month for back compensation as part of a settlement between Tidy and the state labor commissioner’s office.

Sunrise Bank Emerges From Merger

Three banks in San Diego plus a fourth in Palm Desert that are majority owned by Capital Bancorp are merging together as one bank called Sunrise Bank after the California Department of Financial Institutions approved the combination last month.

Monday, February 8

Market Stabilization Brings Renewed Interest in High-End Homes

REAL ESTATE: Building Plans for Upscale Properties Begin to Gain Momentum

The market for high-end homes costing more than $800,000 has slipped since the end of the housing boom, but builders say there are increasing signs of a turnaround.

California Bank & Trust CEO Blames Net Loss on Securities Losses

California Bank & Trust, still San Diego’s largest locally based bank with $11 billion in assets, joined a crowded field of lenders reporting losses last year.

FDIC: Balboa Thrift Operating In Unsafe Manne

FINANCE: Chula Vista-Based Lender Disputing the Charges

Balboa Thrift and Loan, a $200 million asset lender based in Chula Vista, has been put on notice by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that it has been operating in an unsafe and unsound manner with policies that are detrimental to the thrift.

Ecke Family Helping Encinitas Grade School’s Garden Grow

Kudos/Giving

The Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas received a $30,000 grant from the Paul Ecke Jr. family to expand its existing garden. The school will receive $10,000 a year for the next three years, which will provide for a garden consultant and help create a comprehensive plan.

Executive Profile

With more than 25 years of commercial real estate experience, Chris Wood recently became managing director of Voit Real Estate Services’ San Diego region. Previously, Wood held executive positions with Opus West Corp., Trammell Crow Co., Colliers International and Charles Dunn Co.

San Diego People

Scott Dickey, chief operating officer of Competitor Group Inc., a media and event company in the endurance sports industry, has been appointed to the position of president. Dickey joined the board of CGI as a director with the company’s inception and then started full time in May 2008 as COO. He is also an operating partner of Falconhead Capital, CGI’s parent company. Prior to joining the company, Dickey served as the president of Transworld Media, the world’s leading sports media company and former division of Time Warner. Dickey has held other top executive posts at leading sports and entertainment entities, including three years as president and COO of Fotoball USA Inc.; at Disney Regional Entertainment, where he managed the development and launch of ESPN Zone; and at the National Basketball Association, leading the league’s consumer product marketing and sales initiatives.

American Technology’s Long-Range Plan Includes Name Change

TECHNOLOGY: Company Reports Soaring Sales for Its LRAD Acoustic Devices

American Technology Corp., a San Diego business that’s a leader in the field of directed sound products and technologies, may soon have a new name.

News in Brief

San Diego County Credit Union, the area’s largest with $4.8 billion in assets, said Feb. 4 that President and CEO Irene Oberbauer announced her retirement to focus on her health.

Prometheus Makes Deal to Sell Skin and Kidney Cancer Drug

A deal struck with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG will allow San Diego-based Prometheus to begin selling skin and kidney cancer drug Proleukin in the United States.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Jerome’s Furniture Inc., a locally based furniture retailer, said Feb. 1 that it plans to open its sixth store in Murrieta. The store will occupy 40,000 square feet formerly used by Levitz Furniture at 24410 Village Walk Place. Levitz filed for bankruptcy in 2007.

Biomedical Industries Facing Multiple Threats

BIOTECH: Issues Combine To Pressure Sector Growth

California’s biomedical industry experienced modest job growth during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the state stands to lose some of its grip on the biomedical industry unless it can continue to attract high-paying jobs and fund innovation, according to a new report issued by the La Jolla-based California Healthcare Institute. For San Diego, home to the third largest cluster of biotechnology companies in the U.S., the implications of this trend could have a profound effect, according to local industry leaders.

Plan for Broadway Landing Park Challenged By Activists

DEVELOPMENT: Proposed Plaza Near Expanded Cruise Ship Terminal at Issue

A design for a public plaza at the foot of Broadway and Harbor Drive is at the center of an appeal challenging the Port of San Diego’s plans for the site.

Scripps Health Issues $220M in Revenue Bonds

HEALTH CARE: Nonprofit Upgrading Infrastructure, Building Facilities

Scripps Health, currently in the middle of a building spree intended to bring its aging health care facilities up to date while accommodating future population demands, sought help financing its projects through the public markets last week.

Conference Focuses on Methods to Combat Cyber Attacks

DEFENSE: Military Also Uses Social Networking Sites; Seeks Private Sector’s Help

The creative and destructive power of the Internet emerged as a major topic of the West 2010 military conference, sharing the stage with more time-honored topics such as ships and naval strategy.

S.D. Companies Race to Build Gene Machines

BIOTECH: Cost Effective DNA Sequencing Within Sight

Technology contenders in the race to decode a person’s entire genetic makeup for less than $1,000 have been making gains in recent months, signaling that the finish line isn’t far ahead.

CONNECT Goes to Washington

Supporting Innovation, Organization Takes Up Lobbying

Most high-tech entrepreneurs and innovators don’t have time to put on a tie and sit through a three-hour meeting about policy issues in Washington, D.C. They are too busy creating the next generation of digital mobile applications and lifesaving health care products, and creating jobs for the new innovation economy. There has not been a strong voice or presence in the nation’s capital to represent these innovators, who neither have the money nor bandwidth to lobby or educate representatives on their needs and interests — until now.

Real Estate Roundup

Erickson-Hall Construction Co. has completed a new $4.5 million science building for El Cajon Valley High School, a reaction to the increased student enrollment for the school. The single-story, 14,610-square-foot building was completed at the end of last year, on time, and on budget.

Security Business Bancorp Takes a Loss for Quarter

Security Business Bancorp, parent of Security Business Bank of San Diego, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $215,000, and a full year net profit of $118,000 in a Feb. 8 press statement.

Event Explores the Power of Wind Energy

Experts in the fast-evolving field of wind power will speak Feb. 10 during the CleanTECH San Diego Showcase.

Airport Traffic News Is as Close as Your Browser

Flying out of Lindbergh Field will get more complicated beginning in March, as construction on the Terminal 2 expansion project gets going.

PatientSafe Closes $30M Funding Round

San Diego-based PatientSafe Solutions Inc. said Feb. 8 it has closed a $30 million round of financing it will use to advance its platform technology for eliminating hospital-based medical errors.

LEED Gains Status as County Doubles Up on Energy-Efficient Projects

CONSTRUCTION: Rating System Awards Regional Credits for Water Conservation

Getting a building LEED-certified is becoming an increasingly common pursuit in San Diego, as the long-term financial benefits of having an energy-efficient building gains popularity.

Architectural Beauty Resonates Best When Rated Highly By Peers

DESIGN: Five Local Buildings Praised for Their Exemplary Form

Architects are perceptive critics — when it comes to judging other people’s work. The San Diego Business Journal asked five local architects to choose a favorite building that was recently constructed in San Diego County and explain why it is successful.

Details Wedged Between Design and Development Get Hammered Out

CONSTRUCTION: Building Rules and Market Demands Shape New Communities

When it comes to designing a project, the development is in the details — that’s what the architects of three of San Diego’s largest projects say. Whether it’s the Quarry Falls project in Mission Valley, Del Sur on Black Mountain Ranch, or the Merriam Mountains project in San Marcos, the measure of the big picture comes down to the thousands of words of details.

Green Has Arrived as New Standard for Constructing Buildings

ENERGY: Environmentally Friendly Code Changes Call For Strict Enforcement

Updated building energy-efficiency standards were adopted by the California Energy Commission last month, after two years of hammering out the details of their requirements.

Unified Communications Enables Connectivity

If an enterprise wants the ability to collaborate whenever and wherever, it is going to have to adopt the idea that social media and unified communications, or UC, are really one in the same. The problem every enterprise faces is what differentiates social media from unified communications and how UC can help efficiency in the business. To shed some clarity on this subject let us start with the definition of unified communications.

Battle Over Legal Reform Goes on Offense

Reforming our legal system is one of the most overlooked, yet powerful and effective ways California lawmakers can help small businesses grow and local economies thrive. Now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recognizes that legal reform is integral to helping businesses flourish and create jobs.

Billionaire’s Next Investment Strategy: Scouting Apartments

SDBJ Insider

Chicago-based billionaire and real estate investor Sam Zell, who got out of the business at the height of the market back in mid-2007, was in town Jan. 29 to offer insights about commercial real estate and the economy.

Sales and Leases

Ken Altman bought 21 acres of residential land located on Circle R Drive for $560,000. The seller, Howe Family Trust, was represented by Coldwell Banker-Vail Ranch. Matt Weaver, Patrick Miller and Steve Bruce of Lee & Associates-North San Diego County represented the buyer.

Friday, February 5

BofI Reports Record Net Profit

BofI Holding Inc., parent of Bank of Internet USA, reported record net profits for its second quarter ended Dec. 31 of $5.5 million, compared to net income of $2.7 million for the like quarter of 2008, the company said Feb. 4.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals Product Shows Promise Against Competitor

San Diego biotech Optimer Pharmaceuticals said Feb. 4 that its experimental drug for treating the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” Clostridium difficile outperformed the only FDA-approved treatment in keeping the illness from recurring in a late-stage study.

Coronado First Bank Grows, Finishes Year With Loss

Coronado First Bank reported a fourth quarter net loss of $728,000 and a full year net loss of $1.7 million due to large provisions required for surging problem loans, the bank said Feb. 4.

Thursday, February 4

Credit Union Chief to Retire

San Diego County Credit Union, the area’s largest with $4.8 billion in assets, said Feb. 4 that President and CEO Irene Oberbauer announced her retirement to focus on her health.

G2 Receives SPAWAR Deal

G2 Software Systems Inc. said Feb. 3 that it received a contract from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific to produce command and control technologies.

Wednesday, February 3

Bay Front Land Swap Crosses First Hurdle

A land exchange between the Port of San Diego and developer Pacifica Holdings was approved by the Board of Port Commissioners Feb. 2, opening the way for the construction of a hotel and 1,500 condominiums.

Tuesday, February 2

Scripps Health Takes Cancer Fight to the Courts

Scripps Health said Feb. 2 it has entered into a sponsorship agreement with the San Diego State University men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Leap Wireless Considering a Merger, Reports Say

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego parent of flat rate cell phone carrier Cricket Communications Inc., may merge with longtime competitor MetroPCS Communications Inc., according to several reports, including one from The New York Times on Feb. 1.

San Diego Trust Bank Stays Profitable

San Diego Trust Bank reported fourth-quarter net income of $198,000, compared with $112,000 for the like quarter of 2008, on Feb. 2.

Chula Vista’s Vibra Bank Reports Smaller Losses

Vibra Bank, which opened in July 2008 in Chula Vista, reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $184,000, compared with a net loss of $571,000 for the like quarter of 2008, on Feb. 2.

Fitch Puts Sempra on Downgrade Watch

Fitch Ratings put San Diego’s Sempra Energy on a negative credit watch downgrade Feb. 2 because of the uncertainty surrounding the operation and ownership of its joint venture trading unit, RBS Sempra Commodities, which is 51 percent owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Air Canada to Expand Service From Lindbergh

Starting in June, local passengers can fly nonstop to Toronto from Lindbergh Field via Air Canada, according to a Feb. 2 announcement from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the agency that operates the airport.

Monday, February 1

Accenture Submits Bid to Beef Up Security in Cyberspace

TECHNOLOGY: IT Consulting Firm Seeks to Land Contract With Its Dynamic System

As the federal government calls for more help with the vexing problem of cybersecurity, Accenture is bidding for more work.

2010 Bank Failure Rate Might Mirror Last Year

Another five banks failed for the week ended Jan. 22, with federal regulators shutting down lenders in Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon. Last year, the FDIC pulled the plug on 140 institutions but it has stated that this year the number of failures should increase.

Jewish Family Service Gala to Honor People With Heart, Soul

Kudos/Giving — Joyce Glazer

Alberta and Charles Feurzeig will be honored at the annual Heart & Soul Gala of Jewish Family Service of San Diego. The event is set for March 6 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

San Diego People

Don W. Starkey, one of San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch” in 2008, has joined Union Bank, N.A., as a vice president and senior relationship manager for the Corporate Banking Group.

Executive Profile: Stacy L. Fode

Stacy L. Fode is a partner and attorney at Brown Law Group, a boutique business litigation law firm specializing in employment law.

Neither Rain, Nor Bolts’ Loss Can Hinder Entrepreneurial Spirit

Business in the North County — Ted Owen

The recent San Diego Chargers’ playoff loss and torrential rains have not dampened the entrepreneurial spirit in North County.

New CEO to Oversee Big Changes at Sharp Chula Vista Hospital

These are trying times for the hardiest of chief executives, especially those running health care facilities that have been tested by reimbursement delays, seismic building requirements and the uncertainty surrounding the future of health care reform.

Is 2010 the Time To Launch That New Business?

SDBJ Insider — Tom York

Maybe this announcement will help fine-tune your idea for a new business startup in the new year? The Tech Coast Angels is promising bigger and better things in 2010, which includes its new bimonthly mixers for entrepreneurs and would-be angels.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Leading off this week’s compilation of news from around San Diego County: Marc Duvall was named president of Goodrich Aerostructures, one of the city’s largest employers with 1,900 local workers.

News in Brief

Torrey Pines Bank, based in Carmel Valley, reported that its 2009 net income, excluding its Partners First credit card division, was $5.53 million.

Burnham Institute for Medical Research Gets $50M, New Name

NONPROFIT: Gift Helps Provide New Equipment for Researchers, Seed Funding

There’s a new name attached to the nonprofit La Jolla biomedical hub formerly known as the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

Port Provides Extra Rent Relief For Tenants

FINANCE: Agency Collected $85.5M in Rent Revenue in Its Last Fiscal Year

With the economy still in the dumps, the Port of San Diego, the agency that oversees the tidelands of San Diego Bay, is extending a rent relief program aimed at helping some of its tenants experiencing difficulties.

Venture Funding May Start Returning to Nanotechnology

BIOTECH: Attention on Life Sciences, Health Care Applications Spur Industry

Venture funding in nanotechnology may have peaked in 2008, when a record $1.4 billion was poured into startups tinkering with a variety of applications by manipulating matter at the smallest of scales.

UC San Diego Looking to Establish a Law School

In a move intended to establish a law school at UC San Diego, faculty and administrators with California Western School of Law and UCSD have formed a joint committee tasked with exploring ways of affiliating faculty, attracting students and financing a public law school.

Losses Mount as 1st Pacific Bank Posts Restated Q3 Results

FINANCE: Bank Seeking $15M in Capital as It Delists Stock

1st Pacific Bancorp, parent of 1st Pacific Bank of California, reported that it had to restate its third quarter financial results because of its deteriorating loan portfolio, and changed an earlier reported $2 million loss to a net loss of nearly $16 million.

Critical Part Of Chargers’ Financing Deal Out of Play

SPORTS BIZ: NFL’s Stadium Loan Program Has Run Out Of Money, League Says

As the city begins figuring out whether a downtown site for a San Diego Chargers stadium next to Petco Park is feasible, a key component of the proposed financing deal has evaporated.

Seacoast Reports Loss, New Divisions Launched

Seacoast Commerce Bank, based in Chula Vista, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $2.6 million, and full 2009 net loss of $4.9 million, primarily from higher reserves in response to increasing problem loans, and startup costs for two new lending divisions, according to a Jan. 30 report.

Civic Leaders Launch Battle Against Internet Crime

More than 100 civic leaders met last week to raise a bulwark against Internet crime.

Tease photo

Iconic Local Architectural Firms Merge

Economy, Desire to Broaden Service Offerings Drive Deal

Two long-established San Diego architectural firms are joining forces with the goal of emerging from the current recession as a stronger and more versatile company.

Tease photo

Military Reinforces Lines of Defense on Computer Front

TECHNOLOGY: Local Arena Plays Large Role in Protecting Against Enemy Cyber Attacks

Increasingly, the U.S. military has to watch its back against hackers.

Blocking Cyber Criminals Becomes Boon for Local Business

TECHNOLOGY: Defense Mechanisms Adapt to Changing Onslaught of Malicious Activity

In an era of a global cyber society where people interact on the Internet on a daily basis, computer security increasingly occupies the minds of business owners and government leaders, from threats such as identity theft to worms and viruses, loss of sensitive information and other malicious activity.

Maintain, Expand California’s Enterprise Zone Program

Commentary — Dan Dufresne

Maintain, Expand California’s Enterprise Zone Program

Reverse Big Government Trend in Time of Crisis

Commentary — Gary London

Reverse Big Government Trend in Time of Crisis

Groundbreaking: Mar Vista High School, Sweetwater Union High School District

Upgrades planned at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach include the construction of a 4,452-square-foot building to house a food sales area and provide a meeting place for the Associated Student Body.

Sales and Leases

Sales and Leases

Real Estate Roundup

Leading off this week’s compilation of real estate news: Barnhart Inc. is being awarded a $15 million contract to provide construction management services on the North City Campus Education Building for the San Diego Community College District.