Stories for March 2013

Friday, March 29

Life Technologies To Invest $18M in Plant Expansion

Carlsbad-based Life Technologies Corp. plans to invest $18 million to expand its San Francisco-area plant that manufactures a variety of genetic testing products.

Eventful Launches New Event App for iPhone

Eventful, the San Diego firm that provides digital promotion services of events and entertainment, rolled out a new application for Apple’s iPhone that covers a full spectrum of events and tailors event recommendations to its user.

Playdek Inc. Raises $3.8M in Series A Funding

Carlsbad-based gaming publisher Playdek Inc. said recently that it raised $3.8 million in a series A funding round led by Qualcomm Ventures.

Emerald Textiles Expands to Los Angeles

Emerald Textiles, a San Diego based industrial laundry for health care providers, is expanding into Los Angeles.

El Cajon Apartment Community Sells for $12M

Tarzana-based Mollison 150 Enterprises LP has purchased the 150-unit Bella Vista Apartments in El Cajon for $12 million.

Alaska Airlines Launches New Local Service to Boston

Alaska Airlines is launching new daily nonstop service between San Diego International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Energy Kitchen Inc. To Deliver Meals on ElliptiGO Inc.’s Bicycles

A Solana Beach company is adding some flair and novelty to a just-opened restaurant on the Atlantic coast. Energy Kitchen Inc. said the staff at its new Coral Gables, Fla. restaurant will deliver food with elliptical bicycles from ElliptiGO Inc.

Verenium Reports Decrease in 2012 Profit As Compared With 2011

San Diego-based biotechnology company Verenium Corp. showed a decrease in 2012 in its overall profit from the year previous, citing the acquisition of some of its assets as a reason sales decreased.

Thursday, March 28

Northrop Grumman Receives $433.5M Contract

The Defense Department recently said it awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars, covering logistics support for the U.S. Air Force’s Global Hawk unmanned spy aircraft.

BioMed Announces Share Price of $21.40 for Public Offering

BioMed Realty Trust Inc. has announced a price of $21.40 per share for its previously announced public offering of common stock, expected to generate gross proceeds of approximately $321 million.

Qualcomm CEO Joins Investor Group Seeking to Buy Sacramento Kings

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs joined an investor group that’s trying to purchase the Sacramento Kings basketball team and build a new arena there, according to several media reports.

First Part of Lindbergh Field’s $1B Green Build Project is Now Open

Lindbergh Field opened the first part of the $1 billion Green Build project recently when it doubled the number of security checkpoint lanes to 12 at Terminal 2, or the farthest western terminal.

Trovagene Launches HPV Test, Stock Jumps 14 Percent After Announcement

San Diego-based Trovagene Inc. has launched a urine-based human papillomavirus test on the market.

County Construction Contracts Rose 9 Percent in Early 2013

San Diego County contracts for future construction grew 9 percent in the first two months of 2013 compared with the same period a year ago, according to new data from McGraw-Hill Construction.

Neurocrine Begins Phase IIb Clinical Trial for Uterine Fibroids Treatment

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. has begun a Phase IIb clinical trial to evaluate its synthetic hormone-based drug that treats noncancerous tumors in the uterus called uterine fibroids.

Wednesday, March 27

BioMed Realty Announces $640M Portfolio Purchase Deal

San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust Inc. has entered into an agreement to merge with Wexford Science & Technology LLC of Baltimore, in an acquisition deal valued at approximately $640 million.

ZeaKal Raises $3.8M in Series A Funding

San Diego-based plant science company ZeaKal Inc. has raised $3.8 million in Series A funding for its technology to increase crop yields.

G2 Software Systems Receives Government Task Order

G2 Software Systems Inc. says it received a government task order that could be worth as much as $67 million over five years.

Trigild Partners in Purchase of Orange County Hotel

San Diego-based real estate services firm Trigild, in partnership with Blu Hotel Investors and Pacifica Real Estate Group, both of Santa Barbara, have acquired the 121-room Santa Ana Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Ana.

Maxwell Restates Financial Results as a Result of Audit

Maxwell Technologies Inc., the San Diego maker of energy storage and delivery devices used in hybrid buses and other applications, said it has recently been notified by the Nasdaq stock exchange that it’s not in compliance with the listing requirements.

Tuesday, March 26

Peregrine Semiconductor Microchips Launched into Space on Satellites

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. said recently that it has microchips aboard six Globalstar Inc. communications satellites that were launched Feb. 6.

Phil’s BBQ Opening Latest Location at Petco Park

Locally based Phil’s BBQ plans to open a new location April 9 at Petco Park on opening day for the San Diego Padres.

Vital Therapies’ Latest Financing Round Increases to $100M

Vital Therapies Inc., a San Diego-based biotech company that is developing artificial livers for patients with liver failure, announced its latest financing round has increased to about $100 million.

Pacific Hospitality Group Acquires Warner Springs Ranch Resort

San Diego-based Pacific Hospitality Group Inc., also known as PHG, has purchased the 250-room Warner Springs Ranch Resort in Warner Springs, out of a bankruptcy proceeding involving its prior owner, Warner Springs Ranchowners Association.

Nautilus Solar Energy Is Opening San Diego Office

Summit, N.J.-based Nautilus Solar Energy LLC is opening an office in San Diego to serve as a base of its operations for the West Coast solar market.

San Diego County Unemployment Rate Increased in January

San Diego County’s unemployment rate increased to 8.6 percent in January, up from a revised 8.2 percent in December, and down from the 9.5 percent rate in January 2012, according to the latest report from the state’s Employment Development Department.

Nirvanix Names Debra Chrapaty CEO

Nirvanix, a San Diego-based provider of enterprise-class cloud storage services, says it has appointed Debra Chrapaty as its CEO, effective in April.

Bill Geppert Elected 2013 President of the Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls

Bill Geppert, the former Cox San Diego executive who held C-level positions with both the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, was elected as the 2013 president of the Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union’s Poinsettia Bowl, according to the San Diego Bowl Association.

Monday, March 25

Downtown Holiday Inn Rebranded as Wyndham Hotel

The 600-room downtown Holiday Inn San Diego on the Bay hotel has been rebranded as an upscale Wyndham property, under an agreement between its owner and a division of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts LLC.

Local Construction Firms Selected to Compete for Work in Hawaii

The islands are calling two local construction companies.

European Regulatory Opinion Boosts Halozyme Stock

Shares for San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. rose more than 30 percent after the biopharmaceutical company announced that European regulators gave a positive opinion on one of the company’s drugs.

Public Utilities Commission Blocks SDG&E Purchase Agreements

The California Public Utilities Commission denied San Diego Gas & Electric permission to enter purchase agreements involving two proposed peaker power plants in San Diego County, one next to Santee and the other in Otay Mesa.

Infosonics Corp. Reports Net Loss of $1.2M for Q4

Infosonics Corp., the San Diego distributor of cellphones in international markets, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $1.2 million compared with a net loss of $359,000 for the like quarter of 2011.

Court’s Tentative Ruling Backs Filner in TMD Dispute

A Superior Court judge has issued a tentative ruling in favor of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, saying the court cannot compel the mayor to immediately sign an agreement renewing a Tourism Marketing District.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego for the week of March 25-April 1

Gaining Independence

FINANCE: Financial Advisers Break Away From the Big Firms

Locally based broker-dealers that provide back office and support services to independent financial advisers are expanding their local operations as more of the advisers break away from big brokerages.

Putting Puts Charities in the Winner’s Circle

Kudos/Giving Column

The Farmers Insurance Open’s Birdies for Charity program raised more than $420,000 for eight local charities. Farmers Insurance and the Century Club of San Diego presented the funds to all eight participating Birdies for Charity organizations. Participating charities asked for pledges and donations from individuals who support their organizations.

Positive Indicators Point to Prolonged Bull Run for Stock Market

MARKET: Experts Are Advising Clients To Shift to Stocks

As the stock market continues its upward climb, more investors are moving back into equities, some belatedly, but local financial advisers say that there’s still plenty of upside left.

Professional Profile: William Super

William “Bill” Super is the founder of William Super CPAs & Consultants, a practice that helps business owners and their families, and families with wealth with estate and charitable planning, family legacy and philanthropic planning, succession planning, exit planning and building the overall business value. The firm focuses on proactive, collaborative planning so business principals attain their long-term business objectives and maximize organizational value as well as overall family goals. Super founded the firm in 2007 after moving from Seattle.

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Upscale Boutique Hotel Purchase Fits Firm’s Buying Strategy

Real Estate Column

Another downtown San Diego hotel in the hip, upscale “boutique” category has changed hands, with Illinois-based Inland Real Estate Group’s recent $53 million purchase of Andaz San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Real Estate Roundup

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

The San Diego office of Colliers International announces that 67 residential lots located on 16.5 acres in Lakeside have sold for $6 million.

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Torrey Pines Bank Sees 41% Growth Over the Past 2 Years

Finance Column

Torrey Pines Bank, now at $2 billion in assets and the third largest bank based in San Diego, continued to get bigger last year, increasing assets by 17 percent and its loan portfolio by 12 percent.

Survey Reports Litigation Spend, Number of In-House Lawyers Up

Fifty-three percent of companies in the United States reported spending $1 million or more on litigation in 2012, the same as the prior year. Attorneys and clients can find good news in that. Ten percent fewer companies reported using alternative fee arrangements, though, more than half the companies used them.

News in Briefs

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment plans a June 1 opening for Aquatica San Diego, the Chula Vista water park that it purchased in late 2012 from Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.

Business Community Service Exemplary Award Winners Announced

AWARDS: Sempra And Mel Katz of Manpower Honored for Service

Rotary Club 33 of San Diego recently announced that Sempra Energy and Mel Katz of Manpower San Diego have been selected as the Exemplary Award winners for the 2013 Business Community Service Awards.

Ai-one’s ‘Artificial Brain’ Has a Real Eye for Data

TECH: Software Can Dig Through and Decipher Information

Software writer ai-one Inc. doesn’t just promise code. The company promises to pull new perspectives and second opinions from seemingly inscrutable data.

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T.B Penick Awarded $120M In Projects

San Diego-based general contractor T.B. Penick & Sons Inc. has been awarded two projects, valued at approximately $120 million, related to refurbishing of New York City beach areas ravaged by last fall’s Hurricane Sandy.

Kratos Is Helping Satellites Stay Out of a Jam

TECH: Company Grows Its Software And Hardware Business

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. sees a market in making satellite communications better — particularly when others are trying to jam or disrupt their signals.

Health Care Providers Prepare for Patient Influx

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.

Sea Change Comes To Local Red Lobsters

SDBJ Insider

The 700-unit Red Lobster restaurant chain completes the remodeling of two local outlets, one at 3780 Sports Arena Blvd. and another at 8330 Mira Mesa Blvd. The two restaurants have been a fixture for the past 25 years, and are getting a renovation, according to a spokesperson.

Fenton Finds Home for Clean-Tech Innovations

PROPERTY: Apartment Project Is User-Friendly for Technology

Residents of an apartment community soon to open in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood, developed by H.G. Fenton Co., will be the first in the region able to get all of their power from the sun, and track their usage on their smartphones.

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Pathway Taps Avenue For Sharing Genetic Data

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.

Land Developer Seeks Opportunities Nearby

PROPERTY: Neighboring Counties Have Fewer Hurdles

As vacant land tabbed for building new homes becomes harder to find in San Diego, residential developers set their sights to the hinterlands in Riverside and Imperial counties, and beyond.

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Real-Time Bus Schedules Arrive Via Cubic Corp.

TRANSIT: N.Y. System to Pinpoint Times, Notify Riders

Cubic Corp., which provides electronics for mass transit systems around the world, will soon help answer the question on New Yorkers’ lips: When in the world is the bus going to arrive?

Getting Stronger

SPORTS: Hoist Fitness Works With a Successful Growth Formula

When Hoist Fitness Systems designed its custom headquarters in Poway, its executives knew they wanted several things. One was a shower near the showroom.

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Friday, March 22

Downtown Office Tower Sold for $140.8M

Dallas-based Lone Star Funds has purchased First Allied Plaza on West Broadway in downtown San Diego for approximately $140.8 million, as part of its $621.5 million acquisition of a national office portfolio from Wereldhave USA, according to CoStar Group.

Sequenom Launches Cystic Fibrosis Test

San Diego-based genetic analysis company Sequenom Inc. has launched a new cystic fibrosis screening test.

Wisconsin Investment Firm Buys Scripps Ranch Retail Center

Wisconsin-based Hendricks Commercial Properties has purchased the Scripps Mesa Retail Center, in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood, for $6.9 million.

Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals Soar After Release of Clinical Trials

Shares for San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. soared after it released promising results about the performance of its drug, pimavanserin, in phase 3 clinical trials.

San Diego Housing Market Ranks 4th Most Expensive in Nation

San Diego’s housing market was ranked the fourth most expensive in the nation, trailing only Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Bay Area in California, according to a recent report from Emeryville-based ZipRealty.

Thursday, March 21

T.B. Penick Gets $120M in Hurricane-Related Projects

San Diego-based general contractor T.B. Penick & Sons Inc. has been awarded two projects, valued at approximately $120 million, related to refurbishing of New York City beach areas ravaged by last fall’s Hurricane Sandy.

Firm Finds Plant’s Genetic Diversity a Plus in Biofuel Production

Biofuel maker SGB reported recently that there’s more to love about an inedible, oily plant called Jatropha, which the company is using in efforts to create biofuel.

UCSD Student-Run Venture Fund Participates in Series B Funding

A student-run venture capital fund at UC San Diego has participated in a $16 million Series B round of funding in startup Savara Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Toll Road Purchased by Sandag Records 240,000 Trips in a Week

The San Diego Association of Governments, the regional transportation and planning agency, said state Route 125, the former privately-held toll road that it purchased out of bankruptcy, handled some 240,000 trips in the past week, a record.

Wednesday, March 20

General Dynamics Nassco Receives $18.7M Contract Modification

General Dynamics Nassco has received an $18.7 million modification to a previously awarded contract for postshakedown shipyard work on what will be the USS Anchorage, the Defense Department announced recently.

WD-40 Co. Declares Dividends to Shareholders

The board of WD-40 Co. recently declared a dividend of 31 cents per share.

KB Home Buys 67 Residential Lots in Lakeside

Los Angeles-based KB Home Coastal Inc. has purchased 67 residential lots in Lakeside for $6 million, according to a statement from the San Diego office of Colliers International.

Fledgling Carlsbad Airline Names New CEO

Carlsbad-based California Pacific Airlines has named airline industry veteran John Selvaggio as its president and CEO, taking over daily management duties from founder and Chairman Ted Vallas.

Tuesday, March 19

Andaz San Diego Hotel Sold for $53M

The Andaz San Diego hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter has been sold for approximately $53 million, according to financial data provider Real Capital Analytics.

Multimillion-Dollar Satellite Deal Tops Kratos Announcements

The middle of March brought a flurry of announcements from Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc., which reported new products and contracts in the days leading up to the Satellite 2013 convention in Washington, D.C.

Escondido Apartment Community Sells for $15.7M

Wasatch Advantage Group of Mission Viejo has purchased the 161-unit Village Grove Apartments in Escondido for $15.7 million, according to a statement from brokerage firm CBRE, which represented the buyer.

Perry Auto Group Buys McCune Motors

Perry Auto Group said it acquired McCune Motors of National City for an undisclosed price.

Apricus Names CEO

Apricus Biosciences Inc. announced recently that it has a new chief executive officer: Richard Pascoe.

Katz and Sempra to Be Honored By Downtown Rotary

Rotary Club 33 of San Diego is proud to announce that Sempra Energy and Mel Katz of Manpower San Diego have been selected as the Exemplary Award winners for the 2013 Business Community Service Awards.

Monday, March 18

TaylorMade-adidas Golf Reports $1.7 billion in Sales Last Year

TaylorMade-adidas Golf, the Carlsbad maker of golf clubs, golf balls and other golf equipment, said it did record sales last year of more than $1.7 billion, making it the largest golf company in the world.

Z Microsystems Receives $1.2M Contract from Boeing

Mira Mesa-based Z Microsystems said it received a $1.2 million contract for ruggedized computer displays from aircraft builder Boeing.

SeaWorld Plans June Debut for Aquatica in Chula Vista

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment plans a June 1 opening for Aquatica San Diego, the Chula Vista water park that it purchased in late 2012 from Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.

Quidel Corp. Receives FDA Clearance for Virus Detection Test

San Diego-based diagnostic testing company Quidel Corp. has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new respiratory virus detection test.

Verizon To Install Networkfleet on 18,000 Company Vehicles in 2013

The Verizon telecommunications company said recently that it plans to install its own recently acquired fleet-management solution, Networkfleet, on 18,000 company vehicles this year.

Local Contractors Named Among Nation’s Safest

Local contracting firms have been named among the nation’s safest construction companies by the Virginia-based Associated General Contractors of America.

Tourism Authority Issues Layoff Notices to 85 Employees

The San Diego Tourism Authority has issued 60-day layoff notices to 85 employees and may close its doors on May 13 if a Tourism Marketing District contract to fund the agency is not enacted.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego for the week of March 18-March 22.

Real Estate Roundup

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

Hughes Marino Inc. was awarded LEED status for its new building at 1450 Front St. This status was based upon the building’s proximity to a variety of public transportation hubs, as well as other basic community services such as banks, dry cleaners, parks, restaurants and schools. Additional points were awarded for renovating an existing building with a “cool roof” and installing Energy Star rated equipment and appliances in the building.

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Professional Profile: Hon. Patricia Ann Yim Cowett

ADR Services Inc., a full service dispute resolution provider, began in 1994, sub-leasing a couple of rooms from a law firm and handling cases on an ad hoc basis for a handful of retired judges who agreed to work through its panel. Today, ADR’s panel consists of more than 150 retired judges and attorneys throughout California. Now with headquarters in Century City, the company also has locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas.

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Hospice Field Presents Many Challenges to the Players

Healthcare Column

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.

Companies Find Treatments, Profits in ‘Orphan’ Drug Research

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.”

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Is Strong at 90

LEADERSHIP: 1,500 Member Companies Give Group a Wealth of Talent

Carlsbad is a place for business: upstart businesses such as California Pacific Airlines, deep-thinking firms such as Life Technologies Corp. and ViaSat Inc., and vacation resorts.

New Firm Founded to Pursue Biologics of Bone Treatments

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.

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Pacific Premier Plans To Buy San Diego Trust

Another San Diego community bank is exiting the scene. San Diego Trust Bank, founded in 2003 and with three branches and $242 million in assets, agreed to be acquired by Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc., based in Irvine and with $1.2 billion in assets.

Tourism Authority Wins 1 Battle but Is Still at War

TRAVEL: Layoff Notices Sent as Dispute With Mayor Continues

The San Diego Tourism Authority has fended off a bid by the mayor’s office to rescind convention center marketing duties now performed by the region’s largest tourism promotion agency.

Acquisition Rumors Remain a Part of Life

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.

Good Press Delivered to S.D.’s Doorstep

SDBJ Insider

San Diego’s been making national headlines of late. The Los Angeles Times reports that three regional ZIP codes made the Top 10 list of Southern California counties that have enjoyed nice recoveries in the residential real estate sector since the 2008-2009 downturn.

What’s in Store

TECH: Qualcomm Aims To Customize the Retail Experience for Shoppers

Name a vertical market normally associated with Qualcomm Inc. Chances are you didn’t say retail.

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Airport Strikes Gold With New Building

GREEN: Its LEED Ranking Is Seen as a First for Such a Center

The local region continues to boost its profile as a hub for energy-efficient buildings, with San Diego International Airport registering what officials say is a global first for an airport: LEED Gold certification for its recently completed receiving and distribution center.

Northrop Consolidations Bring Jobs to Region

DEFENSE: Unmanned Systems Efforts Land Programs in S.D.

Two Northrop Grumman Corp. aircraft programs are leaving other states and coming to San Diego, and with them, scores if not hundreds of jobs.

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Skyline 20 See Signs of Better Times Downtown

PROPERTY: Unknowns Could Make or Break the Momentum

The past year saw downtown San Diego’s largest office high-rises reverse six years of flat or negative occupancy trends, as renewed investor activity and an influx of new tenants signaled noticeable recovery in the city’s central business district, according to a report by the brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

Realty Income Keeps Growing, Diversifying

PROPERTY: Firm’s Portfolio Can Weather Economic Storms

CEO Tom A. Lewis says there’s likely more robust activity ahead this year for Realty Income Corp., even after a first quarter that has already seen the company close on a $3.1 billion corporate acquisition and complete a $756 million stock offering.

Shiley Makes a Healthy Donation to Scripps’ Musculoskeletal Center

Kudos/Giving Column

Local philanthropist Darlene Shiley has donated $5 million to Scripps Clinic to support advanced orthopedic care and research. The Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley Musculoskeletal Center, on the first floor of the Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines Anderson Outpatient Pavilion in La Jolla, will provide patients with a range of medical services and centralized programs all in one place.

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Friday, March 15

Harbor Island Sheraton Completes $2M Renovation

Operators have completed a $2 million renovation of the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina at Harbor Island.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Licenses Cancer Treatment to Spectrum

San Diego’s Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has licensed its proprietary cancer treatment to Irvine-based Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Volcano Corp. Launches Microcatheter for Use in Coronary Surgery

San Diego-based Volcano Corp. has launched a new product, called the Valet microcatheter, in the U.S. and Europe.

Median Home Price in San Diego Increased In February

San Diego’s median housing price increased to $359,000 in February, up 17.7 percent over the median in February of 2012, according to the most recent report from Dataquick, the La Jolla based real estate research firm.

Communication Electronics Giant Huawei Distributes School Supplies to Students

San Diego employees of communication electronics giant Huawei recently distributed school supplies to 200 students at Bayview Terrace Elementary School in Pacific Beach.

Thursday, March 14

Airport Distribution Center Attains LEED Gold Status

The recently completed receiving and distribution center at San Diego International Airport has received Gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

Alphatech Holdings Receives FDA Clearance for Spinal Device

Carlsbad-based Alphatec Holdings Inc. has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market and sell its spinal disorder corrective device.

Kearny Mesa Office Building Sells for $14.5M

Newport Beach-based investment firm Peregrine Realty Partners has purchased the Chesapeake Park Plaza office building in Kearny Mesa for $14.5 million. The seller was CW Capital Asset Management LLC of Bethesda, Md., according to CoStar Group.

Lithera’s Fat-Reducing Drug Starts 500-Person Clinical Trial

San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company Lithera Inc. is rolling out a 500-patient clinical trial to test its drug that aims to reduce body fat without surgery.

Kevin Kane Takes Reins as President, CEO at Datron

Datron World Communications, the Vista-based maker of military radios that has a side business making small surveillance drones, announced it has a new president and CEO: Kevin Kane.

Judge Upholds Convention Center Funding Plan in Preliminary Ruling

A Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary ruling upholding the funding mechanism for a planned $520 million expansion of San Diego Convention Center.

Wednesday, March 13

San Diego Business Journal Power Outage

Due to a late afternoon power outage at the San Diego Business Journal, we are unable to report all of our news stories. Our enewsletter will be back to full reporting tomorrow.

Kratos Defense Grows Annual Revenue to $969M

Closing the books on its 2012 fiscal year, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. reported a net loss of $114.4 million on revenue of $969.2 million.

RF Industries Reports Record Net Income

Electronic components maker RF Industries Ltd. reported record net income of $1.48 million during the first quarter of its fiscal year, which ended Jan. 31. Net income one year ago was $117,000.

Tuesday, March 12

Realty Income Nets $756M from Stock Offering

Realty Income Corp. has closed on its recently announced public offering of common stock, which garnered net proceeds of approximately $756 million.

SAIC Receives $54M Contract from U.S. Navy

Science Applications International Corp. has received a U.S. Navy contract that may be worth as much as $54 million over five years if the Navy exercises all of its options. SAIC said the work will be done primarily in San Diego.

SpineMark Opens First International Spine Center

San Diego-based spinal research organization SpineMark Corp. has opened its first international spine center in Torrevieja, Spain.

Harvest Meat Co. Acquires Assets From Randall Foods Inc.

San Diego-based Harvest Meat Company Inc., a national distributor of meat-based products, has acquired certain assets from Vernon-based Randall Foods Inc. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Trigild Opens Office in Baltimore-Washington, D.C. Region

San Diego-based Trigild, which provides management, receivership and consulting services related to distressed real estate properties, has opened a new office in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area.

Cricket Communications’ Muve Music Service Reaches 1.4M Subscribers

Cricket Communications, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Leap Wireless International Inc., announced recently that its Muve Music service has reached 1.4 million subscribers, up from about 1.1 million at the end of 2012.

Monday, March 11

Pacific Premier Bancorp Announces Plan to Buy San Diego Trust Bank

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. recently announced plans to buy San Diego Trust Bank for $30.6 million in cash and stock.

Cytori Therapeutics Reports Revenue of $7.3M for Q4

San Diego-based Cytori Therapeutics Inc. posted fourth quarter revenues of $7.3 million for 2012, as compared with $2.8 million for the like period in 2011.

LifeProof to Show off Protective Case for Phone at SXSW Festival

San Diego-based LifeProof said it plans to show off its new, protective case for the Samsung Galaxy SIII mobile device at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas.

USD Conference Examines Real Estate Climate

A diverse economy is expected to keep local real estate on a path to recovery, even if short-term growth remains slow for both the San Diego and national economies, experts said at a real estate conference presented recently by University of San Diego.

San Diego Business Journal Accepting Nominations for Annual Healthiest Companies Awards

One of San Diego Business Journal’s most popular awards programs is in full swing. Nominations for the Healthiest Companies Awards are open and the Journal will be accepting entries until March 29.

Business Events Calendar

Business events in and around San Diego County for the week of March 11-March 15

New Award to Give Head Start to Cognitive Research


Former UC San Diego Chancellor Richard Atkinson donated $3.5 million to the National Academy of Sciences. The funds will be used to establish an annual $200,000 prize that will recognize the work of researchers in the fields of psychology and cognitive sciences.

Real Estate Roundup

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

Senior Resource Group, a Solana Beach-based developer of luxury senior living communities, recently won its 12th award from the National Association of Home Builders, bringing home a gold achievement honor for the “Best 50+ Continuing Care Retirement Community” for its Maravilla Scottsdale community located in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Denise Pirrotti Hummel

Denise Pirrotti Hummel is the CEO and chief strategist for Universal Consensus LLC, a cross-cultural management consulting firm in San Diego, serving Fortune 100 companies, government, military operations, and global organizations worldwide.

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When Buying or Selling a Business, Beware of all Financial Issues

BUSINESS: Planning An Exit Strategy Can Take Years

Often described as financial matchmakers, business brokers occupy a special niche in the world of business transactions.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

San Diego-based Karl Strauss Brewing Co. is making plans to open its eighth brewery-restaurant in Temecula. A company spokeswoman confirmed that the business is working to get permits in the Riverside County town, but declined to give more information.

Seacoast Commerce Bank Nearly Doubles Its Loan Output

Seacoast Commerce Bank changed its business model last year to holding rather than selling its SBA loans, and naturally, its portfolio got a lot larger.

LAF-Off Lets Lawyers Deliver Their Best Punch Lines

Lawyers must hide their sense of humor. It’s part of the job, and arguably the most important component of getting a decent hourly rate. But not on the evening of March 21. San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Inc. (SDVLP), a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to thousands of disadvantaged clients every year, will hold its seventh annual LAF-Off (Lawyers Are Funny) event on that night at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.

Big Moves Made in Multifamily Properties

REAL ESTATE: Chula Vista Complex Sells for $90 Million

When locally based R&V Management Corp. recently purchased the 336-unit Missions at Sunbow in Chula Vista for $90 million from Equity Residential, it marked the largest single recorded apartment transaction so far this year in San Diego County.

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Fast-Track Status Given To MediciNova Drug

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.

Tourism Marketing District Helps Bring Jobs And Revenue to Town Along With Tourists

The battle over tourism marketing and tourism’s very future in San Diego is being waged at City Hall and in the courts. But what’s being lost in the drama that surrounds the battle are the jobs that could be lost as a result of this political brinksmanship.

Private Sector Leasing Helps Blunt Sequester

PROPERTY: Effect on Smaller Defense Contractors Is Wildcard

Experts say the local commercial office market should be spared from major pain caused by forced federal budget cuts, at least in the short run, thanks largely to a diverse economy, limited new construction, and healthy office tenant demand across several sectors.

Serious Business Part 2

EDUCATION: Rady School’s Reputation Grows With Its Graduates’ Success

Companies such as Cypher Genomics (see related story) show that entrepreneurship is alive and well at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management.

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Serious Business

TECH: CEO Puts Education, Connections To Work in Software Firm

Every day, Cypher Genomics Inc. musters its resources to make sense of the human genome. Three of the company’s founders are life sciences luminaries in San Diego.

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Demand Drives Improvements at Life Science Properties

San Diego’s life sciences real estate market experienced a busy 2012, with a flurry of renovations, big-ticket property purchases and announcements of upcoming construction. According to a recent report by the brokerage firm Cassidy Turley San Diego, the region’s biotech and pharmaceutical hubs are likely to remain beehives of activity in 2013.

Achates Takes Page From Past to Create Futuristic Engine

DEFENSE: Firm to Deliver Fuel Efficiency And Power for Army

Achates Power Inc. is working to adapt its innovative diesel engine technology for use in U.S. Army vehicles. The San Diego company and partner AVL Powertrain Engineering Inc. are now fine-tuning designs under a recently received, $4.9 million contract.

Deal With Harvard Is Part of Firm’s Stem Cell Strategy

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.

It’s the Customer’s Location That Counts for Breadcrumbs

TECH: Coupons and Deals Are Customized Through Tracking System

In Grimm’s fairy tale of “Hansel and Gretel,” the two young protagonists drop breadcrumbs along the path to find their way home from a trek in the dark forest.

Qualcomm Life Partners With WebMD App

Qualcomm Life Inc. is collaborating with New York-based online health information resource WebMD LLC to allow consumers access and to learn about their own wireless health data from a wide array of fitness, wellness and medical devices.

The Border Region’s Retail Scene Heats Up

PROPERTY: Plans Are In Works for New Outlet Center This Year

Developers, lenders and retailers have recently been following those crowds of shoppers seeking out bargains at stores along the U.S-Mexico border in the San Diego region.

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Sharp Pioneers Patient Eligibility Process

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.

UCSD Plans To Amp Up Its Solar Power

SDBJ Insider

San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power is installing an additional 784,000 watts of solar power on the UC San Diego campus, bringing the campus’s total solar power generation capacity to 3 million watts. The university estimates the new project will save an additional $2 million over the next 20 years

Japanese Company Buys Althea Technologies Inc.

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.

Friday, March 8

ViaSat Inc. Sets Guinness World Record

Add ViaSat Inc. to the people, places and things that have set Guinness World Records.

Sorrento Therapeutics Signs Option to Acquire Igdrasol Inc.

San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. has signed an exclusive option to acquire Igdrasol Inc., a Fountain Valley-based private company that is developing treatments for breast and lung cancers.

Developer to Present Concept Plans for Parks at Civita

Developer Sudberry Properties will present concept plans for upcoming parks at its Civita mixed-use project, at a public meeting scheduled for March 12 in Mission Valley. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the development’s Circa 37 apartment leasing center, at 7800 Westside Drive.

Mixed-use Mission Hills Development Sells for $8.6M

Locally based Paragon Management Co. has purchased a mixed-use project in Mission Hills, called 1Mission, for $8.6 million, according to CoStar Group.

Sequenom Reports Net Loss of $32.8M for Q4

Genetic analysis company Sequenom Inc. has reported a loss of $32.8 million, or 29 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012. Its net loss for the full calendar year was $117.1 million, or $1.03 per share. The company’s market capitalization is currently about $515 million.

Thursday, March 7

Realty Income Announces $656.9 Million Stock Offering

Realty Income Corp. has announced a public offering of common stock, expected to generate net proceeds of approximately $656.9 million.

CareFusion Announces Private Offering of $300M in Senior Notes

CareFusion Corp. has announced a private offering of $300 million in senior notes, the net proceeds of which will be used for general corporate purposes.

41 Rancho Santa Fe Home Lots Sell for $10.2M

California West Ventures II LLC, which includes Carlsbad-based homebuilder California West Communities, has purchased 41 residential lots in Rancho Santa Fe, for $10.25 million.

Cylene Pharmaceuticals Enters Licensing Agreement with TetraGene

San Diego-based Cylene Pharmaceuticals Inc. has entered an exclusive option and licensing agreement with Tucson, Ariz.-based TetraGene LLC to advance Cylene’s anticancer gene technologies.

San Diego Business Journal Launches Fastest Growing Companies Survey

Nominations for the San Diego Business Journal’s Annual Fastest Growing Private Companies list are now open.

Wednesday, March 6

Synteract Acquires Harrison Clinical Research, Forms SynteractHCR

Carlsbad-based contract research organization Synteract has acquired Munich, Germany-based Harrison Clinical Research, combining to form a new multinational company called SynteractHCR. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Peregrine to License Intellectual Property to Murata

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. said recently that it plans to license its core UltraCMOS intellectual property for the first time, to Kyoto, Japan-based Murata Manufacturing Co. Details of the agreement are still being finalized, company executives said.

Port District Slates Forum to Discuss Proposed Leasing Revisions

The Port of San Diego has scheduled a March 12 public forum, to discuss proposed revisions to its real estate leasing policy.

FDA Agrees that La Jolla Pharmaceutical Has Sufficient Data for Investigational New Drug Application

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed that La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. has enough data to support an investigational new drug application for a drug that treats patients with hepatorenal syndrome, a life-threatening form of kidney failure in patients with serious liver disease.

Ashley Furniture Buys Former Toppan Warehouse for Future Showroom

Ashley Furniture HomeStore has purchased a 121,344-square-foot warehouse in the Miramar submarket for $5.67 million, from seller Toppan Electronics.

Digital Managers to Be Honored at Business Journal’s IT Exec of the Year Awards

IT superheroes will be honored in an exclusive program created by the San Diego Business Journal in its sixth annual Information Technology Executive of the Year Awards on Thursday, April 4, at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

Tuesday, March 5

Qualcomm Life, WebMD Team Up to Deliver Digital Health, Fitness Information

Qualcomm Life Inc. is collaborating with New York-based online health information resource WebMD LLC to allow consumers access and to learn about their own wireless health data from a wide array of fitness, wellness and medical devices.

Partnership Buys Two UTC Buildings for $25.6M

A partnership that includes Greenlaw Partners of Newport Beach and Chicago-based Walton Street Capital LLC has purchased two office buildings at University Towne Center for a total of $25.65 million, according to CoStar Group.

SDG&E Receives Recognition at Climate Leadership Awards

San Diego Gas & Electric received national recognition at this year’s Climate Leadership Awards in Washington, D.C. The company was given the Supply Chain Leadership Award for its aggressive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout its supply chains.

Realty Income Names New Co-President

Realty Income Corp. has named John P. Case, currently its chief investment officer, as co-president of the real estate investment firm.

San Diego Business Journal Accepting Nominations for Annual Healthiest Companies Awards

Nominations for the Healthiest Companies Awards are open and the Journal will be accepting entries until March 29.

Monday, March 4

Cubic Defense Deals Could Be Worth Up to $300M

Cubic Corp., the San Diego provider of military training systems and mass transit fare collection systems, said it obtained three prime contracts from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division to develop training systems supporting both variants of the Navy’s new littoral combat ship.

Revenue, Operating Funds Rise at Locally Based Excel Trust

San Diego-based Excel Trust Inc., a retail-focused property investment firm, reported increases in revenue and funds from operations for its fourth quarter and year ending Dec. 31, though it posted a net loss for both periods.

Life Technologies Eyes Europe With New Test

San Diego-based Life Technologies Corp. has developed a test to detect horse DNA in response to the recent and widespread reports of meat contamination in Europe.

Sempra Completes Sale of Power Plant Block

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power said it completed the sale of a 625-megawatt block of its 1,250-megawatt Mesquite Power plant in Arizona to the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District for $371 million.

Digirad Refocuses, Plans Move to Atlanta

Digirad Corp., which offers solid-state medical imaging products and services, announced recently that it plans to move its headquarters from Poway to Atlanta.

American Airlines to Debut Direct Local Flights to Miami

American Airlines will begin nonstop daily service between San Diego and Miami on June 12, marking the first direct flights to that city from San Diego International Airport in 20 years.

Business Events Calendar

Events happening in and around San Diego this week.

UCSD Student Startup Senses New Applications for Wireless

HEALTH: Sensors May Monitor ECG, EEG Without Electrodes

Federal health care officials hope that technology will help save the day when the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is implemented on a greater scale.

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Real Estate Roundup

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

DPR Construction today announced that Shire PLC and real estate partner BioMed Realty Trust have tapped the company to manage the build out of a new campus to house its Regenerative Medicine business.

Care Act Changes Field For Staffing Companies

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.

The Return of Zorro

TOURISM: Investors Ride to the Rescue of Luxury Desert Resort

A trio of prominent local investors, including former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory, has restored the name La Casa del Zorro to the closed Borrego Springs resort they recently purchased in a short sale for $2.45 million.

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Company Comes Through With a Big Check for the Cure

Kudos/Giving Column

Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. raised more than $99,000 during the company’s campaign to support breast cancer prevention and research. The funds will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The company pledged to make a donation for every home loan closed from October production, raising a total of $99,472.37.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

The Terraces, a 190-unit apartment community in Escondido, has been sold for $23.4 million.

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County Airports Are One of Region’s Economic Engines

TRAVEL: Eight Airports Handle Big Amount of Traffic

San Diego is an aviator’s paradise, what with multiple airfields capable of handling the largest to the smallest aircraft, and generating hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in economic activity.

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East County Wants to Chart a Flight Path for Commerce

BUILDING: Leaders See Opportunity to Create Aerotropolis at Gillespie

The East County business community has the world at its doorstep. The valley where the city of El Cajon meets Santee is a nexus of three freeways and an airport. With those assets, El Cajon’s Gillespie Field could increasingly shape business and development for several miles outside of its perimeter fence.

Change is in the Air at Lindbergh

TRAVEL: Airport’s Green Renovation Is On Time and on Budget

After nearly five years of construction, the $1 billion Green Build project is nearing its final approach at San Diego International Airport, with the energy-efficient expansion set for an August completion.

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Executive Profile: Larry B. Anderson

Larry B. Anderson is the chief executive officer at Tri-City Medical Center, an acute-care hospital serving northern San Diego County. Since his arrival in 2009, Anderson has transformed the once financially ailing, 397-bed hospital into a profitable, innovative medical center that is a leader in robotic surgery and offers the only spine surgery program in San Diego County, according to the center.

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SDCCU Continues Its ‘Progress in Performance and Growth’

Fiance Column

San Diego County Credit Union, the area’s largest with about $5.8 billion in assets, reported increased loans and profits, and decreased delinquencies for 2012.

Casinos Invite You to Spend the Night at Their New Properties

GAMING: New Viejas Hotel Is Part of Trend Toward More Amenities

San Diego County casinos are giving prospective gamblers more chances to turn a getaway into an overnight stay.

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Zable Heirs’ Plans to Sell Some Cubic Stock Seen as Tax Move

FINANCE: SEC Filing Comes at a Time When Taxes Are Coming Due

The heirs of the late Cubic Corp. founder Walter J. Zable plan to sell about $125 million in Cubic stock to satisfy the tax liability caused by the transfer of Zable’s assets, the company said.

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Biotech Launches Subsidiary to Produce Cloned Synthetic DNA

Biotechnology Column

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.

SBA Proposes Easier Loan Process for Borrowers

FINANCE: Aim Is To Reduce Paperwork And Simplify Process

Believe it or not, there’s a federal government agency that’s actively trying to cut red tape—the U.S. Small Business Administration. The agency announced a series of proposed changes to the loan application process aimed at making it quicker, less paper intensive, and more efficient.

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Swiss Company Buys Local Cargo Tracking Firm

TECH: Expansion Needs Required It To Find Partnership

ABB, a $39 billion Swiss company, is wrapping up its purchase of APS Technology, a small Kearny Mesa tech firm that specializes in helping transportation companies keep track of shipping containers.

East County Chamber Ousts Its President

SDBJ Insider

Just in case you haven’t heard the news. Scott Alevy, who headed the influential San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce as the president, has been ousted by his board of directors in a cost-savings move. In news reports, the board cited ongoing financial turbulence as a reason for the surprising change in leadership.

Emerging Middle Class Is PriceSmart’s Market

RETAIL: Store Slowly Expands In Costa Rica and Colombia

The folks at PriceSmart Inc. are well aware of how to do retail, whether it’s in this country where it made its name, or in Latin America and the Caribbean, where it now operates.

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Shipbuilder Maneuvers Deftly in a Budget Battle

DEFENSE: Nassco’s New Process Saves Money and a Key Contract

Eighty percent is beautiful. That is a philosophy that brought the U.S. Navy and General Dynamics Nassco together as they refined a deal to build the Navy’s newest ship.

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Monitoring Device Debuts at Palomar

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.

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Qualcomm Tackles Unusual Expansion Plan

As the wireless communications community gathered at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week, Qualcomm Inc. announced a partnership with Deutsche Telekom to speed the world toward an “Internet of Everything.”

Friday, March 1

Four Local Apartment Communities Part of $15.5B Archstone Sale

Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc. have closed on the acquisition of 136 U.S. apartment communities from Archstone Enterprise LP, a unit of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., in transactions totaling $15.5 billion.

Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring App Delivers Needed News

Monitoring fetal heart rate while a woman is in labor is critical to ensure a safe delivery, but doctors can’t be in every room at once. San Diego-based electronic medical record maker CliniComp International Inc. has developed a mobile application that helps physicians keep tabs on patients and their babies — and a California health system has adopted the program systemwide.

Axesstel Sees Gains in Annual Revenue

Axesstel Inc., a San Diego-based producer of wireless communications equipment, recently reported 2012 net income of $4.3 million on revenue of $59.7 million.

Retirement Plans Shine Under Brightscope Ratings

Brightscope, the San Diego financial research firm, released its top 25 companies list for best 401(k) plans in the financial and insurance industries.

Grand Del Mar Receives Trio of 5-Star Ratings in Forbes Guide

The Grand Del Mar resort in Carmel Valley has received three Five-Star awards in the latest Forbes Travel Guide. The 5-year-old property was the only one in San Diego County and one of just six nationwide to receive the highest award in three categories for 2013.

County’s Move May Spur Residential Solar Energy

San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted to conduct an analysis that could lead to more rooftop solar and other alternative energy projects.