ENERGY: Regulatory Push Is Seen as Vital; Technical Focus Is on Basics
A refurbished research agreement between La Jolla-based Synthetic Genomics Inc. and Irving, Tex.-based ExxonMobil Corp. is reflective of the many challenges ahead in bringing algae-based renewable biofuels to market.
MEDICINE: Cost Fluctuations, Actual Payments Hard to Decipher
Recent data from Medicare shows that hospital costs differ significantly across the country — and that health care billing in San Diego happens to be on the higher end.
BEVERAGE: Suja Juice Assembles Right Recipe For Success in the Sector
The rapid growth of San Diego’s Suja Juice Inc. is testament to the trendiness of juicing — tapping raw vegetables and fruits for belly-flushing cleanses.
MEDICINE: UCSD Surgeons, Firm Develop Corrective Magnetic Rods
Implanted, growing magnetic rods — they sound like something out of a sci-fi movie.
BIOTECH: PwC Reports Q1 2013 Drop In Dollars and Deals
Lumena Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based manufacturer of liver disease drugs, recently secured $23 million in Series A financing.
BIOTECH: Funding Allows Firm Flexibility for Development
In rapid succession San Diego’s Ambrx Inc. has received sizable payouts from sizable drug companies, most recently penning a cancer drug development deal with New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb.
HEALTH CARE: Clinic Interior Promotes Healing; ‘Not Just a Decorating Job’
San Ysidro Health Center is using what’s called evidence-based design to inform the renovation of its new three-story clinic and urgent care center in Chula Vista — and streamlining health care in the process.
It’s been a busy few weeks for San Diego’s biotechs. Acquisitions, partnership payouts and a number of IPOs are in the works—all signs that the sector, somewhat sluggish post-recession, is picking up its pace.
HEALTH: Software Fills An Important Need, Reduces Medical Error
Patients are often shuttled from physician to physician, resulting in a quagmire of confusing medical records when they’re generated at different sources. This can lead to medical error, if doctors aren’t given a comprehensive account of a patient’s history at the get-go.
HEALTH CARE: Firm Doubles Employment in Its Qualcomm Life Unit
One of the hottest buzzwords of health care reform is the ACO — the accountable care organization. San Diego’s Qualcomm Life, the health sciences subsidiary of telecommunications giant Qualcomm Inc., has made a bold move to enter the ACO space — by acquiring San Diego IT company HealthyCircles Inc.
ENERGY: Oberon’s Units Produce Fuel On-Site, Using Local Sources
A San Diego clean energy company is making strides in changing the way power plants are set up — by making them modular.
BIOTECH: Former Canadian Firm Developing BPH Treatment
Sophiris Biosciences Inc.’s story is one of immigration and, in a way, the pursuit of the American dream: It’s a Canadian-turned-American pharmaceutical company that’s using its newfound San Diego base to restructure and ramp up development plans for its drug that treats prostate enlargement.
HEALTH: Bankrupt Facility Will Still Be Used as Hospice
A heated auction in federal bankruptcy court last week culminated in Scripps Health making a winning $16.55 million bid for San Diego Hospice’s eight-acre Hillcrest property.
Social networking helps patients with life-threatening conditions find both valuable information and peer counsel — and drug companies are finding these forums highly useful in developing clinical trials and treatments.
MEDICINE: Venture Will Find and Further Promising Research
In a unique deal that will create and bankroll 10 new San Diego drug companies, La Jolla investment firm Avalon Ventures has teamed up with British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc to funnel up to $495 million into new startups over the next three years.
BIOTECH: Carlsbad Facility Plans to Open Field to Citizen Scientists
Kevin Lustig has an eye for slogans. He’s the CEO of what he calls “the Amazon.com of biotechnology,” and his latest venture is opening “the world’s largest garage laboratory.”
RESEARCH: Biotech Innovations Are Fueling Cosmeceutical Competition
A handful of San Diego companies are competing in the lucrative high-end skincare market, using a grounding in real science to produce and promote their beauty wares.
INSURANCE: Policies Are An Attractive Job Benefit, But Can Be Complicated
Employers continue to explore long-term care insurance to pad their benefits packages, in large part to attract and retain key talent. This is because long-term care insurance can be a boon to employees who foresee caring for aging family members, or who want to protect their own assets as they age.
A group of pharmaceutical heavy hitters recently convened in San Diego for the annual meeting of industry trade group PhRMA. The roster included National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, Eli Lilly and Co. CEO John C. Lechleiter, and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, among others.
BIOTECH: Massachusetts Firm Offers $76 Per Share
In a deal that outpaced analysts’ most generous estimates, Life Technologies Corp. will be acquired by Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. for a resounding $13.6 billion.
TECH: Software Allows Real-Time, Secure Collaborations
The drug development landscape is in flux, with pharmaceutical companies making in-house cuts and outsourcing their research to independent firms, called contract research organizations.
BIOTECH: Firm Organizes Workspace To Foster Collaboration
The key growth strategy for San Diego drug developer Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. is to … not grow. At least, not grow too much.
MEDICAL DEVICES: Firm’s Strategies Include Targeting Other Conditions
Mick Farrell, the new CEO of San Diego’s ResMed Inc., thinks the market is ripe for growth for his company’s devices that treat sleep-related breathing disorders. In an interview, he weighed in on the direction he plans to take the company, which was founded by his father, Peter Farrell, in 1989. Mick Farrell took the helm of ResMed on March 1.
RESEARCH: Local Firms, Scientists Already Researching
The new BRAIN Initiative, recently announced by the White House as an effort to comprehensively map brain processes, has a cadre of backers in San Diego and could have important implications on brain research locally.
BIOTECH: New Office Will Expand DSM’s Move to Biofuel
Exactly one year after it purchased $37 million worth of food processing and oil extracting assets from San Diego-based Verenium Corp., Netherlands-based Royal DSM N.V. has christened a new outpost in Sorrento Valley.
MEDICINE: Aim Is To Regenerate Affected Regions of the Brain
The Carlsbad-based International Stem Cell Corp. is making strides in developing a cure for Parkinson’s disease, a devastating degenerative brain disorder most common in the elderly.
MEDICINE: Clinics Provide More Basic Treatments, Referrals
Sharp HealthCare has teamed up with MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark Corp. Sharp physicians will now help oversee patient treatment in the 10 walk-in medical clinics that are located in CVS pharmacy stores around San Diego County. They are designed to be highly accessible: They’re open seven days a week and in the evenings, and patients can be seen without an appointment.
Health Care Column
San Diego recently hosted the 2013 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, attracting thousands of brain researchers from around the country. Several San Diego companies made key announcements during the conference, including San Diego’s International Stem Cell Corp.
MEDICINE: Firm Is In 16 Countries, Expects To Expand to Asia
One of Southern California’s largest contract research organizations Synteract Inc. recently doubled in size after acquiring Munich, Germany-based Harrison Clinical Research Group GmbH. The move has formed a new multinational company called SynteractHCR, with headquarters in Carlsbad.
HEALTH: Firms Look for Ways to Integrate Systems
More than $30 billion could be saved each year in health care costs by improving the way that medical devices and health care systems communicate, according to a new analysis from San Diego’s West Health Institute. Hospital rooms have multiple medical devices from various manufacturers, and coordinating data from so many sources into one electronic medical record can be both costly and complicated.
BIOFUEL: Commercialization Is First Big Deal for Green Crude
It might just seem like a drop in the bucket — but San Diego-based Sapphire Energy Inc.’s first steps to commercialize its algae-based crude oil speaks volumes.
HEALTH: Competition For Primary Care Physicians Is Fierce
Large health care providers in the county are bracing for an influx of new patients, as the Affordable Care Act comes into full effect next year.
HEALTH: Alliance Is Formed With Large Medical Records Firm
San Diego’s Pathway Genomics has been ramping up its presence in the field of personalized genomics, as evidenced by its most recent collaboration with Practice Fusion Inc., a San Francisco-based electronic health record developer.
BIOTECH: Carlsbad Firm’s Sequencing Work Stokes Suitors’ Interest
Media reports continue to circulate that Life Technologies Corp. is in play for possible acquisition. As the San Diego Business Journal reported in January, global investment firm KKR & Co. and Boston pharmaceutical company Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. are still said to be among the top contenders for a takeover of the $10.7 billion life sciences company.
As evidenced by the recent closure of San Diego Hospice, coordinating end-of-life care can be a tricky business. All around the country, hospices are increasingly facing scrutiny from Medicare as federal regulators bore in to cut costs in an overtaxed health care system.
MEDICINE: Local Firms Tackle Market Worth $50B in 2011
A seminal breakthrough in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a rare and devastating disease, began with a crack team of scientists at San Diego’s Aurora Biosciences Corp. This is a critical example of how private companies have begun to successfully, and profitably, target rare diseases with what are called “orphan drugs.”
BIOTECH: PUR Gets A Good Head Start With Histogen’s Technology
Before it became a leading hair-loss treatment, Rogaine was used to lower blood pressure. Scientists found, however, that in addition to controlling blood pressure, the drug made patients markedly hairier.
MEDICINE: Move Encourages Investors, Increases FDA Contact
A drug treating methamphetamine addiction from San Diego pharmaceutical company MediciNova Inc. has been fast tracked for review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
BIOTECH: Life Technologies Test Would Evaluate Cells Usefulness
It’s costly and time-consuming to gauge whether stem cells are actually able to perform in a lab setting, and transform into other kinds of cells — but Life Technologies Corp. is developing a series of tests to make it easier.
HEALTH: Study Found That 80 Percent Were Covered
In a fractured health care market, hospitals struggle to find ways to recoup the heavy costs of treating the uninsured. But San Diego’s Sharp HealthCare has pioneered a simple approach to increase its rate of insurance reimbursements, resulting in $5 million regained — through a 90-second quiz.
MEDICINE: Ajinomoto to Expand Pharmaceutical Efforts
Japanese food additive maker Ajinomoto Co. has made its first major foray into the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry by purchasing San Diego’s Althea Technologies Inc. for about $175 million.
HEALTH: Wireless System Is Tailored to Clinical Needs
Palomar Medical Center has recently deployed a new wrist-worn device developed by San Diego’s Sotera Wireless Inc. that allows clinicians to continuously and remotely monitor their patients’ well-being.
WORKFORCE: More Demand, New Regulations Are on the Way
Many businesses are approaching staffing agencies to hedge against the uncertainties associated with the Affordable Care Act, said Gary van Eik, CEO of San Diego-based TriStaff Group.
Synthetic Genomics Inc. in La Jolla has launched a new, wholly owned subsidiary called SGI-DNA that will allow customers to request custom sequences of DNA, and the company will synthesize the molecules for them.
HEALTH CARE: Worker Counts Determine Employer Health Insurance Costs
A 29-hour work week. That’s the upshot for many employers in the hospitality business who are planning ways to curb costs associated with health care reform.
San Diego-based wireless health developer GreatCall Inc. has partnered with Palo Alto’s Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems Inc. to develop and market a new line of mobile telehealth products.
HEALTH: Levy on Revenue Is Seen as Job Killer by Industry
Several San Diego firms are lobbying to repeal the medical device tax, a recently enacted levy that will raise funds as part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
HEALTH: Peter Farrell Steps Down; Search Leads to Son
Peter Farrell, founder, chairman and longtime CEO of San Diego-based medical device manufacturer ResMed Inc., is stepping down from his post and will be replaced by his son, Mick Farrell. The move will become effective March 1.
HEALTH: Bond Rating Stable, But Need to Boost Cash Flow Is Emphasized
Costs of operating a new hospital took a toll on Palomar Health’s bottom line. The startup expenses associated with the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, which opened in August of 2012, placed the health system deeper in the red than expected, but its bond rating remains stable, according to a recent report from Fitch Ratings. Four sizable bonds were rated BB+.
HEALTH: Firm Crafts Personal Touches for Digital Wellness Efforts
The personalized medicine market is revving up, and La Jolla-based MD Revolution Inc. is at the forefront. The company combines genetic testing with data from mobile tracking devices to tailor wellness programs to fit a patient’s individual health needs.