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Daily Business Report — Aug. 26, 2014

Daily Business Report — Aug. 26, 2014

San Diego Among Top 5 Metropolitan

Areas in Life Science Venture Funding

San Diego was one of the top five metropolitan regions receiving the most life sciences venture capital funding during the second quarter of 2014, according to the MoneyTree report.

The top five regions were San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, San Diego Metro, New York Metro and Great Lakes. San Francisco Bay Area companies received $866 million going into 54 deals. Boston Metro received the second highest total at $540 million in the second quarter. San Diego Metro, NY Metro, and Great Lakes captured $167 million, $125 million, and $123 million, respectively.

The report said total venture capital funding for the life sciences sector nationally reached $2.5 billion in 195 deals for the second quarter of this year. While this quarter was the highest life sciences investment since the second quarter 2007, it was also the strongest second quarter since 1995, which is the earliest data recorded by the MoneyTree.

Succession Capital Acquires Jewelry Manufacturer

Succession Capital Inc. a private equity firm in San Diego that buys businesses from owners looking to retire, has acquired Sienna Sky Jewelry, a manufacturer and distributor of fashion jewelry based in Longmont, Colo. The purchase price was not disclosed. Sienna Sky markets two product lines — Sienna Sky and Adajio Collection. The company said it offers more than 650 unique designs.

Sienna Sky is Succession’s second acquisition of the month.  With the acquisition the company has more than 35 companies including jewelry manufacturers JewelPop and H.J. Sherman,

Vancouver Company to Acquire

Solar Alliance of America for $6 Million

Finavera Wind Energy Inc. of Vancouver has signed an agreement  to acquire Solar Alliance of America Inc., a San Diego-based solar sales and marketing firm focused on residential solar installations. The transaction is valued at $6 million — $4 million in cash and $2 million in stock.

In 2013, Solar Alliance had $20.7 million in revenue and was ranked No. 49 on Inc. magazine’s Top 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, making it No. 2 in the San Diego area and No. 9 on the list of Top 100 California companies.  In 2012, Solar Alliance was rated No. 45 on the Top 500 list.

Artie Rose, who co-founded Solar Alliance of America in 2009 and serves as its president and CEO, will join Finavera’s board of directors.

The transaction represents Finavera’s entry into the U.S. residential solar market.

Telik Receives $1.5 Million Contract

Telik Inc. a San Diego clinical stage oncology drug development company that merged with MabVax Therapeutics Inc. in July, announced Monday that it has received a $1.5 million contract for the Phase 2 portion of a Small Business Innovation Research  contract from the National Cancer Institute.  The contract is intended to support a major portion of the preclinical work being conducted by MabVax, together with its collaboration partner, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, to develop an imaging agent for the detection and assessment of pancreatic cancer.

MabVax Therapeutics and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering center completed the Phase 1 of the contract by successfully demonstrating the feasibility of the project, enabling the follow-on contract award.

ResMed Wins Patent Infringement Action

An administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission in Sydney, Australia ruled in favor of San Diego-based ResMed in a patent infringement case brought by the company against Chinese medical device manufacturer BMC Medical Co. Ltd. The judge that each of nine BMC products named in the action infringes one or more ResMed patents.  As a result, ITC JudgeThomas Pender recommended that the ITC ban BMC and its U.S. distributor, 3B Medical, from importing or selling any of the infringing BMC products in the United States. Pender also recommended a cease and desist order that would enjoin BMC and 3B from selling, advertising, marketing, storing or testing the infringing products in the United States. ResMed is considered a pioneer in designing and manufacturing devices for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.

Council to Consider Appeal of Ruling

On Convention Center Expansion

The San Diego City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting this afternoon to decide whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court an adverse ruling on funding the San Diego Convention Center expansion project.

Earlier this month, a three-justice panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal struck down a levy on area hotels, which was designed to pay the bulk of the project’s $520 million cost. The justices sided with civic watchdog Melvin Shapiro, who called it a tax that should have been approved in a public vote.

The owners of the hotel properties had agreed to assess themselves to pay a share of the cost, because they’d be the ones to benefit from the projected increase in business.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith had said that the city was venturing into an untested area of the law with the funding mechanism, which was previously upheld by San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager.

The City Council will deliberate in closed session and don’t necessarily have to make a decision Tuesday. An open session will be held first so the public can weigh in.

The city’s options include an appeal, agreeing to put the issue before voters, or trying to come up with a new plan to pay for the project.

— City News Service

UC San Diego Tops New College Rankings List

For the fifth year in a row, UC San Diego topped a list that measures how university students and officials act in the public interest. The list was released Monday by Washington Monthly magazine and also featured San Diego State University  in fourth place in the “Best Bang for the Buck” category.

The public interest rankins by Washington Monthly look at recruiting of low-income students, the number of Ph.D’s awarded, honors for faculty, and participation in the Peace Corps, ROTC and other community service programs. University of California campuses dominated the top of the list, with Riverside second, Berkeley third and UCLA placing fifth.

San Diego State ranked 87th overall, but came in fourth in the “Best Bang” category, which takes the percentage of students receiving Pell grants into account, along with graduation rates, net costs and percentage of admissions.

UC San Diego was 18th in this category.

— City News Service

Parkinson’s Association to Open La Jolla Offices

The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego reports that it will open offices

in the Ximed Building at 9850 Genesee Ave., Suite 740, in La Jolla, offering the association’s Minds and Motion Health Services program.

“With the opening of this office, we will be able to broaden our reach to people who have Parkinson’s and they will have a convenient access to the association’s Minds and Motion program, close to where they see their primary physicians,” said Executive Director Jerry Henberger.

Dr. Arika Johnson, a licensed clinical psychologist, will be seeing patients. Appointments can be made by calling the association’s main office at (877) 737-7576.

The Parkinson’s Association will continue its work with a team of master’s level, pre-doctorate and post-doctorate professionals to provide therapeutic support groups, one-on-one counseling and family counseling to people who have Parkinson’s disease, members of their families, caretakers, and others who may be experiencing stress, depression and anxiety associated with the condition of Parkinson’s, as well as others with movement disorders.

The Parkinson’s Association is contracted to provide services for a number of well-known insurances including Medicare and Medi-Cal. It also offers private-pay and sliding-scale rates for those with no insurance.


Organic farmers Colin and Karen Archipley of Escondido.

Organic farmers Colin and Karen Archipley of Escondido.

Escondido Organic Farmers

To be Honored by White House

Organic farmers Colin and Karen Archipley of Escondido are set to be honored as “Champions of Change” in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, the White House said. The Archipleys are co-founders of Archi’s Acres Organic Farming Enterprise, a certified organic greenhouse operation that grows basil, kale and other herbs and produce. They launched the venture eight years ago.

The couple also created the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program in partnership with Cal Poly Pomona. It is a six-week, “agricultural entrepreneurial incubator” certificate program which includes six courses for 17 units of academic credit.

Colin Archipley is a combat-decorated Marine sergeant who served in Iraq. Initially, Karen Archipley ran the farm while he was continuing to serve in the Middle East.

In a video created for Whole Foods, which sells the Archipleys’ basil, the veteran said “it’s a win-win” to purchase his farm’s produce, because it’s organic and proceeds also benefit the Cal Poly training program in its role as an aid for troops attempting to make the transition back to civilian life.

“Our goal, he said, “is to help the military community occupy the private sector.”

“Agriculture is just a natural fit for a military family, being able to reconnect with loved ones (who’ve) been away at war or is having difficulty turning the war off,” Karen Archipley added.

According to the White House, Colin and Karen give back to the community through healthy food, as responsible stewards of the environment.

President Barack Obama’s Champions of Change program honors people in a variety of fields whose innovations help to improve the community.

Another local farm, Go Green Agriculture of Encinitas, was honored by the White House last month.

— Times of San Diego with City News Service


Personnel Matters

Gary Schons Joins Best Best & Krieger

Gary Schons

Gary Schons

Gary W. Schons has joined the law firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP as of counsel in the San Diego office. Schons now leads BB&K’s public policy and ethics compliance practice, which counsels public agencies, officials and private businesses who wish to promote public confidence in their decision-making process by assuring that official conduct is above reproach.

Schons is a former deputy district attorney and senior adviser for law and policy in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. He has years of experience advising a public agency and an elected official on legal, public integrity, legislative and policy issues. He also served as trial counsel for the California Commission on Judicial Performance, the independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and judicial incapacity, and disciplining judges.

Schons served for 35 years in the Criminal Division of the California Attorney General’s Office in San Diego, including 20 years as the senior assistant attorney general in charge of that office.He earned his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of San Diego.

Higgs Attorney Named to Executive Board

Christina Denning

Christina Denning

Christina Denning, an attorney with Higgs Fletcher & Mack, has been named to the National Association of Women in Construction San Diego’s executive board. Denning has a practice in construction law, and represents an array of general contractors, subcontractors, developers and owners on matters involving public and private works. She also counsels contractors in drafting construction contracts and other construction documents with the goal of avoiding litigation.

The San Diego chapter participates in a variety of events including educational seminars and conferences, Women in Construction Week, Block Kids (construction awareness program for children in grades 1 thru 6),  among others.


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