San Diego Business Journal

Irwin Jacobs Stresses Business Need for Strong Cultural Climate

WORKFORCE: Qualcomm Co-Founder Also Calls For Improving Education

Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Irwin Jacobs has spoken out in support of a push by local biotech company CEO Philip Low to get mayoral candidates to present proposals for improving San Diego’s entrepreneurial climate.

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Bright Ideas Win Race For Cash

FINANCE: Local Biotech Leads Investment Pack Despite VC Challenges

Even amid a risk-averse investing environment, there’s always money available for the most innovative drug and medical device ideas, said Joseph Panetta, CEO of the San Diego-based life sciences trade group Biocom.

Diagnostics Firm Moves To San Diego

Applied Proteomics Inc., an emerging diagnostics company focused on protein analysis, said recently that it relocated its corporate headquarters to San Diego from Glendale and appointed veteran diagnostic developer Peter Klemm as its first CEO.

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Locals Land Spot on Prestigious U.S. Health System Ranking

HOSPITALS: PPH and Scripps Health Standouts In Performance Report

Two local health systems, Palomar Pomerado Health and Scripps Health, were named to a list of the best-performing health care groups in the nation, based on a data analysis by New York-based business information company Thomson Reuters.

CEO: Innovation a Key Mayoral Issue

STARTUPS: Stimulating New Business Is Goal of Petition

The City of San Diego needs to step up its game if it wants the brightest graduates from UC San Diego and other universities to grow companies locally

EvoNexus Raises Its Profile, But Doesn’t Lower Standards

INCUBATOR: Downtown Expansion Seeks to Foster A ‘South of Market’ Vibe

For every 15 startups that apply to be part of San Diego’s nonprofit EvoNexus incubator, 14 are turned away, said Kevin Hell, the pro-bono chairman of EvoNexus and former chief executive of local software firm DivX Inc., which was bought out in 2010.

Company Sees a Profitable Path in Personalized Medicine

BIOTECH: Life Makes Key Hire to Head Its Diagnostics Business

Life Technologies Corp. wants to stake a claim in the burgeoning personalized medicine space.

Illumina vs. Roche, The Takeover Tango

BIOTECH: CEO Flatley to Shareholders: Hold Tight

All eyes in San Diego’s life science industry are on Illumina Inc. The La Jolla-based genetic analysis company is the target of a $5.7 billion hostile takeover bid from Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG.

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Amylin’s Once-Weekly Diabetes Drug Is Approved

MEDICINE: It Will Be in Pharmacies This Month; Huge Sales Are Predicted

Third time’s a charm for San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.

S.D. Leads Region in Biotech Jobs; Growth Predicted in 2012, ’13

LIFE SCIENCES: Local Firms To Hire 2,770, Biocom Report Says

Few people know more about the local biotechnology industry than Joe Panetta. But the leader of the San Diego-based life sciences trade association was quite surprised by the results of his group’s first economic impact report.

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UC San Diego Health System to Buy Nevada Cancer Institute

Health Care: Federal Court Approves the Sale of Bankrupt Center

UC San Diego Health System announced that it will move forward with its planned purchase of the private nonprofit Nevada Cancer Institute, a 142,000-square-foot treatment and research facility in Las Vegas that recently filed for bankruptcy.

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Former Olympian Sees Gold In the Protein Drink Market

BEVERAGES: Uses Patent Strategy to Protect Firm’s Carbonated Concepts

Health and fitness have played major roles in David Jenkins’ life, for as long as he can remember.

New Company Helps Patients Take Home Testing to Heart

MEDICINE: Convenient Monitoring an Option for Those on Blood Thinner

In 2002, business partners Tim Cady and Mark Howard capitalized on the growing need — and desire — among people with diabetes to test their blood glucose levels at home.

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Firm Creates New Business Driver

TECHNOLOGY: Big Rig Ultracapacitor Hits the Road

The energy-storage business at Maxwell Technologies Inc. continues to drive sales in a big way for the San Diego-based company

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Genetic Sequencing Is Major Force in Local Life Sciences Scene

BIOTECH: Successful Companies Draw More Talent, Startups to Area

What keeps San Diego County’s biotech cluster churning? Some industry observers say that success is simply in its DNA.

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SkinMedica Adds Mineral Makeup To List of Patient Care Specialties

ACQUISITION: $10M Cosmetics Brand to Be Marketed to Physicians

Carlsbad’s SkinMedica Inc. is getting into the mineral makeup action.

Company’s Oil-Field Services Arsenal Employs New Weapon

BIOTECH: Enzyme Removes Filter Cake And Is Biodegradable

Filter cake is in the crosshairs at industrial biotech company Verenium Corp.

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FDA, Firms Work on New Approval Paths

HEALTH CARE: Predictable Process for Device Makers Goa

The head of the Food and Drug Administration’s medical device unit stopped in San Diego last week for a series of one-on-one meetings with some of the area’s largest device makers

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UCSD System Seeking Northern Exposure

HEALTH CARE: Increasing Market Share a Goal of Branding Campaign

The UC San Diego Health System, which operates hospitals in Hillcrest and La Jolla, has launched a major branding campaign in a move to grab more market share in North County

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Local Executives, Investors Drawn To Bay Area Health Care Event

CONFERENCE: Companies’ Performances And Products in Spotlight

Executive offices were empty last week at many of San Diego’s biotechnology and health care companies as CEOs flocked to San Francisco for the 30th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Elevation Raises $32 Million for Aerosol Version of COPD Drug

MEDICINE: Therapy Aimed at Sickest 20% Of Those Afflicted

San Diego-based startup Elevation Pharmaceuticals Inc. has raised $32 million in a second round of financing that will help the company advance its lead product candidate, an aerosol therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Isis a Partner in $299M Drug Development Deal

BIOTECH: Biogen Idec Aims to Bring Treatment For Disorder to Market

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it has entered into agreement with biotechnology giant Biogen Idec of Weston, Mass., to develop and commercialize an investigational drug for a rare genetic disorder

Meritage Pharma Buyout Deal Could Top $90 Million

Pennsylvania biopharmaceutical company said that it would pay millions — possibly more than $90 million — to acquire Carmel Valley-based Meritage Pharma Inc

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Santarus Files FDA Application, Buys Drug Rights

MEDICINE: Company To Post Profit for 2011; Outlook for 2012 Is Good

While many San Diego companies were taking it slow in the weeks leading up to 2012, Carmel Valley-based biopharmaceutical firm Santarus Inc. was taking action on plans to expand its product portfolio.

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Quidel Corp. Gains FDA Clearance for 2 Diagnostic Tests

HEALTH CARE: Both Are Part of Firm’s New Molecular Product Line

San Diego-based Quidel Corp. said the Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s first two molecular diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.

Big Pharma Buys La Jolla Startup For Up to $310M

BIOTECH: Drug-Development Company’s Exit a Good Sign For Venture Funding Climate

One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical players, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., is gobbling up La Jolla-based drug-development company Intellikine Inc

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Social ‘Solutioning’ Site Is About Beating Addiction

TECHNOLOGY: Apps Provide Support, Tools For Addicts, Caregivers

A Solana Beach company founded by a former venture capitalist who almost died from drugs and alcohol has raised $7 million in funding

Treatment Centers Aim to Cut the Surgery Out of the Picture

HEALTH CARE: Firm Finds Nonsurgical Way To Ease Back Problems

It’s not every day that you hear a surgeon extol the benefits of not having surgery. But that’s what you’ll get if you to talk to Kamshad Raiszadeh

Cash Is Drying Up for Young Biotechs Going to the ‘Well’

BIOTECH: The Lack Of Funds for Innovation May Damage Field

Money doesn’t come easy for life science startups in San Diego, said David L. Gollaher

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Green Energy to Make Some Big Local Connections in 2012

ENERGY: Soitec Factory, Powerlink, Smart Meters Part of Clean-Tech Efforts

Renewable energy has a starring role in the story of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. in 2012.

Tiny Devices Propel the Rising Popularity of Self-Tracking

How well did you sleep last night? Did you get enough exercise today? Consumers are increasingly turning to tiny, noninvasive personal health gadgets that track the body’s biometric information and then provide an objective, quantitative answer.

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ACCOUNTABLE!

HEALTH CARE: ACOs Aim to Lower Costs, Improve Quality of Care for Medicare Patients

One of the most-discussed provisions of the federal health care reform law is going into effect, turning the concept of an accountable care organization into a business reality for at least one major health system in San Diego.

Meritage Pharma Buyout Deal Could Top $90M

A Pennsylvania biopharmaceutical company said Dec. 22 that it would pay millions — possibly more than $90 million — to acquire Carmel Valley-based Meritage Pharma Inc., which is developing a drug to treat a rare disease that causes an allergic inflammation of the esophagus.

Solar Energy Firm To Set Up Shop in Rancho Bernardo

MANUFACTURING: Soitec to Invest $150M In Building, Upgrades

Soitec Solar Inc. has finally found a home for its massive San Diego solar-panel factory. The company said on Dec. 15 that it will purchase a 176,000-square-foot industrial building on nearly 15 acres of a Rancho Bernardo business park, where it has the space it needs to potentially double its production capacity.

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Stroke of Genius?

TECHNOLOGY: Achates’ New Diesel Engine Geared To Increasing Efficiency

Achates Power Inc. has developed a new kind of diesel engine that’s lighter weight and more fuel efficient than conventional diesel engines used in cars and trucks today — and because it has fewer parts, the engine is as much as 15 percent cheaper to produce, said the company’s co-founder and chief scientist, James Lemke.

Firm Seeks Sweet Smell of Success in Flavor, Fragrance Industry

BIOTECH: Allylix Has Raised $15 Million in Venture Funding Since ’05

Allylix Inc. has carved out a promising niche in the $20 billion flavor and fragrance industry by focusing on a class of organic chemicals called terpenes.

Humana Acquires Local Firm

Publicly held health care company Humana Inc. said that it acquired San Diego-based Anvita Inc., a company that specializes in analyzing health care data for pharmacy benefits managers, health insurance plans and other customers.

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HEALTHY COMPETITION

HEALTH CARE: Technology To Help Local Hospitals Lower Costs, Get More Business

At Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, everyone’s talking about the robotic wonder.

Qualcomm Makes Big Move Into Mobile Health

TECHNOLOGY: Seeks To Play Key Roles for Medical Device Makers

Qualcomm Inc. is putting more of its weight in the burgeoning wireless health space.

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Electric-Car Rental Fleet Drives the Green Scene

GREEN: Car2go Launches Its Local Car-Sharing Service

Car2go N.A. LLC rolled out its fleet of 300, emissions-free Smart cars in San Diego on Nov. 18 as part of an on-demand car-sharing service that Mayor Jerry Sanders said will solidify the city’s standing as the nation’s electric vehicle capital.

Company’s Process Puts Waste To Work as a Clean Energy

GREEN: AdaptiveArc Is Moving Its R&D Facility to Otay Mesa

In cities around the world — and especially in highly populated developing nations — two key problems persist: “An overabundance of garbage and an extraordinary need for energy,” said Kris Skrinak, president of AdaptiveARC Inc.

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Amazon.com For Science

BIOTECH: Small North County Firm Works to Transform Pharmaceutical Research

For the travel industry, there’s Expedia. For music, it’s Apple Inc.’s iTunes. For books, there’s Amazon.com.

Local Biotechs Focus on Blood Tests for Cancer

HEALTH CARE: Region A Hotbed for Circulating Tumor Cells Research

Cancer diagnoses usually require an invasive biopsy, with doctors using a needle or knife to remove sample cells from the suspected tumor. It’s effective, but painful.

Cadence Gives Its Drug a Big Shot in the Arm

MEDICINE: $75M Stock Sale to Further The Reach of Ofirmev

Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company focused on uses in the hospital setting, said it plans to sell $75 million of stock to raise money to expand the reach of its only product — an injectable acetaminophen drug called Ofirmev — and for other corporate purposes.

Amylin Primed for Partner to Replace Ties With Eli Lilly

BIOTECH: ‘Amicable’ Split Opens Doors to Controlling Diabetes Drug

Analysts have been upbeat in the wake of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Nov. 8 announcement that it would be cutting ties with its decade-long partner Eli Lilly and Co. and taking on full control of its promising exenatide diabetes drug franchise.

Consortium Set to Share Space, Ideas, Inspiration

RESEARCH: Stem Cell Facility Brings Together Scientific Powerhouses

The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine will open its $127 million collaborative research building on Nov. 29, bringing together five major local biomedical research organizations to search for cures using stem cell science.

$7M in Venture Funding Can Go Long Way in Growing Startup

HEALTH CARE: Infusion Boosts Perminova’s Plans to Expand Software Business

Perminova Inc., a startup that makes Web-based software for cardiac centers, has raised $7 million in venture capital to grow the company’s product offerings and expand its customer base beyond the two major hospitals it already serves.

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Company’s Bags Have Designs On Protecting the Environment

RETAIL: Fashion and Function Converge for Eco-Friendly Bag Maker

You don’t have to be “a long-haired, unshaven hippy” to embrace an Earth-friendly lifestyle, said Belinda Coker, founder of the San Diego-based reusable bag company Envirosax LLC and its Australian parent company.

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SELLING POINT

MARKETING: Chase Offers Small Businesses a Stage For Increasing Their Sales

As economic recovery looms, banks see promise in small businesses and are heavily courting their accounts by offering easy online banking tools

Personalization Helps Banks Retain Customers

Innovation: Tailored Services Key to Fostering Loyalty; ‘Sticky’ Is Good

Online bill pay, mobile banking apps and remote check deposits are among the myriad of tech-driven bank services that make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their cash. But those same services also serve a different function; they make it harder for a bank’s customers to take their money elsewhere.