TRANSPORT: TNC Category Created for New Ride Services
San Diego-area taxi companies plan to collectively protest new state regulations governing ride-sharing mobile applications.
BIOTECH: Buy Beefs Up BASF’s Enzyme Expertise
BASF SE’s purchase of San Diego-based Verenium Corp. represents a strategic play in the global race to acquire biotechnology assets in a quickly changing chemical industry.
HEALTH: Initial Trials Indicate Drink Improves Comfort After Surgery
San Diego-based BevMD Inc. has developed a preoperative beverage meant to keep patients comfortable in the hours before they go under the knife.
Biotech/Health Care Column
The folks at the West Health Institute offered an interesting analogy to explain how they plan to model their newly launched San Diego-based Center for Medical Interoperability Inc. — cable TV.
RETAIL: Plastic Bag Ban Being Considered; Business Input Sought
San Diego is on its way to joining some 80 other California cities in banning the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and retail outlets.
invest: Biotech IPOs Continue Their Impressive Showing
A boom year for initial public offerings by San Diego biotechnology companies is generating momentum that will buoy regional growth in that sector, industry stakeholders said. With four such IPOs executed in 2013 and two more on the way, mirroring a national trend, it’s been a boon that could help reverse a 13-year drought for investing in life sciences.
BIOTECH: San Diego Ranked Fifth in Q2 ’13, But Trend Is Up
There was an upsurge nationwide in life sciences venture funding in second quarter 2013, but San Diego hasn’t necessarily been a beneficiary.
BIOTECH: Companies Make Move From OTC To Big Stock Exchanges
Organovo Inc. has become a poster child for the penny stocks. The San Diego biotech recently traded up from the over-the-counter market and is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Biotech/Healt Care Column
As far as I’ve seen, University of Michigan finance professor Kai Petainen is the only one pointing out — in a contributed column in Forbes — that several top executives at Neurocrine Biosciences Corp. sold shares in the weeks and months preceding a major drop in the biotech’s stock price.
ENERGY: Popularity of Programs Depletes Funds
Many of the incentive programs that have helped California — and San Diego in particular — lead the nation in solar installation projects are quickly running out. Thanks to the stunning popularity of adding rooftop solar panels to homes and businesses, the incentive programs are being depleted of cash earlier than projected.
Biotech/Health Care Column
Chasing a lower cost of living for employees and benefitting from state tax incentives, American Specialty Health Inc. plans to move its headquarters from San Diego to Carmel, Ind., next year, the company announced recently. It will maintain its office in San Diego, which employs about 800, but move corporate operations to the Midwest — a region that CEO George Devries says offers “a more business-friendly climate.”
BIOTECH: Algae Products to Be First Used for Livestock, Pets
Triton Algae Innovations Ltd. recently received $5 million in Series A funding to continue developing nutritional supplements out of genetically modified algae that could help the stomach fend off viruses and bacteria.
FINANCING: Patients With High Deductibles Often Use the Service
The number of patient loans made by San Diego-based lender ClearBalance Inc. has grown 76 percent from last year as the number high-deductible health insurance plans increases.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine recently met in La Jolla to dole out $40.6 million to 13 research groups throughout the state — including about $12.7 million to San Diego researchers.
BIOTECH: After 20-Year Effort, Firm Must Switch Gears
San Diego pharmaceutical company Vical Inc. may be headed down a slippery slope, analysts said, now that Allovectin, its gene therapy vaccine for skin cancer, has failed in late-stage clinical trials. And it will have to produce results with its other developing vaccines to regain its footing and investors’ confidence.
Biotech/Health Care Column
Carlsbad-based Life Technologies Corp. just announced it has developed a test that quickly detects whether beer has spoiled. Unwelcome bacteria can impact the smell, taste and clarity of beer, and can be costly to brewers — or winemakers — that don’t catch a spoilt batch before bottling and distribution, said Nir Nimrodi, vice president and general manager of animal health and food safety at Life Technologies.
HEALTH: Systems Build For New Care Model and Increase in Patient Load
Kaiser Permanente has opened a new $32 million medical office building in Carmel Valley that it expects will serve more than 157,000 residents in North County — marking it the latest in a steady stream of ambitious health care construction projects in the region.
HEALTH: System Provides Solution to Controlling the Spread of Infectious Disease
Area researchers have teamed up with the Verizon Foundation to develop a smartphone app designed to help tuberculosis patients stick to their treatment regimens.
BIoTeCH: Reimbursement Issues Hurt Revenue Outlook
Sequenom Inc., a San Diego developer of genetic testing services, is laying off 75 employees — about 12 percent of its workforce — in hopes of trimming $10 million in annual expenses to offset lagging revenue, according to a regulatory filing.
HEALTH: Of Original ‘Pioneer 32’ ACOs, 23 Remain in Program
Sharp HealthCare is keen on moving forward with its Medicare Pioneer accountable care organization after breaking even in its first year. Sharp’s intentions are notable since nearly a third of the 32 Pioneer ACOs have recently dropped out of the government’s ambitious cost- cutting program for health care.
MEDICINE: Scripps Sees Partnerships as Key To Its New Proton Therapy
Scripps Health is talking with the University of California, San Diego and other health systems to recruit physicians and their patients for cancer treatment as it prepares to open its $225 million Proton Therapy Center in the fall.
San Diego-based Vical Inc.’s recent stock plummet is testament to how critical late-stage trials are for any drugmaker — and how costly a failure in the clinic can be. Shares plunged 57 percent after the company announced its melanoma treatment did not work.
INSURANCE: A Delay In Employer Mandate Is Welcome News to Some
The service industry is the main beneficiary of the recent announcement by the Obama administration that businesses will no longer face steep government fines if they don’t provide health insurance in 2014.
With the death of Duane Roth, CEO of Connect, the San Diego technology community has lost a passionate advocate, astute businessman, a mentor and a friend, those who knew him said.
BIOTECH: Drugmaker Focused On Rare Autoimmune Diseases
San Diego drugmaker aTyr Pharma Inc. will spend its $59 million in recent financing to hire more researchers, expand the company’s patent portfolio and bring a novel class of protein-based therapies to clinical trial. The company, which targets rare autoimmune diseases that have no approved treatments, also plans to expand its pipeline of drugs.
HEALTH: Qualcomm, Palomar Health Support The Software Research
A new medical technology incubator formed by executives from Palomar Health and Qualcomm Life Inc. aims to help software companies develop health care applications for wearable devices such as smart watches, implants and Google Glass.
HEALTH: Nascent Industry Is Seen As an Important Addition to Patient Care
Telemedicine may still be in its infancy, but it’s growing up fast. It could soon become a widespread reality among hospitals, businesses and the nation’s patient core, according to a panel that spoke at the San Diego Business Journal’s recent panel discussion, “2013 Technology Transforming Business: Telemedicine.”
PHARMA: Cubist Buys Trius, Optimer for Work on Antibiotics
Targeting a growing worldwide need for powerful new antibiotics, Lexington, Mass.-based Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. has acquired two biotechs with San Diego connections in a deal that could be worth up to $1.62 billion.
BIOTECH: A Private Placement Also Adds $20M to Firm’s Funding
Stock prices initially fluctuated for San Diego’s Ocera Therapeutics Inc. ever since its unusual reverse merger with Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Tranzyme Pharma Inc. The combined company is public and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol OCRX on July 16.
APPAREL: Boot Maker Fashions Efforts to Take Company to Next Level
Jane Pak’s office is an exercise in minimalism. A desk, a computer, little else. But the president of San Diego’s Old Gringo Boots Inc. has a few items on display that catch the eye — several shelves of bedazzled, gem-colored boots and her company’s credo hanging in plain view: “The Cowboy Code.”
INSURANCE: Aetna, United HealthCare Avoid Risks of That Coverage
The upshot of insurers such as Aetna Inc. and United HealthCare Services Inc. dropping out of California’s individual market is that it will have a minimal impact on businesses and their employees’ coverage, said Linda Keller, benefits practice leader for the California operations of brokerage Hub International Ltd.
There’s a lot of snake oil in stem cells. That’s according to Larry Goldstein, director of UC San Diego’s Stem Cell Program. He recently spoke of the dark side of human stem cell development at a California Healthcare Institute symposium at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, citing a recent controversy in Italy involving a company of dubious repute claiming it can cure fatal disorders with its stem cell therapies.
MEDICINE: Palomar Says Medi-Cal Changes to Blame
Palomar Health will close its Escondido-based skilled nursing center, saying that Medi-Cal cutbacks have rendered the 96-bed facility too costly to maintain for the financially beleaguered health system.
BIOTECH: Organovo Sees Big Market for Liver Tissue
Organovo Holdings Inc. has achieved another major milestone in its path toward commercialization — it’s off the OTC market and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
HEALTH: Telemedicine Targets the Inefficiencies Of Health Care Delivery
SPECIAL REPORT - TELEMEDICINE: The overcrowding of emergency departments has long been a major driver of the nation’s health care cost crisis.
HEALTH: Diagnostic Seen as Potentially Useful Tool in High Risk Groups
Nearly a quarter of all cases of autism could be detected with a simple blood test, according to San Diego-based Pediatric Bioscience Inc.
BUSINESS: Women Owners, Execs Succeed In Leadership Roles
Thirty years ago, Celia Hunter was one of only two women majoring in construction management at Oklahoma State University. She is now the founding CEO of a San Diego construction management firm, Hunter Pacific Group, which employs 28 and has had contracts ranging up to $1.3 billion.
BIOTECH: Allylix Is in Position to Prosper From Demand for Flavors
Business opportunity can come in some unwelcome ways. Citrus greening — a devastating worldwide disease for crops like oranges, grapefruits and limes — may prove beneficial for a San Diego developer of fragrance and flavoring agents.
RESEARCH: Firm Expects to Grow 35% This Year
It started as a door to door solo mission. In 1977, Roseanne Luth would walk from house to house, asking homeowners to fill out product surveys, organizing church assemblies to do focus group taste testing —tapping into the consumer’s psyche to learn what beer or detergent or radio station the market liked best.
Announcing positive clinical data can have a critical effect on a biotech’s stock value — as evidenced recently Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
RESTAURANTS: Gourmet Food Trucks Number About 50 and Growing in the County
For years, Francisco Moreno’s mother ran a taco truck. Now he is opening up his own. But unlike his mother’s, which served traditional Mexican fare, Moreno’s concept fits in with the burgeoning trend of gourmet food trucks that have been sprouting up around the country.
BIOTECH: Medicine Is Given Clean Shot While Avoiding Immune Responses
Cage-diving wiffle ball nanotechnology — that’s how Inanc Ortac, a graduate student at UC San Diego, describes his award-winning approach to cancer therapy. Ortac’s company, called DevaNano Inc., has developed miniature cages made out of silica — a component of glass — that encapsulates cancer drugs, rendering them safer in terms of preventing hideous side effects associated with cancer.
BIOTECH: Deal With J&J May Bring $1B; Spinout in the Works
Biopharma behemoth Johnson & Johnson’s deal for San Diego’s Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. could be worth up to $1 billion.
BIOTECH: Decision On DNA Patenting Lauded in the Industry
San Diego genetics testing company Pathway Genomics Inc. announced it will begin offering more affordable genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancers. This comes in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling that companies can’t patent naturally occurring portions of human DNA — but can, however, patent synthetic strands of DNA.
FOOD: Consumer Demand For Healthier Children’s Drinks Is Booming
A broccoli milkshake — sound appetizing? Perhaps not, but a San Diego company has found a way to incorporate broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots into an organic chocolate milk. The idea of Sneakz Organic Inc. is to hide a single serving of vegetables in an innocuous, kid-friendly Tetra Pak.
BIOTECH: CEO Reflects on Progress And Shares Future Plans
It’s been a pivotal year for San Diego’s Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company long-viewed as an underdog in the nascent RNA therapies space, said Founder and Chief Executive Stanley Crooke in a conversation previewing this week’s annual shareholder’s meeting.
Pharma partnering deals are money, as evidenced by San Diego-based Ambrx Inc.’s recent bevy of licensing deals that could ultimately help the company bring in almost $1 billion.
Right on the edge of the Interstate 805 is the latest addition to the sprawling Illumina Inc. campus: a spanking-new athletic complex and corporate amphitheater that seats 1,750.
PHARMA: Move Brings $65M Payment; Analysts Remain Cautious
San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently launched its much-anticipated weight-loss drug, Belviq — triggering a $65 million milestone payment from its marketing partner, Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co. Ltd.
TECH: Series A Funding Brings $5.3M To Local Startup
It’s hard to pinpoint how much, say, charging a laptop might add to a person’s utility bill. But, thanks to San Diego’s WeMonitor Inc., there’s an app for that.