Stories for June 2013

Friday, June 28

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Receives $28.3M Air Force Contract

The U.S. Air Force recently awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a $28.3 million contract to implement the first phase of the Aircraft Structural Integrity Program.

Luxury Eyewear Retailer Opens San Diego Showroom

Luxury eyewear maker Alexander Daas, which has fashion-oriented eyeglasses and related products sold in boutiques and optometrist offices nationwide, recently opened its first retail showroom in San Diego County.

Kratos Is Awarded $18M in Contracts

San Diego-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. said its Electronic Products Division received at least $18 million worth of work, to be split between manufacturing and service activities.

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. Applies for Canadian Regulatory Approval for Belviq

San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that it has applied for Canadian regulatory approval for its anti-obesity drug, Belviq.

Local Leading Economic Indicators Up in April, Home Price Index Also Rises

An index measuring San Diego’s economy rose again in May by 0.6 percent, the ninth straight time it has increased, and 17th time in the past 18 months.

San Diego County Construction Contracts Down 28 Percent in First Five Months

San Diego County contracts for future construction in the first five months of 2013 were down 28 percent from the same period a year ago, according to newly released data from New York-based McGraw Hill Construction.

San Diego North Chamber of Commerce Holds Award Ceremony

The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce handed out awards at a recent celebration held at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Thursday, June 27

Ahntech Inc. Receives Defense Department Contract Potentially Worth Up to $108M

Ahntech Inc., a San Diego-based small business, received a Defense Department contract for fuel that may be worth as much as $108 million over five years.

Local Firm Acquires Carlsbad Office Property for $10.3M

Commercial property investment firm Cruzan Monroe of Del Mar has purchased the Pacific View Plaza office building in Carlsbad for $10.3 million, according to a statement from brokerage firm CBRE, which represented the buyer and seller, a real estate investment trust.

Mitek Prices Common Stock Offering at $5.25 a Share

Mitek Systems Inc., the San Diego maker of software used by financial companies enabling consumers to deposit checks to their accounts via digital images, said it priced a public stock offering of about 2.8 million shares at $5.25 per share.

Websense Inc. Becomes Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of Tomahawk Acquisition LLC

Websense Inc., the San Diego security filtering software business, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tomahawk Acquisition LLC, and an affiliate of Vista Equity Partners, the Austin, Texas, private equity firm June 25, following completion of a cash tender offer period.

Walmart Opens Hiring Center to Staff New Escondido Stores

Walmart has established a temporary hiring center in Escondido, as the retailer prepares to hire approximately 200 workers for two new stores set to open in that city this fall.

Wednesday, June 26

San Diego Retail Center Is Part of $935M Portfolio Purchase By Blackstone

Rancho Penasquitos Town Centre in San Diego is part of a $935 million deal, in which The Blackstone Group of New York is acquiring a majority interest in a national portfolio of 39 shopping centers from investment firm UBS.

General Dynamics Nassco Awarded $11.2M Navy Contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded San Diego shipbuilder General Dynamics Nassco $11.2 million to design a variant of its Mobile Landing Platform ship, according to a statement from the Defense Department.

Acutus Medical Inc. Completes $21M Round of Series B Funding

Acutus Medical Inc., a San Diego developer of heart imaging devices, announced it has completed a $21 million round in Series B funding.

Sorrento Mesa Office Complex Sells for $29.2M

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC of Santa Monica has purchased Centrewest Plaza, a two-building office complex in Sorrento Mesa, for $29.2 million.

LA Fitness Opening New Club in Oceanside

LA Fitness is planning to open its newest local health club by month’s end in Oceanside.

FDA Approves Aethlon Medical Device for Clinical Testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved for clinical testing a blood purification device developed by San Diego-based biotech Aethlon Medical Inc.

Holiday Bowl Pits Pac 12 Against Big 10 Starting in 2014

Starting in 2014, the Holiday Bowl will pit a winning football team from the Pac 12 conference against a winning team from the Big 10 conference, after the San Diego Bowl Game Association struck a deal with the latter group.

Tuesday, June 25

San Diego Trust Bank Shareholders Approve Sale to Premier Pacific Bancorp

Shareholders of San Diego Trust Bank approved the sale of the $211 million-asset bank to Irvine-based Premier Pacific Bancorp at a recent special shareholders meeting, with more than 90 percent voting for the sale.

Isis Pharmaceuticals' Stock Price Rises After Clinical Trial Results Announced

The stock price for Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. skyrocketed Monday, rising nearly 30 percent after the drug developer announced positive clinical trial results for its diabetes drug that improves heart health.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Indicates Possible Foreign Military Sale to Netherlands

Unmanned aircraft builder General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. made several announcements at the recent Paris Air Show and indicated a possible foreign military sale to the Netherlands.

14 New Hospitals Adopt CareFusion Corp.’s Tracking Platform

San Diego-based medical device maker CareFusion Corp. announced that 14 new hospitals have adopted the company’s patient medication management-tracking platform.

Realty Income Gets Upgrade in S&P Debt Ratings

Realty Income Corp. recently announced that Standard & Poor’s Rating Services upgraded the company’s senior unsecured debt ratings to BBB+ from BBB, and its preferred stock ratings to BBB- from BB+, with a stable outlook.

3E Co. Announces New Representative in China

Carlsbad-based 3E Co., which deals in information about chemicals, announced a new representative in China.

Monday, June 24

Cubic Corp. Awarded $17.4M Contract from Marine Corps for Combat Training

The U.S. Marine Corps awarded San Diego-based Cubic Corp. a $17.4 million contract for a ground-combat training system that will replace the existing technology used at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.

New Brews and News Available at Airport’s Terminal 1

Two new locally-themed concessions have opened in San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 1: a restaurant known as Craft Brews on 30th Street and a newsstand branded as 10News.

Quidel Corp. Shares Rise on News of FDA Clearance for Diagnostic

Shares for San Diego-based Quidel Corp. rose about 4 percent after it received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for a new streptococcus A test.

Railroad Line Enters Inspection Agreement, Prepares to Increase Freight Transport

Pacific Imperial Railroad Inc., the operator of the Desert Line that serves the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja Mexico and eastern San Diego County, said it entered into a services agreement with JL Patterson & Associates Inc., an Orange, Calif. engineering and construction management firm, to inspect the railroad’s 57 bridges and 17 tunnels.

San Diego’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.7% In May

San Diego’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent in May, down from 7 percent in April, and below the year ago jobless rate of 8.8 percent, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego County for the week of June 24-June 30.

Ambrx Partners With Chinese Firm in a Co-Development Deal

Biotechnology Column

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.

Gift Gives UCSD $18.5M to Take Department to New Heights

Kudos/Giving Column

The department of computer science and engineering at UC San Diego received an $18.5 million anonymous gift. The funds will be used to overhaul the department’s undergraduate education curriculum.

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Executive Profile: William R. Grande

William R. “Bob” Grande is the president and CEO of Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc. The company was founded in 1978 in a garage in Santee.

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Palomar Technologies’ Equipment Is in High Demand Globally

MANUFACTURING: Exports Represent About 70% of Sales Volume

A lot of this nation’s manufacturing may be outsourced to cheaper labor countries, but some products, particularly those with a high degree of complexity, remain entrenched here.

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Bringing Work Home

When quality issues outweighed the cost benefits of Taylor Guitars’ making its cases in China, the El Cajon-based manufacturer decided to move it closer to home to its sister plant in Tecate, Baja California Norte.

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Last Local Bank Failure Is Becoming a More Distant Memory

Finance Column

San Diego, and many other locales around the nation, hasn’t witnessed a bank failure for quite a while, which says something about the overall health of the industry.

School Programs Aim to Meet Demand for IT Security Experts

TECH: Most Companies Need a Good Defense for Their Internet Operations

Internet insecurity is in the headlines these days. It is spy versus spy; and hackers versus everybody else. The parade of potential threats has highlighted the existing shortage of qualified IT experts who can meet and defeat these dangers in business and elsewhere.

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Isis’ Position in RNA Space Has Boosted Company Fortunes

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.

Sneakz Organic Delivers Kid-Friendly Nutrition in a Handy Box

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.

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BOMA Conference Tackles Needs, Problems

PROPERTY: Concerns Include Sustainability And Controlling Costs

Security, energy efficiency and tight operating budgets are just a few of the issues expected to be front and center, as the world’s oldest and largest trade group geared to commercial building operators brings its annual global conference to San Diego for the first time since 2000.

Court Ruling Opens Up Breast Cancer Diagnostics

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.

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Is Tony Robbins Leaving Us For Florida?

SDBJ Insider

Is the celebrity-level peak-performance guru and San Diego resident Tony Robbins moving to new environs on the East Coast and taking his world-famous seminar with him? Several publications are reporting that Robbins has purchased a new home in Palm Beach, Fla., where he might also relocate his high-priced “Date with Destiny” seminar held each December in the desert.

Linear Sees Technology Ruling Residents’ Roosts

TECH: 2Gig Buy Boosts Firm’s Home Automation, Security Work

Linear LLC is banking on the convergence of wireless connectivity and security to take its sales to the next level. The Carlsbad-based maker of garage door opener systems and other products recently acquired 2Gig Technologies, a fast-growing Utah company that makes home security and automation systems.

Aragon’s Partner Search Leads to Profitable Exit

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.

Surf, Skate Space Plays To Its Loyal ‘Audience’

SPORT: Companies Win By Selling Lifestyle and Innovations

Loyal amateurs and professionals craving the latest board designs and technologies — the way Apple devotees flock to the newest iPhone — have helped manufacturer Firewire Surfboards LLC achieve double-digit sales growth over the past three years.

La Costa Property Gives Omni a San Diego Jewel

TRAVEL: Analysts Peg Price For Luxury Resort at $365.8M

Aside from installing the Omni banner effective July 1, the new owners of La Costa Resort and Spa plan no immediate changes at the Carlsbad golf property, which completed an extensive $50 million makeover in 2011.

Getting Back On Course

LEISURE: Big Boats And Better Sales Buoy The Boating Industry

San Diego Bay’s summertime Wednesday night “Beer Can Races,” now in its 34th year, have returned to its pre-recession popularity, observes enthusiast Sharon Cloward, president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association.

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Friday, June 21

Banyan Biomarkers Inc. Receives $6M in Series A Funding

Carlsbad-based Banyan Biomarkers Inc. announced it has received $6 million in Series A funding from private investors to develop a diagnostic test for traumatic brain injury.

Zoic Clothing Relocates Headquarters to Carlsbad

Zoic Clothing, a maker of apparel for cycling, relocated its headquarters to Carlsbad, in the Palomar Airport area, from Sorrento Valley.

Transit District Restores Free Wi-Fi on Coaster Train

Transit officials have improved and restored the free Wi-Fi service offered on the Coaster commuter train, which had been turned off due to technical issues.

Winery Relocating Operations to La Mesa

Locally based San Pasqual Winery is moving its winery operations to La Mesa, as it phases out of a smaller production facility in Pacific Beach.

Illumina Ordered to Pay $115M in Patent Infringement Case

San Diego-based DNA sequencing company Illumina Inc. has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $115.1 million to Auburn, Wash.-based Syntrix Biosystems Inc. in a patent infringement case.

Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index Increases in April

Comerica Bank’s California Economic Activity Index increased in April by 2.2 points to 106.6, said Dallas-based Comerica, which has 15 offices in San Diego County.

Thursday, June 20

Cubic Corp. Awarded $30M in U.S. Navy Contracts for Training Programs

San Diego-based Cubic Corp. announced it was awarded $30 million in contracts with the U.S. Navy for advanced combat ship training.

Cohn Restaurant Group, Costco Team Up to Offer Dining Discount Card

San Diego-headquartered Cohn Restaurant Group, which owns and operates 18 restaurants, has entered into a partnership with Costco Wholesale, in which the Seattle-based retailer is selling limited-edition dining cards at a discount to its members.

MediciNova’s Stock Climbs Following Positive Results in Early Trials of Drug

Shares of San Diego-based biotech MediciNova Inc. have shot up 31 percent following the announcement that early trials of its drug for treating methamphetamine addiction showed positive results.

New Owner Gets $17.1M in Financing for Kearny Mesa Office Park

Massachusetts-based Brookwood Financial Partners LLC has obtained $17.1 million in financing for its recent acquisition and planned upgrading of Four Points Business Park in Kearny Mesa, according to CBRE Capital Markets, which arranged the financing.

County and State See Increases in Median House Prices in May

Bolstered by a surge of sales and a continuing supply shortage, the statewide median price for a single family house in California in May increased to $417,000, up from $403,000 in April, according to a recent report from the California Association of Realtors.

Wednesday, June 19

5D Robotics’ Marching Orders Are to Lighten the Load Soldiers Carry

5D Robotics, a San Diego-based robotics software company, announced it is collaborating with the U.S. Army, Segway Inc. and DRS Technologies to develop robots that will help carry some of the gear load which soldiers need today.

FDA Accepts Santarus’ Marketing Application for Angioedema Drug

San Diego-based Santarus Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the marketing application for its drug, Ruconest.

Sempra Energy Declares Quarterly Dividend

Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric and other subsidiaries, said its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 63 cents per share of common stock.

Mast Therapeutics Announces Public Offering of 50 Million Units

San Diego’s Mast Therapeutics Inc. recently announced it expects to receive net proceeds of about $23 million from a new underwritten public offering.

Irvine Co. Is State’s Largest Owner-Operator of LEED Buildings

The Irvine Co., San Diego County’s biggest holder of office properties, has become California’s largest owner-operator of office workplaces certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

Local Vehicle Sales Up 9.5 Percent Through May

San Diego County car and light-truck sales rose 9.5 percent from a year ago in the first five months of 2013, according to data released by the trade group New Car Dealers Association San Diego County.

Entrepreneurs Can Get Competitive at Local Events This Weekend

Interactive Day San Diego, scheduled June 21, is a one-day digital marketing conference that will feature a takeoff on the popular TV show “Shark Tank,” in which participants make a three-minute pitch to a panel of judges.

Tuesday, June 18

Johnson & Johnson Acquiring Aragon in Deal That Could Be Worth $1B

Johnson & Johnson announced it will buy San Diego-based Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. for up to $1 billion.

Tetra Tech in Line for Up to $100M in Environmental Remediation Work for Navy

San Diego-based Tetra Tech EC Inc. is in line for as much as $100 million worth of environmental remediation work under a five-year deal.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Files for $69M IPO

San Diego-based Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. has proposed an initial public offering planning to raise as much as $69 million, according to the firm’s registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Carlsbad-based Mob Science Acquired By Game Developer SGN

Beverly Hills-based mobile game developer SGN said it has acquired Carlsbad-based game developer Mob Science Inc. in a cash and stock deal. The dollar value of the transaction was not disclosed.

San Diego Firm Buys Carlsbad Office Park

Commercial property investment firm BBL Inc. of San Diego has purchased Ocean Terrace Corporate Center, a four-building office park in Carlsbad.

Encore Capital Group Completes Purchase of Asset Acceptance Capital Corp.

Encore Capital Group Inc., the San Diego collectors of charged-off credit card debt, said it closed the purchase of Michigan-based Asset Acceptance Capital Corp. for an undisclosed price.

SDG&E Touts Sunrise Powerlink’s Value to Region’s Energy Grid

San Diego Gas & Electric says its Sunrise Powerlink energy transmission line that was put into service a year ago is performing as expected, boosting reliability of the grid while acting as a catalyst for renewable power production.

Monday, June 17

ViaSat Is Adding Residential Telephone Service to Its Offerings

ViaSat Inc., the Carlsbad maker of satellite equipment and provider of Internet services, is branching out to offer residential telephone service beginning June 17.

Kearny Mesa Retail Center Sells for $15.8M

Wong Family Trust of La Jolla has purchased Ruffin Village, a retail center in Kearny Mesa, for $15.8 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

Vois Inc. Receives First Tranche of Funding for Headset Prototype

Vois Inc., a San Diego business developing a new type of EEG headset, said it received a first tranche of funding needed to complete the prototype for the micro headset.

The Habit Is Bringing Its Burgers to San Marcos

The Habit Restaurants LLC, doing business as The Habit Burger Grill, has leased a space in San Marcos for what would be its fourth San Diego County restaurant.

Monterey Firm Pays $6.5M for College Area Apartment Complex

The 57-unit Pacific Pines Village apartment complex, in San Diego’s college area submarket, has been sold for approximately $6.5 million, according to CoStar Group.

Cumming Moves Up on Top 100 Construction Management List; 2 Other Local Firms Also Rank

San Diego-based Cumming recently ranked at No. 33 among the nation’s largest construction management firms based on revenue in the latest annual ranking by the industry trade magazine Engineering News-Record, also known as ENR.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego County for the week of June 17-June 23.

Initiative Gets Some ‘Green Energy’ in the Form of a Grant

Kudos/Giving Column

The San Diego Foundation received a $425,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation. The funds will be used to support The San Diego Climate Initiative: Regional Climate Adaptation Leadership project.

Higgs’ Attorneys Do Good Work On Stage and in the Community

The Business of Law

John Morrell is a terrific attorney, and has done a great job of managing Higgs Fletcher & Mack to be one of San Diego’s largest locally focused law firms. He’s also pretty good on his feet. Earlier this month at Rotary Club 33’s Annual Heilbron Awards, the mistress of ceremonies was introducing Morrell and his firm as the sponsors. “John, of course, is from McKenna Long Aldridge.” The crowd stirred, and the host corrected the mistake. Morrell got to the podium and said, “Actually, I’m from Luce Forward.” The crowd loved it.

WeMonitor Wants to Put Your House in Order Energywise

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.

Slacker Readies for More Radio Competition

RADIO: Apple’s iTunes Radio Brings A Big Player to Field

How does the top executive at San Diego-based Slacker Inc. view Apple Inc.’s newly announced iTunes Radio service?

Manpower Survey Finds Many Firms Planning to Hire

SDBJ Insider

Economic recovery accelerating? Staffing agency Manpower San Diego says new hiring will accelerate in the third quarter, based on its recent survey of employers. Nineteen percent of those surveyed plan to bring on more workers, while 69 percent expect to maintain current staff counts.

Entropic Keeps Making The Right Connections

TECH: Mobius Acquisition Brings Needed Technology

Semiconductor firm Entropic Communications Inc. made its third acquisition in 15 months, this time bolting-on a firm from Irvine.

Supper Bowl Contender

PETS: Pet Food Maker’s Premium Product and Its VC Funding Are Good Mix

The Honest Kitchen Inc. is taking the road less traveled, and seems to be getting someplace.

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New Look, New Name Comes to Carlsbad Mall

RETAIL: Westfield Continues Its Local and Global Upgrades

Westfield Group will soon embark on a renovation of its Carlsbad property that is expected to top $100 million, marking the mall operator’s fifth big local makeover in as many years.

Officials See Opportunities in Creating Big Change on Bay-Front

PROPERTY: Jobs, Revenue Creation Are Part of Chula Vista Plan

The Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista are making plans to transform the city’s underutilized bay-front into a regional catalyst for economic growth.

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Airport Car Rental Consolidation Aims for ‘Many Happy Returns’

TRAVEL: Planned Center Would Cut Emissions, Congestion

By early 2016, San Diego International Airport will join the growing throng of major U.S. airports turning their rental car operations into a centralized, one-stop hub for busy travelers.

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Building an ‘Icon’

CONSTRUCTION: New Library Delivers the Right Features Inside and Out

For the past three years, Turner Construction Co. and its 50 subcontractors have been erecting the library of the future on a square block at 11th Avenue and Park Boulevard in San Diego’s bustling East Village.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Solana Beach-based American Wave Machines Inc. recently installed the latest version of its PerfectSwell wave-generating technology at Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham, New York.

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Illumina Campus Is Bigger and Better as Part of Firm’s Growth Plan

Biotechnology Column

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.

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Arena’s Weight Loss Drug Hits Shelves

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.

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Digital Apps in the Cards For FitDeck Founder

FITNESS: Nike Inc. Selects Firm for Accelerator Program

The founder and CEO of San Diego-based FitDeck, which markets sets of exercise playing cards fitness buffs can use anytime anywhere, is getting a serious fitness test of his own these days in the Pacific Northwest.

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Law Soon to Shine Light On Buildings’ Energy Use

LAW: Bigger Landlords Ready; Data Come Up in Sales, Leases

Ready or not, California owners of commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet will need to begin complying this year with a state law requiring the disclosure of properties’ historical energy usage data to prospective buyers, renters and lenders.

Friday, June 14

Life Technologies to Acquire Life Science Korea for Undisclosed Sum

Life Technologies Corp. announced it is acquiring Life Science Korea, an instrument distributor based in Seoul, South Korea for an undisclosed sum.

RF Industries Ltd. Reports Net Income of $1.2M for Q2

RF Industries Ltd., a San Diego designer and maker of radio frequency connectors and cable assemblies, reported fiscal 2013 second quarter ended April 30 net income of $1.2 million, up 96 percent from the like quarter of the prior fiscal year.

Chula Vista Apartments Sell for $9.6M

Investor Masaaki Shintaku has purchased Vista Pacific Villas, a 55-unit apartment complex in Chula Vista, for $9.6 million. The property is at 1035 4th Ave., according to CoStar Group and public documents.

$46M in Lease Revenue Refunding Bonds Rated A+ By Fitch Ratings

About $46 million in new lease revenue refunding bonds the City of San Diego plans to issue this month were rated A+ by Fitch Ratings.

Supreme Court Rules Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled that companies can’t patent naturally occurring portions of human DNA — a decision that was lauded by a host of San Diego biotechs participating in this year’s CalBio conference downtown.

Thursday, June 13

First Allied Holdings Inc. Acquired by RCAP Holdings LLC

First Allied Holdings Inc., a San Diego-based brokerage with a network of some 1,500 independent financial advisers in 500 branches across the nation, said it was acquired by RCAP Holdings LLC, a New York-based firm that has brokerage and investment bank operations.

Sony Electronics Introduces Trio of Personal Computers Which Use Intel Chip

Sony Electronics recently introduced a trio of personal computers powered by Intel Corp.’s new fourth-generation Core i7 “Haswell” chip. The Japanese company does engineering work on its Vaio computer line in Rancho Bernardo.

Life Technologies Launches Tests for Gauging Effectiveness of Stem Cells for Lab Use

San Diego’s Life Technologies Corp. has launched a series of tests developed with Harvard University researchers that gauge whether stem cells are able to perform in a lab setting and transform into other kinds of cells.

Omni Hotels Buying Five Properties Including La Costa Resort

Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts has reached a definitive agreement to purchase and operate five U.S. resort properties, including La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, for an undisclosed price.

SeaWorld’s 50th Birthday Being Marked at Three Parks

Florida-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment plans an 18-month slate of companywide events and park enhancements commemorating the 50th anniversary of SeaWorld San Diego, starting in March 2014.

Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine Builds New Laboratory in North Carolina

San Diego-based genetic analysis company Sequenom Inc. announced that its subsidiary, the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine, has built another laboratory in North Carolina.

San Diego Median Housing Prices Rise in May

The median housing prices in San Diego continued rising at a nice clip in May, according to two recent reports. Dataquick, the La Jolla real estate research firm, reported the median for San Diego last month was $406,500, up 1.6 percent from April’s median, and 21 percent from the median price in May 2012.

Wednesday, June 12

LRAD Corp. Awarded Navy Contract Potentially Worth Up to $12.2M

The U.S. Navy said it awarded Rancho Bernardo-based LRAD Corp. an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for acoustic hailing devices. The deal could be worth as much as $12.2 million over five years.

Maxwell Technologies Awarded $1.39M Contract from California Energy Commission

San Diego-based Maxwell Technologies Inc. has been awarded a $1.39 million contract by the California Energy Commission to design and install an energy storage system at UC San Diego.

Sonic Plans Fifth Local Restaurant at Former Black Angus Site

Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic plans to open its fifth San Diego County restaurant in Kearny Mesa, on the site of a former Black Angus restaurant.

CareFusion Reportedly Interested in Acquiring ICU Medical

CareFusion Corp. appears to be interested in acquiring rival ICU Medical Inc., a San Clemente-based maker of infusion therapy devices with a nearly $1 billion market value, sources told Reuters.

SDG&E May Ask Customers to Reduce Electricity Use When Power Demand Spikes

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said it may have to ask customers to reduce electricity use during hot days when power demand spikes.

American Airlines Brings Direct Miami Service Back to San Diego

American Airlines on June 12 is scheduled to begin the first direct daily local service to Miami, Fla., in more than 20 years. The daily nonstop flight will be the only local service between the two cities.

Tuesday, June 11

Epsilon Systems Solutions to Receive $6.9M U.S. Navy Contract

Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc. will receive a $6.9 million U.S. Navy contract for professional and engineering services in support of the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, the Pentagon announced.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Receives $8M in Milestone Payments

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced it received two milestone payments totaling $8 million for drugs in their pipeline.

New Residence Inn Opening in Carmel Valley

A new 118-suite Residence Inn by Marriott is scheduled to open by the end of June in Carmel Valley, next-door to an existing Marriott hotel.

Toys R Us Debuting an Outlet Store in San Ysidro

Global toy retailer Toys R Us plans to open its newest outlet store June 14 at Las Americas Premium Outlets in San Ysidro.

Apricus Biosciences Receives European Marketing Approval for Vitaros

San Diego-based Apricus Biosciences Inc. has received European marketing approval for its drug Vitaros that treats erectile dysfunction.

Monday, June 10

Arena’s Anti-Obesity Drug Heads to Market, Triggering $65M Payment

San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that its anti-obesity drug, Belviq, will go on sale Tuesday — triggering a $65 million milestone payment from its marketing partner, Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co. Ltd.

Entropic Spends $13M for Irvine Semiconductor Firm

Entropic, a publicly traded company based in San Diego, said recently that it acquired Irvine-based Mobius Semiconductor Inc. for $13 million in cash, plus employee equity-based incentives.

SDG&E Says San Onofre Shutdown Could Leave It With Charge Between $30M and $110M

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said it could take an after-tax charge of between $30 million and $110 million related to its investment in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the utility and parent company Sempra Energy said in a recent securities filing.

Oceanside Tourism Bureau Reports Rise in Visitor Stays, Spending

The city of Oceanside saw increases in the length of visitor stays and spending by overnight travelers in 2012 compared with 2008, according to the city’s tourism promotion agency.

Sotera Wireless Inc. Expands Board of Directors

Sotera Wireless Inc., a San Diego company that has developed a wireless patient monitoring system, has grown its board of directors.

Apartment Industry Groups to Host Career Fair for Veterans

The San Diego County Apartment Association and the National Apartment Association Education Institute have scheduled a career fair for military veterans and their spouses. It is slated for June 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center.

Business Operators Can Weigh In at Meetings on $44.5M Bus Project

Residents and business operators can give input at two public meetings being held by the San Diego Association of Governments, to discuss upcoming construction related to the $44.5 million Mid-City Rapid Bus Project.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego County for the week of June 10-June 16.

San Diego Biotech Companies See Growth as Funding Heats Up

Biotechnology Column

Biotech. It’s hot. On a local level, as widely reported, there’s been a string of IPOs and secondary public offerings across San Diego’s biotech landscape — as well as new funding announcements and heavy-hitting milestone payments.

SBA Loan Helps Construction Firm Build on Its Successes

Finance Column

Here’s a feel-good clean-tech story that lives up to the initial promise surrounding that industry. San Marcos-based M Bar C Construction got a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the business is proving deserving both in new jobs it’s created, and those expected to come.

Firm Banks On Value of Local Hotel Market With Purchase

Real Estate Column

A couple of San Diego buildings with long historical ties to the downtown area were recently the target of some high-profile transactions. One of those was the property that currently houses the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown hotel at 530 Broadway, off Sixth Avenue.

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PremloCare Offers Doctor, Patient Video Consultation Service

HEALTH: Telemedicine Market Expected to Reach $27.3 Billion in 2016

A San Diego company is entering the burgeoning telemedicine market, launching a service that now remotely connects patients to about 800 physicians in the San Diego area.

GreenRope’s Software Assembles the Pieces of the Sales Puzzle

SOFTWARE: Integrated Approach Gives Clients a Ranking of Likely Buyers

GreenRope has a new way to mine customer data for hidden veins of gold. The company specializes in customer relationship management software, called “CRM” for short.

More Patients Means More Demand for Space

PROPERTY: Report Expects Newly Insured to Drive Need for Facilities

Economic uncertainties and questions about the impact of upcoming federal health care reforms have prompted medical practices to delay real estate decisions during the past few years. But experts say the local climate could see some shifts as key elements of the Affordable Care Act take effect in 2014.

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New Intel Chip Is a Game Changer for Razer

TECH: Battery Life Greatly Increased; Graphics Improved

Carlsbad-based Razer Inc. is riding a trend in computer manufacturing. It’s basing new products on a just-introduced chip from Intel Corp.

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8,000 Caps To Fill the Air Over UCSD

SDBJ Insider

More than 8,000 UC San Diego students are all set to graduate June 14. Festivities include a dinner and fireworks, as well as official graduation rites June 15. The ceremonies feature speeches from such famous grads as actor Robert Buckley, who has appeared on CW’s “One Tree Hill” and NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle” and Lewis Black, a standup comic, social critic and guest commentator on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Insurance Changes Are Coming Into Focus

LAW: Small Businesses Can See Hint of What Reform Is Bringing

The 13 insurers participating in the state’s individual exchange, Covered California, were recently announced — and business owners ought to pay close attention, said Diana Twadell, a principal in the small business unit of San Diego brokerage Barney & Barney LLC.

Neurelis’ Epilepsy Work Draws Potential Buyer

PHARMA: Biotie Deal Covers Development and Option to Buy

Neurelis Inc., a small San Diego pharmaceutical company with a storied biotech executive at its core, recently announced that it may be acquired by Finnish drugmaker Biotie Therapies Inc. for a total of $9.75 million.

Car Buyers Increasingly Want to Go in Style

AUTO: Dealers Say Luxury Brands Are Moving Off Lots

2013 seems to be starting well for Witt Lincoln. And for luxury auto sales in general. “We’re seeing a lot of new customers — not Lincoln drivers,” reported Ed Witt, head of the family run auto dealer in Mission Valley, who reports that business is up. Hybrids, he added, are selling very well.

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High-End Homes Are Hot

PROPERTY: Buyers Are Ready to Make the Move to Luxury Houses

Luxury housing sales in San Diego continued to climb this year, with most properties attracting multiple offers, and closing faster than since the onset of the recession, say local real estate agents active in this market.

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Retail Space Recovery Gets Help From Homes

PROPERTY: Housing Sales, Hiring Picture Boost Prospects

For the third consecutive year, San Diego’s already healthy retail property market is expected by the end of 2013 to see significant recovery, as vacancies move closer to pre-recession levels.

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Downtown Is Now Facing a Defining Moment


Internet retail giant recently announced expansion plans for downtown Seattle, including a 65,000-square-foot “biosphere” made up of three glass-and-steel domes as part of a three downtown block acquisition with plans to build 3.3 million square feet of office space.

Bank Gives Veterans, Military Groups Well-Deserved Support

Kudos/Giving Column

Wells Fargo announced the company will donate a total of $120,000 to six local nonprofit organizations that serve active duty military, their families and veterans. Grant recipients include Occupational Training Services, $50,000; Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s Military Mentorship Program, $30,000; Armed Services YMCA San Diego (ASYMCA), $15,000; Veterans Villages of San Diego, $10,000; American Combat Veterans of War, $10,000; and Semper Fi Fund, $5,000.

Executive Profile: John V. Wells

Headed up by John Wells, Christopher Weil & Co. Inc. (CWC) manages equity and income portfolios for individuals, families and small institutions — including two publicly traded mutual funds for which CWC is the fund or co-fund manager and many private equity funds. CWC currently has approximately $375 million in assets under management.

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The Entrepreneurial Spirits

FINANCE: For Angel Investors, Profit Motives Are Just Part of the Equation

Angel investors tend to remember their winning bets and forget the money they sank into businesses that failed.

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News in Briefs

Breaking news from

Florida-based Red Lobster has completed a remodeling of two San Diego restaurants, as part of a nationwide program of site renovations and menu updates.

Friday, June 7

Trigild Tapped to Oversee $50M Retail Center Portfolio

San Diego-based Trigild has been hired to take over daily operations of a portfolio of 37 strip centers spanning 17 states and valued at more than $50 million.

Willis Allen Real Estate to Affiliate with Christie’s International Real Estate

San Diego-based Willis Allen Real Estate said it is affiliating with Christie’s International Real Estate, with the former exclusively representing the Christie’s brand in San Diego.

Oberon Fuels Partners with Volvo Trucks and Safeway Inc. to Test Biofuel

San Diego-based Oberon Fuels Inc. has partnered with Volvo Trucks in North America and Safeway Inc. to test a biofuel called dimethyl ether in heavy-duty commercial trucks.

TelcoLynx to Sell Mushroom Networks’ Products

San Diego-based Mushroom Networks said this week that it will go to market with the help of another Southern California company TelcoLynx.

Vista Retail Center Sells for $3.6M

Pacifica Real Estate Services Inc. of Rancho Santa Fe has purchased Shadowridge Plaza, a retail center in Vista, for $3.6 million.

Mad Catz Interactive Reports Net Loss of $12.2M for Quarter-Ended March 31

Mad Catz Interactive Inc., the San Diego video game publisher and peripheral maker, reported a net loss of $12.2 million on net sales of $24.6 million for the three months ended March 31.

Thursday, June 6

WeMonitor Inc. to Receive $5.3M in Series A Funding

San Diego-based WeMonitor Inc., a developer of home energy efficiency monitoring products, announced it will receive $5.3 million in Series A funding from Norfolk, Virgina-based Dominion Investment Group.

San Diego Life Sciences Incubator Janssen Labs Expands to the Bay Area

Through collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), Janssen will create a 5,000-square-foot lab space within QB3’s 24,000-square-foot incubator space in San Francisco.

Union Bank Launches Product to Address Low- to-Moderate Income Consumers

Union Bank is rolling out a new Access Account aimed at low and moderate income residents and other consumers who may not qualify for a traditional bank account.

Red Lobster Completes Remodeling of Two Local Restaurants

Florida-based Red Lobster has completed a remodeling of two San Diego restaurants, as part of a nationwide program of site renovations and menu updates.

San Diego’s Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District Approved by City Council

San Diego has a new official business neighborhood following the City Council’s unanimous vote to approve the Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District.

Wednesday, June 5

First PacTrust Bancorp Agrees to Sell 8 Branches, Including 4 Local Sites

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., parent of Pacific Trust Bank, which relocated to Irvine last year from Chula Vista, said it signed a definitive agreement to sell eight of its branches, including four in San Diego County, to AmericanWest Bank.

Neurelis Inc. Announces Possible Acquisition by Biotie Therapies for $9.75M

San Diego pharmaceutical company Neurelis Inc. announced that it may be acquired by Finnish biotech Biotie Therapies Inc. for $9.75 million.

Impact Components Lands Five Year Navy Task Order Contract

Impact Components of San Diego is one of five small businesses that the U.S. Navy will use to procure electronic components — such as integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, transistors and flash chips.

Walmart Plans Two Escondido Openings in Fall

Walmart this fall plans to open two new Escondido stores, which the retailer said will employ a total of approximately 280.

Trimble Navigation Acquires Trade Service Co.

Trimble Navigation Ltd., a publicly traded company from Silicon Valley, said it has acquired San Diego-based Trade Service Co. LLC for undisclosed terms.

Enlightened Hospitality Changing Burlap Restaurant to Searsucker Banner

San Diego-based Enlightened Hospitality Group is closing its Burlap restaurant in Carmel Valley on June 10, with plans to reopen it as Searsucker Del Mar on July 17.

Tuesday, June 4

Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Sold for $71.1M

Philadelphia-based Hersha Hospitality Trust has purchased the 245-room Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown hotel for $71.1 million.

Circle Foods Acquired by Tyson Foods for Undisclosed Price

Circle Foods, an Otay Mesa-based maker of tortillas and other Mexican foods, was acquired by Tyson Foods for an undisclosed price, Tyson said.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Receives $10M Milestone Payment

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a $10 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca Plc for its prostate cancer drug, ARRx.

Ship Repair Contract Could Be Worth $50.3M for BAE Systems

The destroyer USS Russell has its date with the shipyard.

Arcturus Therapeutics Raises $1.3M in Seed Funding

Arcturus Therapeutics Inc. announced it has raised $1.3 million in seed funding from a network of private investors in the U.S. and Canada.

Sandag to Hold Public Meetings on Latest Plans for North County Trail Project

The San Diego Association of Governments, a.k.a. Sandag, has scheduled two June meetings to discuss the next planned segment of the Inland Rail Trail Project, linking North County communities.

Monday, June 3

City to Release Tourism Funds

The San Diego Tourism Authority, which had threatened to shut its doors June 3 because it hadn’t received any of the promised funding from the City of San Diego, is open for business after the agency came to an agreement with Mayor Bob Filner.

General Dynamics Nassco Ship-Building Contract to Add Up to 800 Jobs in San Diego

A new ship-building contract between General Dynamics Nassco and Penn.-based American Petroleum Tankers Parent LLC will add up to 800 San Diego jobs, the companies announced Friday.

Razer to Bring New Notebook Computer to Gaming Market

Carlsbad-based Razer announced plans to bring a new notebook computer optimized for gaming to market.

SDSU to Offer Business of Craft Beer Certificate Program

SDSU’s College of Extended Studies launched a professional certificate program called the Business of Craft Beer set to start in the fall semester.

Nick Brien Joins Covario Board of Directors

Covario Inc., the San Diego Internet marketing analytics company, said Nick Brien, former chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup joined its board of directors.

BioNano Genomics Appoints Fahim Amini Vice President, Commercial Operations Europe

San Diego gene mapping company BioNano Genomics Inc. has appointed a new vice president, Fahim Amini, to lead its commercial operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego Cuunty for the week of June 3-9.

Encourage Employees to Save for Retirement


For the past few years, leaner times have forced many individuals and households to juggle everyday expenses and find various ways to trim the family budget. Everything from cutting out specialty coffee drinks and expensive vacations to buying more economical cars and downsized dwellings have been calculated and discussed at kitchen tables across the country.

Golf Is One of the Drivers of Tourist Economy


Like a good shot hit with your driver, golf bolsters the San Diego economy allowing it to soar to the greens. With our nearly ideal climate and year-round sunshine, playing a round of golf on one of our world-class 93 golf courses countywide is not only a hobby but a vital economic engine for our local economy.

Fashion Event Outfits Local Hospital for Breast Cancer Fight


Tri-City Hospital Foundation raised more than $136,000 at the second annual “Fashion That Heals” champagne luncheon and fashion event. The event, held at the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa, featured local fashion retailers and health and beauty tips.

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Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

The Gunter Family Trust has purchased a 15,877-square-foot fully-leased automotive property for $2,037,000. The building, which is located at 332 N. Johnson Ave. in El Cajon, has been leased to Caliber Collision Centers since August 2000.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc. has proposed developing 60 units of workforce housing for families in Ramona.

Opponent Hopes to Unseat Incumbent Dumanis in DA’s Race

The Business of Law

Robert Brewer is running for district attorney against the current officeholder Bonnie Dumanis. The Jones Day partner told a crowd at Cheryl Kendrick’s beautiful home in Point Loma, that he wants to improve the morale of the DA’s office and regain the respect local law enforcement organizations once had for the office.

Executive Profile: Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis is the co-founder and general manager of Pearson Fuels. Pearson specializes in the development of alternative fueling infrastructure for vehicles and the distribution of alternative fuels.

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UCSD Apartments Earn Spot in Top 10 Green Projects

ARCHITECTURE: Juror Says Innovative Design Is A Model for the Region

The American Institute of Architects recently picked the Charles David Keeling Apartments located on the UC San Diego campus in La Jolla among the nation’s top 10 green projects for most sustainable new structures.

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Marum Creates a Cool Oasis for San Diego’s Desert Climate

DESIGN: Firm’s Diverse Projects Take Sustainability Seriously

Landscape architect Marian Marum encountered no small bit of resistance when workers took out two acres of grass at Solar Turbines Inc. corporate headquarters in Kearny Mesa before installing a sustainable landscape at the sprawling campus in 2008 and 2009.

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Palomar Medical Center’s ‘Living Roof’ Does a World of Good

DESIGN: Structure Provides Energy Savings And Lifesaving Benefits

They call it a “living roof” for a few reasons. Not only does the roof on a diagnostics facility next to Palomar Medical Center contain myriad succulents and other native plants of the Escondido hillsides, it also exists as a healing tool.

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Hurdles Are Hindering the Development of Algae-Based Biofuels

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.

The Military Is Active in Implementing Its Green Strategy

DEFENSE: Prescribed Goals of Conservation Are Part of Process

Increasingly, contractors such as RJC Architects are being asked to think green when they go to work for the Pentagon.

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‘Green Teams’ Reshape URS’ Work Environment, Practices

GREEN: UTC Office Transformation Earns LEED Silver Rating

When global engineering firm URS Corp. relocated its San Diego office two years ago, its staff saw an opportunity. Here was a chance to make something green.

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Apricus to Focus on Sexual Dysfunction Therapies

PHARMA: Secondary Public Offering Provides Cash for Development

Apricus Biosciences Inc., a maker of drugs treating sexual dysfunction, has joined the cadre of San Diego biotechs making waves on the stock market with its recent $17.1 million secondary public offering.

Businesses Brace for SDG&E Rate Increase

ENERGY: They Could Pass Costs to Customers, Increase Energy Efficiency

David Iwashita says the pending electrical rate hike will increase operating costs at the Lafayette Hotel, the Mid City business he manages, but the costs may not be as steep because of its recent renovations.

Tourist Season Bring Bodies and Bucks to Town

SDBJ Insider

It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Erik Bruvold, the economic guru at National University System Institute for Policy Research, says in a just-issued report that out-of-town vacationers will spend more than $450 million through Labor Day — on items ranging from “sunscreen to sand shovels.”

Health Care Billing Needs Its Own Reform

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.

Cubic Plans for NextBus To Take Global Route

TECH: Overseas Market to Be Key Part of Sales Strategy

Cubic Corp. sees a future in tracking buses, trollies and trains by GPS. The publicly traded San Diego company acquired a business called NextBus early this year for about $20 million. Now it’s taking steps to fold the company, including 28 employees, into the rest of its transportation segment, and sell its services to a wider client base.

Otay Facility Puts JOT In Center of the Action

TECH: Manufacturing Clients Draw Firm to Border Region

JOT Automation Inc., a Finnish manufacturer of high-tech automation equipment, will open a second office in San Diego in Otay Mesa next week to handle an increasing amount of business from both the telecommunications and automotive industries.

Lower Costs Contribute to Bright Outlook for Solar Industry

ENERGY: State Leads the Nation for Solar Energy Systems

San Diego’s adaption of residential solar energy systems was so great last year it blew through a goal it wasn’t supposed to reach for another four years.

Generating Awareness

GREEN: SDG&E Partners with Businesses For Sustainable Projects

When James Gabriel heard about San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s Sustainable Communities Program, he knew that partnering with the utility could win LEED certification for his firm, ARCHITECTS hanna gabriel wells.

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A Qualcomm Star Makes Movie Debut

TECH: Snapdragon Ads Aim to Increase Chip’s Fame

Qualcomm Inc. wants to be top of mind among the people buying smartphones this summer. It’s making another advertising push for its Snapdragon chip, though for San Diegans, it won’t be as eye-catching as the one in late 2011, when the corporation rebranded Qualcomm Stadium as Snapdragon Stadium.

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