Daily Business Report-Sept. 23, 2014
Jeffrey Goldberg is professor of ophthalmology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
UCSD Researchers Get Grant to
Work on Whole Eye Transplant
With the help of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine hope to someday make the implantation of an entire, functional eye a reality.
“A whole eye transplant could be a holy grail for vision restoration,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, professor of ophthalmology and grant co-recipient with colleagues at University of Pittsburg Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard University. “It is in the realm of scientific plausibility.”
The basic idea is straightforward: Doctors would implant a donor eye in the recipient’s eye socket. The vascular system to the eye would be re-established, as would the eye’s musculature to enable normal movement. The greater challenge — and focus of the two-year project — would be devising effective methods to reconnect the eye’s neuronal wiring to the brain through the optic nerve, which contains more than 1 million nerve cells and transmits visual information from the retina.
Past experiments at University of Pittsburg Medical Center have demonstrated the ability to perform whole eye transplants in genetically inbred rats (selected to minimize issues of tissue rejection). But while retinal tissue in the transplanted eyes appeared healthy, the optic nerves did not recover and regenerate connections, eliminating the possibility of restored sight.
“We know from previous experiments that the biggest scientific hurdle is not hooking up all the eye’s tiny blood vessels or its musculature,” said Goldberg, who is also director of research at UC San Diego Shiley Eye Center. “It’s that when you cut the optic nerve, the nerve cells do not regrow. Our goal for this project is to be able to transplant a whole eye in an animal model and successfully demonstrate neuronal regrowth from the donor’s eye to the recipient’s optic nerve.”
If successful, researchers suggest whole eye transplants might restore sight in a wide range of patients who are blind due to structural or functional problems in the eye.
Minimum Wage Hike Proposal Debated
Advocates for and against the proposed hike in the minimum wage in San Diego will present their views at an Oct. 7 dialogue being presented by the
North San Diego Business Chamber and KPBS. The advocates will talk about how they see the issue impacting the region while Mark Sauer of KPBS will host a dialog with the panelists. The panelists are Mel Katz, executive officer of Manpower San Diego, and Jason Roe, partner in Revolvis.
The luncheon event begins with check-in and lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the program at noon. Business Chamber members are $45 and nonmembers are $79. The event will be at Sony Electronics Inc., 16535 Via Espirillo in Rancho Bernardo.
Belmont Park Lease Rejected
A proposal to grant a new lease to the operator of Belmont Park was rejected Monday by the City Council, potentially placing in jeopardy future improvements to the iconic Mission Bay attraction, including the still-closed Plunge swimming pool, U-T San Diego reports.
Unwilling to kill the matter entirely, the council agreed to bring the issue back in 60 days with the hope that lease terms more favorable to the city could be negotiated. “I don’t think the deal is dead,” Council President Todd Gloria said.
However, Belmont Park’s operator, Rancho Santa Fe-based Pacifica Enterprises, raised concerns about its ability to complete a major overhaul of the decades-old oceanfront venue without a commitment to a long-term lease that would not expire until 2069. The current agreement ends in 2038.
“The Plunge is in serious jeopardy without this deal and completion of the park is in jeopardy,” Pacifica President Dario De Luca said following the hearing.
Without approval of the lease on Monday, De Luca said his company will lose out on a deal to take over the roller coaster from its long-term operator. The deadline for consummating that deal is the end of this month. The coaster is the only part of the park not currently controlled by Pacifica.
Palomar Place Sold for $15 Million
CARLSBAD — Palomar Place, a 15,317-square-foot neighborhood retail center at 961 and 965 Palomar Airport Road, has been sold for $15 million to a partnership formed by Hannay Realty Advisors and MDC Realty Advisors USA. The seller was Mission Equities Real Estate Inc. The center is fully leased to a predominantly national tenant base. JLL was the broker in the transaction.
Angela Jae Chun Elected President
Of Korean American Bar Association
Angela Jae Chun, an attorney with San Diego-based CaseyGerry and one of SD METRO’s 40 Under 40 Award winners for 2014, has been elected president of the Korean American Bar Association of San Diego. The organization was established to help advance Korean American attorneys and law students in the legal profession.
Jae Chun will serve a one-year term, ending in September 2015. Founded in 2007, the association provides events and workshops, as well as legal, educational, political, charitable and other services to the Korean American community.
Jae Chun joined Casey Gerry in 2012, specializing in catastrophic personal injury, products and premises liability and maritime litigation. Prior to that, she spent six years as a senior associate at a San Diego-based employment and personal injury law firm where she co-tried several jury trials.
BOMA Seminar Focuses on Cyber Threats
The San Diego Building Owners & Managers Association will gather leading industry experts for an Oct 14 seminar to increase awareness and knowledge of potential cyber threats. The seminar will feature the effects and consequences of cyber attacks and provide attendees with key resources to prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from such scenarios. Gary Hayslip from the City of San Diego, Roger Fraumann of the PB Resilience and FEMA, Brendan McHugh , deputy district attorney and Liz Fraumann of Securing Our eCity Foundation will lead the seminar.
The event is scheduled Oct. 14 from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay, 601 Pacific Highway. The seminar is $10 for members and $25 for nonmembers. For more information or to register for this event, visit www.bomasd.org.
Generates More Startups
San Diego’s Avalon Ventures is taking the wraps off two new startups today, with each one getting as much as $10 million in Series A financing through the partnership that Avalon established early last year with GlaxoSmithKline.
Silarus Therapeutics is targeting a recently discovered hormone, erythroferrone, for treating disorders involving iron regulation in red blood cell production.
Thyritope Biosciences is developing therapeutics for Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder caused by antibodies that over-stimulate the thyroid and cause excessive thyroid hormone production.
Both companies have taken residence at COI Pharmaceuticals, the independent “community of innovation” Avalon established in San Diego with a fully equipped R&D facility to provide operational support and other services for the life sciences startups in Avalon’s portfolio.
The collaboration is intended to combine the resources and R&D expertise of GSK, the multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines, and consumer health care giant, with Avalon’s prescience in picking life sciences innovations and successful performance in managing early stage portfolio companies.
At Least 5 Qualcomm Chips in New iPhone 6
Technical magazines and websites are reporting that San Diego-based Qualcomm is supplying at least five of the chips in Apple’s popular new iPhone 6.
The most important Qualcomm chip, or integrated circuit, in the new phone is the data modem, designated the MDM9625M, for 4G data service.
Other chips handle power management, radio signal reception and signal amplification.
The phone’s central processor is made by Apple, though Qualcomm is enjoying increasing success in the industry with its powerful Snapdragonprocessors.
Apple said Monday it sold 10 million of its new and bigger iPhones over the weekend.
— Times of San Diego
Personnel Moves …
Gregory Brucia Joins Jacko Law Group
Jacko Law Group PC a securities and corporate law firm with offices in San Diego and San Francisco, announced that Gregory F. Brucia has joined the firm as a partner. A graduate of Hofstra University School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Hofstra Law Review, Brucia brings more than 18 years of experience in corporate and securities law to the firm.
Brucia started his career in the capital markets practice groups at Sherman & Sterling and Baker & McKenzie. Prior to joining the firm, Brucia was a transactional corporate/securities attorney at Higgs Fletcher & Mack.
Brucia is admitted to practice law in both California and New York.
Parallel 6 Names New CEO
Allan Camaisa has been named chief executive officer of Parallel 6, a mobile technology company based in San Diego. Camaisa has more than 22 years of technology experience.
Camaisa, a Navy veteran, operated and sold several technology companies to large public corporations. High Technology Solutions was a systems integrator with more than $50 million in revenues that was sold to Wireless Facilities Inc. (now KRATOS). His next venture, Anakam Inc., a software security company founded in 2004, was recognized as an Inc. 500 for one of the fastest growing companies in the US. Anakam was sold to Equifax Inc. in 2010. Camaisa is a holder of four US Patents. He’s received many awards for his successful businesses such as the Governor’s Small Business of the Year Award, the 1998 Ernst and Young Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Internet and Software Category, and the SBA Small Business Person of the Year.