San Diego Business Journal

Whistleblower Laws Call for Sound, Clearly Defined Policies

LAW: Proliferation of Lawsuits Emphasizes Scope of the Problem

A tidal wave of new lawsuits claiming retaliation against so-called whistleblowers has been hitting business owners in recent years.

Shire Names New President of Regenerative Medicine Unit

BIOTECH: Ireland- Based Company Prepares For CEO Switch in April

A dramatic changing of the guards is taking place at Shire of Dublin, Ireland, and its local Regenerative Medicine business as top leaders move into new roles or exit the company.

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Website’s Services Are All About Getting You Moving

SERVICE: Planning a Move Is Made Much Easier for Customers

Local moving companies such as Bekins Moving Solutions and Manpower Movers are jumping on board with a revolutionary service offered by Unpakt that compresses the arduous task of planning a move into one convenient website.

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Envoy’s Team to Join Takeda’s Local Forces

BIOTECH: Buy Puts Resources, Region Behind Promising Efforts

La Jolla-based Takeda California Inc., with its connection to Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, should be able to take the recently acquired Envoy Therapeutics’ technology to the next level.

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Epic Brings New Tools to Cancer Detection

MEDICINE: Efforts Aim to Target Treatment, Aid Disease Management

Even in a challenging economic climate, San Diego startup Epic Sciences has been able to access private, venture capital and government financing to advance its work in developing diagnostics that could be used to detect and guide treatments for many types of cancer.

The Public Joins Pharma Players Backing Regulus

BIOTECH: IPO to Boost Firm’s Pioneering Work in MicroRNAs

Local biopharmaceutical firm Regulus Therapeutics Inc. has the ability to delve deeper into development of therapeutics that target microRNAs with $80.9 million raised in the only life-sciences initial public offering in San Diego this year.

Scripps Adds Food Firm’s Selections to Its Wellness Recipe

HEALTH: FITzee’s Healthful Fare Targets Discriminating Tummies

Scripps Health is helping its employees and patients meet the challenge of making healthy choices by introducing vending machines provided by locally based FITzee Foods Inc.

SDG&E’s Smart Grid Can See in the Dark

ENERGY: During Outages, It Finds Problems, Solutions

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. is flexing its “smart grid” technology to speed up the detection of power outages and the restoration of electricity to customers.

For Banking Exec, Each Step on Career Path Is an Education

FINANCE: At NNB, Her Expertise Helps Underserved Clients

What began as a banking job after high school turned into a lifelong career for Rebecca Humphries, whose 26 years in the business has led to a top executive position at Neighborhood National Bank.

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Alternative Loan Products Provide Options to Borrowers

FINANCE: Borrowers Can Expect Shorter Terms, Higher Interest Rates

Tightening banking regulations coupled with a restrictive lending environment has some businesses turning to alternative means for accessing cash quickly such as hard money lending and factoring.

Financial Services Delivered With Laser-Focus

FINANCE: Firms Use Expertise in an Area To Draw Custome

Several local financial services firms have discovered that a “less is more” strategy is one of the best ways to distinguish themselves from their corporate counterparts and tailor services to their customers’ needs.

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Life After a Long Career in Banking Is Just as Rewarding

CAREERS: Two Former Bankers Pursue Different Paths

The end of the line in a banking career could mean a fresh start in fulfilling roles as two local go-getters can attest.

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Little Things Count in NICU Upgrades

HEALTH: Environments Are More Soothing, Private

Families have the opportunity to spend more quality time with their newborns as area hospitals make privacy a priority when upgrading their neonatal intensive care units.

Hospitals Exchange Information to Improve Regional Health

HEALTH CARE: Beacon Project Facilitates the Sharing of Medical Records

One by one, health care organizations from across San Diego County are banding together on an information technology platform to make the vision for improving coordinated care a reality.

Promising Diabetes Therapy Moves Toward Clinical Studies

BIOTECH: Treatment May Replace Need For Insulin Injections

Local biotech ViaCyte Inc. intends to use its recent $10.1 million award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to push forward its cell replacement therapy for diabetes to clinical trials.

Isis Experimental Cholesterol Drug Moves to Next Step With FDA

HEALTH CARE: Panel Notes Sufficient Safety For High-Risk Patients

Data linking Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s experimental cholesterol drug Kynamro to benign and cancerous tumors couldn’t dissuade a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel from recommending approval of the treatment.

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Pfenex on the Trail of a Better Anthrax Drug

BIOTECH: Government Wants Longer Shelf Life; $2.2M Deal Could Grow

Since 2001, when the U.S. Senate and national news organizations were attacked with mail containing anthrax spores causing several deaths and many illnesses, the threat of anthrax being used for bioterrorism has given the government enough concern to take precautions against a reoccurrence.

Qualcomm Helps Adapt Smartphones for Blind Users

Qualcomm Inc. is stepping up the functionality of smartphones with the introduction of the RAY mobile device for blind and visually impaired people.

Trius May Have a Heavyweight Contender for Infection Fight

BIOTECH: Market For Antibiotic Is Huge; Trials are Progressing

Sorrento Valley-based Trius Therapeutics Inc. is cultivating tedizolid, a treatment for acute bacterial infections such as skin infections, as one solution to the growing concern over antibiotic resistance and the need to find effective replacement drugs.

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Group Puts Care Into Selecting Medical Sites

HEALTH CARE: Access Is A Key Factor in Expansions

Lots of expansion is under way for the Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group as it prepares to open a nearly 70,000-square-foot medical center downtown and sets its sights on leasing almost 30,000 square feet of space at the remodeled Flower Hill Promenade shopping center in Del Mar.

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In Innovega’s Eyes, Screens Look Like Something From the Past

TECHNOLOGY: Contact Lens Provides a High-Def, 3-D Visual Platform

By bending the rules and stretching the imagination, Innovega Inc. has been able to conceive, design and develop an unconventional display and interface that could bring a rich media experience to consumers and data-gathering tools to the military.

Blood Test May Aid in Diagnosis of Depression

MEDICINE: First-in-Class Diagnostic Uses Biomarkers

Ridge Diagnostics Inc. is on the cusp of a major breakthrough as it prepares for the commercial launch of the first clinically acceptable blood test to aid psychiatrists and physicians in diagnosing major depressive disorder.

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Sequenom Marks 1-Year Launch of Blood Test to Detect Fetal Abnormalities

BIOTECH: Tests Provide Early Diagnosis For Expectant Mothers

San Diego-based Sequenom Inc. has reason to celebrate one year after its commercial launch of the MaterniT21 Plus, a prenatal blood test to detect fetal chromosome abnormalities.

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Arena Sees Its Obesity Drug as ‘Just the Beginning’

BIOTECH: Targeting of Receptors Seen as Way To Fight Many Diseases

If Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s future looks bright because of the recent approval of its Belviq, a potentially blockbuster drug to treat obesity, there’s opportunity to shine even more with continuing research and development around G protein-coupled receptors.

Senomyx’s Flavor Ingredients Approved by the European Union

Senomyx Inc.’s flavor ingredients are gaining acceptance abroad as its four initial Savory Flavors and S2383 flavor ingredient recently received regulatory approval in the European Union.

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New MRI Center Is Ready to Deliver Diagnoses

MEDICINE: Navy Puts State-of-the-Art Scanners to Work

Naval Medical Center San Diego’s new MRI Center comes equipped with four high-powered scanners that step up imaging capabilities to ultimately offer faster and more accurate diagnoses of disease and injury.

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Scripps Opens New Front in Cancer War

HEALTH: Center Brings Accurate, Faster Treatments

A $43.9 million radiation therapy center recently opened by Scripps Health promises to step up the delivery of cancer treatment with state-of-the-art equipment that offers greater precision and speed.

CareFusion Buys Brazilian Respiratory Care Company

BIOTECH: Acquisition Expands Firm’s Presence In High-Value Market

Global medical technology company CareFusion Corp. of San Diego is expanding its presence in Latin America with the recent acquisition of Intermed Equipamento Medico Hospitalar Ltda. in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

NeuroGeneration Tackles Parkinson’s

BIOTECH: Stem Cells May Help Brain Illnesses

A San Diego presence and collaborations with local industry, academia and pharmaceutical firms may go a long way toward advancing Los Angeles-based NeuroGeneration Inc.’s ambitious Parkinson’s disease research efforts.

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Putting a Price on Good Health

HEALTH: Investment In Employee Wellness Pays Off for Companies

Wellness program providers can substantiate financial returns as incentives for corporations to get on board with health-wise activities but equally important motivators include improving workplace culture, increasing staff productivity, and maintaining a recruiting and retention tool.

Pharma Giant Builds Bridge to New Firms

BIOTECH: Centers to Offer Support and Collaboration

Johnson & Johnson is setting the stage for providing scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with easier access to its experts by forming innovation centers in dynamic life sciences communities in California, Boston, London and China.

Program Assesses Risk, Offers Guidance for Healthy Living

INSURANCE: Chat With Coach Can Identify Goals

An alternative to for-profit corporate wellness programs is available through Sharp Health Plan, a wholly owned unit of Sharp HealthCare that operates as an independent nonprofit organization.

Wellness Programs Shape Bodies, Attitudes and Teams

HEALTH: Firms Control Insurance Costs and Create Camaraderie With Plans

Several local companies participating in corporate wellness programs are seeing the payoffs, not only in the form of stabilized health insurance costs but also in improved physical well-being of their staff and the intangibles of better teamwork.

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Glucose Monitoring System Could Be a Game Changer

BIOTECH: Device May Offer Long-Term Implantable Option

Commercialization of an implantable glucose monitoring system for diabetics is looking more viable as Sorrento Mesa-based GlySens Inc. reports positive results from testing in humans and prepares for a larger scale study to begin late next year.

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Backing Biotech Innovation

BIOTECH: Two Firms Capture Huge Share of Region’s 2nd Quarter VC Dollars

Two companies emerged with the majority of venture capital investments among the $167.9 million invested in San Diego’s biotech sector in the second quarter of 2012.

MediciNova’s Drug Trial Addresses Methamphetamine Dependency

MEDICINE: Effort Brings Real-World Conditions to Test

Locally based MediciNova Inc. is collaborating with UCLA and the National Institutes on Drug Abuse to test the effectiveness of one of its lead compounds in treating methamphetamine dependency.

Decades Old UCSD Research Yields Novel Dermatological Product

SCIENCE: Company Employs Proprietary Technology for Skincare

Two local biotech executives have joined forces to launch a science-based skin care product through their firm Senté Inc., which was formed in 2007.

Attorney General Eyes Health Systems

MEDICINE: Industry Leaders Face Contradictory Pressures

Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare are among a group of health care organizations under scrutiny by the California attorney general’s office as to whether growing consolidation among hospitals and doctor groups is pushing up the price of medical care.

Scripps Mercy to Open $1.3M Outpatient Center

The new Woltman Family Infusion Center, an outpatient service of Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, is expected to begin offering cancer care and treatment of other health conditions by October.

Imaging Healthcare Specialists Upgrades Encinitas Site

Imaging Healthcare Specialists Medical Group Inc. is reopening a state-of-the-art medical imaging center in Encinitas.

Bastyr University Opens Campus in Sorrento Valley

Bastyr University, which claims to be the largest accredited university for natural health arts and sciences in the U.S., is expanding on its Kenmore, Wash., campus by opening locally at 4106 Sorrento Valley Blvd.

Diabetic Drug Company to Expand Operations in Sorrento Mesa

MEDICINE: Dermagraft Approved by Canada for Foot Ulcer Treatment

The pending introduction of Dermagraft, a treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, to the Canadian market is providing room for Shire Regenerative Medicine to grow its local operations.

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New Insulin Pump Delivers on Design

BIOTECH: Sales Effort to Push User-Friendly Device

After five years spent developing the t:slim Insulin Pump, San Diego-based Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. has begun shipping the product to customers.

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European Solar Manufacturer Scaling Up

CLEAN-TECH: Everest Chooses Oceanside for Global Expansion

K2 Systems of Germany is expanding its solar mounting systems manufacturing operations locally with the opening of its U.S. division, Everest Solar Systems LLC, in Oceanside.

OncoSec Secures Chinese Patent

A patent recently issued to San Diego-based OncoSec Medical Inc. offers the company potential to expand its commercial opportunities for minimally invasive and surgical procedures to treat solid tumors in China.

Celladon Corp.’s Therapeutic for Heart Failure Advances

Encouraging results from a Phase 2 trial are creating momentum for San Diego-based Celladon Corp.’s Mydicar, a first-in-class therapeutic for the treatment of advanced heart failure, as it enters a Phase 2b clinical trial.

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For Solar Firms, It’s All About Positive Energy

GREEN: Projects, Outreach Build Companies’ Reputations

San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power is among the top installers of California Solar Initiative projects in San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s territory along with locally based Borrego Solar Systems Inc. and SolarCity of San Mateo.

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New Health Center Will Help Meet Needs of Newly Insured

MEDICINE: Clinic Came Together Quickly After Receiving Grant

The new King-Chavez Health Center is bringing additional services to the community in a timely fashion as reform legislation expanding health insurance coverage is set to kick in.

Sharp Expands Hospice Services Into South Bay

HEALTH CARE: Aim Is to Fill Unmet Need In Homelike Setting

Sharp HospiceCare is expanding its hospice home offerings into the South Bay with the recent purchase of a 1.1-acre property at Valley Vista Road in Bonita.

Dataskill to Acquire Staffing Innovations

Dataskill, a San Diego-based business intelligence and predictive analytics company, is acquiring Staffing Innovations for an undisclosed price as part of an aggressive plan to capture local talent in business intelligence and big data analytics.

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