Stories for August 22, 2014

Lead stories

2 Navy Contracts Will Bring Work to Local Shipyards

The U.S. Navy announced two ship repair contracts Aug. 22.

ViaCyte Gets $20M for Rights Agreement With Janssen

San Diego-based ViaCyte Inc. announced that it has entered into a rights agreement with Janssen Research & Development LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

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Illumina Partners With Big Pharma Companies for Oncology Test System

Illumina Inc. today announced it has formed collaborative partnerships with AstraZeneca, Janssen Biotech Inc. and Sanofi to develop a universal next-generation sequencing oncology test system.

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Ligand Inks Licensing Deal With Georgia Co.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the signing of a commercial license agreement with Atlanta, Georgia-based Avion Pharmaceuticals LLC for the development and commercialization of four Captisol-enabled programs.

$3.7 Million Village Club Card Room Project Underway

Dempsey Construction Inc. of Carlsbad is at work on a $3.7 million renovation and expansion that will convert an existing property into the new location for Village Club Card Room casino in Chula Vista.

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25th Anniversary Is a Celebration of Community, Giving

Jackson Design & Remodeling decided to come up with a unique way to celebrate 25 years in business in San Diego.

Fenway Properties Obtains $7.1 Million Loan for Oceanside Office Renovation

Investment firm Fenway Properties of San Diego has obtained $7.1 million in financing for a planned renovation of Tri-City Corporate Towers in Oceanside.

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KFWB Newstalk Format Ends Early

KFWB-AM (980) is ending its newstalk format a week earlier than planned.

Port Has Reason to Be Picky With the Kind of Cargo Received

What will the Port of San Diego look like circa 2064? I waded into the port’s effort to create a master plan for its next 50 years (see page 1), and on the way got to thinking about cargo operations.

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San Fernando Valley Audio Book Producer Passes

Bob Deyan, who grew his San Fernando Valley business into one of the largest independent audiobooks producers, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica from complications of ALS. He was 56.

Ixia Hires HP Exec as CEO

Ixia has named a technology industry veteran Bethany Mayer as its chief executive and president.

Balboa Thrift and Loan Stays on Profitable Path of Car Loans

Balboa Thrift and Loan, based in Chula Vista and one of the last six thrift and loans in the state, just keeps on truckin’, racking up profits despite more competitors in its chosen niche — auto lending.

IPC Acquires Two Doctors Groups

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. announced on Friday that it has acquired two doctors groups in Florida.

Luxury Warner Center Apartments Sold

A $75 million Warner Center luxury apartment building that opened less than a year ago has been sold to an undisclosed institutional investor.

Mandalay Digital, International Rectifier Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the area’s largest public companies rose for the week.

For a Luxury Ride, Hang Your Saddle at Hacienda Elegante

The featured home in this week’s column is in Fallbrook, right on the edge of Bonsall, just 10 minutes from the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center. The property, a horse lover’s dream, which the now retired horse breeder calls Hacienda Eleganté.

Retro Draw

If you’re a fan of AMC’s “Mad Men,” then you’ve probably seen actor Jon Hamm lounging in sleek midcentury modern office furniture while sipping a stiff drink as his iconic character, Don Draper.

Briefs: Restaurant Dog Bill, IPC Acquisition

Governor signs bill allowing dogs on eatery patios. IPC acquires two more doctors' groups.

Vista Brewer Is Bringing Its Craft(s) to Mercado Del Barrio

Experts at a recent craft beer summit in North County pointed out that brewers from that region have some work to do when it comes to boosting their profile in places such as the city of San Diego, which has its own crowded contingent of beer makers running their own tasting rooms and brewpubs.

SeaWorld Is Looking to Counter a Recent Tide of Criticism

TOURISM: New Orca Enclosures and Research Efforts Pledged By Park

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. plans to spend several hundred million dollars to overhaul its performing-whale enclosures, including a near doubling of its orca environment in San Diego, amid other moves to bolster its investments in marine research.

Clippers Deal Took Six Days of Sleepless Nights

It started with a phone call Friday night at the opening of Memorial Day weekend.

Imprimis Sees Opportunity in Cataract Surgery Drug Compound

PHARMA: Co. Looks For Broad Applications To Common Problems

A San Diego-based pharmaceutical company is hoping to grab market share in the ophthalmology space by combating expensive post-cataract surgery drugs with a cheaper and more efficient alternative.

Hitcents Acquires Appmaker Moonshark

Moonshark, a mobile entertainment publisher, has been acquired by Bowling Green, Ky., mobile game studio Hitcents.

Dow, S&P Down; Nasdaq Up; LABJ Flat

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 38 points in Friday’s trading to 17, 001. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,988. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 4,539. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 204.

Potential Matches Put Under A Microscope at New Dating Site

SERVICE: DNA Analysis Is Used to Find That Special Someone

San Diego is home to countless institutes, laboratories and research collaborations aiming to find better uses for advancements in genetic sequencing. Yet, there is one market that seems an unlikely match for DNA analysis — online dating.

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Chargers’ Worth Put At $995M

The value of the San Diego Chargers increased by $46 million or 5 percent over the past year to $995 million, according to the annual Forbes report on the National Football League.

Nisen Named to CEO Post at Sanford-Burnham

HEALTH: He Sees Need for ‘Constellation’ Of New Relationships

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute announced that the board of trustees has appointed Perry Nisen as CEO and holder of the Donald Bren chief executive chair for the institute’s La Jolla-based headquarters.

Platform Gives ERs a New Cardiac Device Tool

HEALTH: Co. Just Signed an Enterprise Deal With Sharp

Geneva Health Care Inc., a San Diego-based medical technology company has developed a platform that receives data from cardiac devices and converts it into usable information for health care providers. The data is presented in a dashboard that is integrated into the provider’s internal computer system so that physicians and medical staff can quickly identify the urgency of a patient’s needs.

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Stone Gathers a Crowd and Funds With Beer Offering

The region is crazy with new business activities. As of early last week, Stone Brewing Co. had raised close to $1.9 million from about 11,160-plus funders at crowdfunding site to underwrite its inventive “Stone Groundbreaking Collaborations” pre-sale event.

Looking to Grow, Co. Returns to S.D. Roots

FOOD: Kashi Given Some Independence From Kellogg

Kashi, the San Diego homegrown natural cereal business that had its local office closed last year by owner Kellogg Co. and moved to Michigan, is returning to its roots.

Triton Put Through Paces By Northrop

DEFENSE: Navy to Buy 68 of the Rugged Aircraft

As the people of Rancho Bernardo went about their business Aug. 19, an operator in one of Northrop Grumman Corp.’s secure office buildings there took control of a U.S. Navy Triton — a large unmanned aircraft — during the middle of its flight over the western United States.

Biotech Property Deals Will Soon Surpass 2013

REAL ESTATE: Life Sciences Activity, IPOs Create Demand

A potent blend of initial public offerings, merger and acquisition activity and steady venture capital funding have made life-science properties the hot commodity in San Diego real estate leasing so far in 2014.

Co. Plays a Part in New Plane Production

AVIATION: Edge-Tech Supplies Molds and Parts

Edge-Tech Design and Manufacturing has a seat on Icon Aircraft Inc.’s sporty little A5 aircraft — and it hopes to see revenue take off if aircraft sales do.

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Port of Commerce?

PROPERTY: Businesses Ready to Defend Turf as Port Shapes Its Big Picture

A view of the Port of San Diego from 10,000 feet shows a diverse place, with small businesses, heavy industry, hotels and restaurants, U.S. Navy installations, parks, wetlands, marinas, cargo terminals and more.

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Minimum Wage Hike Opponents Start Referendum Campaign

Opponents of an approved hike in San Diego’s minimum wage have begun circulating petitions to place the matter before voters, following City Council’s recent override of a mayoral veto.

Business Calendar for Week of Aug. 25

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of Aug. 25, 2014.

L.A. Launch List: Aug. 22

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.

Billabong Sells

Australia-based Billabong International Ltd. said it plans to sell its surf apparel retailer in Irvine to a consortium of investors in a spinoff that also includes a 51% sale of SurfStitch, its other e-commerce business.

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Peregrine Stock Soars on News of Planned Sale to Japanese Company

Shares of San Diego-based Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. rose 60 percent early Aug. 22 on news that Japan-based Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. planned to buy the company for $471 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 1,992.07 in midday trading Friday.

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CNBC: Threshold Met for Special Meeting on Allergan

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP will submit a request today to Irvine-based Allergan Inc. calling for a special meeting of shareholders, according to reports.

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El Pollo Loco Signs for 20 Units in Texas

Costa Mesa-based grilled chicken chain El Pollo Loco Inc. has signed a multibrand operator to develop 20 franchised locations in Houston and San Antonio.

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Earth Rises Due to Groundwater Loss

Drought-induced groundwater loss has caused the ground to rise, especially in the snow-starved mountains of California, the Los Angeles Times reported.

California Homeowners, Pensions Get $800 Million From BofA

California homeowners and pension funds will receive $800 million from Bank of America, the state’s share of the settlement over toxic mortgages, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Hitcents Acquires CAA-Backed Moonshark

Moonshark, a small mobile game publishing startup in Los Angeles backed by Creative Artists Agency has been acquired by Moonshark, a Kentucky software company with a focus on celebrity-driven apps, the Los Angeles Times said.

ER Visits Decrease at Public Hospitals in L.A

Emergency room visits not requiring hospitalization have fallen at Los Angeles County’s public hospitals between January and March, after six consecutive years where such visits increased, the Los Angeles Times reported.

NASA May Choose SpaceX as Contractor

NASA has seeded $1.5 billion to Hawthorne’s SpaceX, Chicago’s Boeing and Irvine’s Sierra Nevada Corp., and is expected to spend another $785 million on at least one of the companies over the next year as part of a heavily subsidized competition meant to end U.S. dependency on the Russian space agency, the Daily Breeze reported.

LAUSD iPad Plan Troubled, Report Finds

Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1 billion initiative to provide an iPad to every Los Angeles student, teacher and administrator was plagued with inadequate planning, a lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process, according to a draft district report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

DWP Slow to Install Solar Energy in Homes

Despite promises by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to speed up the process, some customers are waiting months to get their home solar panels up and running, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Wild Salmon Losing Battle With Almonds for Water

While growers of almonds, one of the California’s most lucrative crops, enjoy record high production and skyrocketing sales despite the drought, wild salmon are competing with the crop for water and suffering as a result, NPR reported.

Forum Prepares to Host VMA Show

The Forum in Inglewood is gearing up to host the 2014 MTV awards, the first awards event there since the arena reopened this year after a makeover by its new owner, Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Getty Museum Hires Senior Curators

Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts hired Jeffrey Spier as its new senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades and Davide Gasparotto, as senior curator of paintings based at the Getty Center in Brentwood, the Los Angeles Times reported.

What?! Monkey Selfies Can’t Be Copyrighted? Why Not?

The U.S. Copyright Office has confirmed that a selfie taken by a monkey or any other animal – doesn’t fall under copyright rules, CNBC reports. The office this week gave examples not eligible for protection, such as "a photograph taken by a monkey" and "a mural painted by an elephant." The ruling relates to a legal tussle between a British wildlife photographer and Wikimedia.

Dow, S&P Down; Nasdaq Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points in Friday morning’s trading to 17,013. The S&P 500 was down 4 points to 1,988. The Nasdaq was up 1 point to 4, 533.