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Daily Business Report-Oct. 4, 2013

Daily Business Report-Oct. 4, 2013

San Diego’s Sports and Active Lifestyle

Industry Sets a Rapid Pace for Growth

The sports and active lifestyle industry is rapidly becoming recognized as a major driver in San Diego’s regional economy, a cluster of businesses and services that adds $2.24 billion in economic activity annually or the equivalent of hosting four Super Bowls. That’s the conclusion of a report issued Wednesday by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

The report put the number of businesses in the industry at more than 1,200 having roughly 23,000 employees. Between 2012 and 2013, it said, employment in the industry outpaced that of the entire region, growing 3-5 percent — compared to 1-2 percent growth in San Diego County. Overall, the report said, the industry accounted for 1.3 percent of the region’s economy in 2011.


The industry includes both products and services that facilitate participation in sports and an active lifestyle. For example, San Diego County is home to some of the world’s best known golf companies but the county also has a range of enterprises that provide specialized business services to these companies as well as businesses that focus on training and coaching, facilities and event planning. Action Sports Manufacturing alone employs more than 4,000 people in the region. 


“With the release of the study, we have concrete data to talk about a growing industry that is an important part of San Diego’s story,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. “As home to the second highest concentration of sports and active lifestyle workers in the U.S., this economic driver has an important place in the region’s innovation economy.”

The report recommended actions to continue grooming the industry for growth, including supporting entrepreneurial skills and strengthening cross-border ties for manufacturing partnerships.

San Diego Researchers and Contractors Feel Shutdown Pinch

The federal government shutdown is being felt in the San Diego life sciences industry, KPBS reports. Companies under that umbrella employ about 42,000 local workers, and product development is being held up. Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom, an advocacy group for the region’s biotech companies, said the government shutdown of the Food and Drug Administration is having tangible affects on local companies struggling to win approval for drugs and devices. Approval requests are not being processed and on-site visits from the FDA are not happening because of the shutdown. “Our ability to have meetings with reviewers at the FDA impact the continuing development of the drugs and the devices that our companies are in the process of developing. So essentially that’s all come to a halt,” Panetta said.

The shutdown could cost local firms millions of dollars if products developed in San Diego are kept from the market.

The federal government shutdown affects San Diego more than most other regions because one in 10 workers is drawing a federal paycheck.

Point Loma Nazarene University economist Lynn Reaser said federal civilian workers are being idled and military contractors are feeling the pinch. “Right now contracts are being awarded, but since there’s no funding, they can’t go forward,” Reaser said. “The biggest negative impact on San Diego is just this huge wave of uncertainty. Affecting consumers. Affecting businesses. And the ripple effects are significant.”

Ligand Partner Pfizer Gets FDA Approval for ‘Hot Flashes’ Treatment

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. partner Pfizer received approval Thursday from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its DUAVEE product for the treatment of moderate-to-severe “hot flashes” associated with menopause and the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Under the terms of a license agreement with Pfizer, Ligand has earned a $425,000 milestone payment for the approval. “We believe this is an important achievement in the field of women’s medicine, a therapy area in which Ligand has had a rich history of research,” said John Higgins, president and CEO of Ligand. “There has been a significant therapeutic need for additional safe and effective medicines to improve health and well-being for women.” DUAVEE was developed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer, and is part of a broader research collaboration with Ligand Pharmaceuticals.

Maritime Industry Leaders Launch Drive

To Overturn Barrio Logan Zoning Plan

Representatives of San Diego’s maritime industry said Thursday they’ve launched a drive to gather signatures in an effort to overturn an update to Barrio Logan’s community zoning plan that was recently adopted by the City Council, City News Service reports. The goal of the update was to provide separation between shipyards and residential housing, but opponents said it would cause suppliers to San Diego’s shipyards to move out of the neighborhood — disrupting the supply chain and raising costs. “We are extremely disappointed that the City Council voted to approve the plan and are convinced that this decision represents a dangerous first step toward the elimination of San Diego’s shipyards,” said Fred Harris, president of NASSCO. “We have no choice but to protect the future of our industry by taking this aggressive action to prevent the adoption of this flawed plan.”

In a statement, the Environmental Health Coalition, which supports the zoning update, said it objects to “out-of-state, multi-billion-dollar corporations (that) are positioning themselves to control San Diego communities.”

Robotic Surgery to Treat Stomach Cancer

Kaitlyn Kelly

Kaitlyn Kelly, surgical oncologist at UC San Diego Health System

Surgeons at UC San Diego Health System have performed the region’s first robotic gastrectomy, a potentially lifesaving procedure to remove a section of the stomach after a diagnosis of gastric cancer. Aided by a da Vinci robot, surgeons remove the diseased tissue, perform a delicate reconstruction and remove local lymph nodes for further testing.

“To treat the gastric cancer, we remove part or all of the stomach with five small incisions,” said Kaitlyn Kelly, surgical oncologist at UC San Diego Health System. “The goal of the robotic approach is to remove the cancer and carefully extract nearby lymph nodes in a highly precise way to achieve a more accurate cancer staging.” Kelly’s patient, a woman of Korean descent, was diagnosed with stomach cancer after reporting upper abdominal pain to her physician.

“What is special about the robotic approach is the ability to carefully remove the lymph nodes around large blood vessels without causing damage to the nodes or vessels. This robotic approach can potentially offer a better specimen for pathologists to evaluate,” said Santiago Horgan, chief of minimally invasive surgery at UC San Diego Health System.

SDSU Names Director of Student Disability Services

Pamela Starr

Pamela Starr

Pamela “Pam” Starr, who has more than 20 years of experience serving individuals with disabilities, has joined San Diego State University as the director of Student Disability Services. Starr is a double alumna of SDSU, having earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the university. 

As Ssudent disability services director, she will be responsible for guiding the planning, administration and evaluation of the programs and services offered by Student Disability Services, which supports more than 1,000 of students each year. She also will direct state and federal programs that provide support for students with disabilities. Starr returns to SDSU after working for more than 20 years at Eastern Connecticut State University, including 13 years as the director of the Office of AccessAbility Services. She earned her doctorate in special education and rehabilitation psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Cuyamaca College Gets New VP of Student Services

Scott Thayer

Scott Thayer

Scott Thayer is the new vice president of student services at Cuyamaca College, a position that oversees a number of campus departments and student services. Thayer previously spent seven years as assistant dean of student affairs at Pasadena City College. Except for a two-year stint starting in 2004 as a dean of special programs at Los Angeles Southwest College, he spent the bulk of his career in higher education at Pasadena City College, where he began as a part-time counselor in 1999. Prior to that, he was the head varsity baseball coach at Blair High School in the Pasadena Unified School District. His first teaching job was in a second grade class at Allendale Elementary School in Pasadena.

National Manufacturing Day is Today

San Diego area businesses will open their doors today — National Manufacturing Day — designed to emphasize manufacturing’s value to the economy and improve the perception of manufacturing careers. Several businesses are sponsoring facility tours and open houses, including Bontana International, San Diego; D&K Engineering, San Diego; Federal Health-Oceanside, Oceanside; Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc., Santee; Rough Draft Brewing Company, San Diego, San Diego City College; Taylor Guitars, El Cajon; Tijuana Economic Development Corp., San Diego; Tower Paddle Boards, San Diego.

Living Spaces Comes to Mission Valley

California-based Living Spaces is scheduled to open its newest location, and second store in San Diego County, on Oct. 10. The Living Spaces Mission Valley showroom is located at 8730 Rio San Diego Drive at the Rio Vista shopping center. The 128,000-square-foot retail space was previously occupied by Kmart.

Coseo Properties Acquires Michigan Apartment Project

Coseo Properties Inc., a privately held real estate investment company based in San Diego, has acquired the 468-unit University Green Apartment project in Ypsilanti, Mich., for $13.8 million or $29,676 per unit. The seller was Erie Investments LLC.

Governor Signs Immigrant License Measure

Unauthorized immigrants in California have secured the privilege of driving legally, but may have to wait at least another year before applying for a license, the U-T San Diego reports. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday that clears the way for those here illegally to obtain a specially marked driver’s license, but the document will not be accepted as identification to board planes, enter federal buildings or collect public benefits.

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