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Daily Business Report-Oct. 21, 2014

Daily Business Report-Oct. 21, 2014

Gene-sequencing systems under development at Illumina. Photo from corporate video

Profits Explode for Illumina

Gene Sequencer Sales Reached Nearly $500M

San Diego-based Illumina, a maker of gene-sequencing systems, said Monday its profits tripled in the third quarter as sales reached nearly half a billion dollars.

The company reported net income of $93 million, or 63 cents per fully diluted share, in the quarter ended Sept. 28, compared to $31 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue totaled $481 million, up 35 percent compared to $357 million last year.

Research and development expenses for the quarter were $85 million compared to $71 million in the prior year period.

“Illumina experienced tremendous momentum in the third quarter, with strong shipments in HiSeq X, NextSeq and MiSeq, as well as the associated consumables, resulting in record financial results,” said CEO Jay Flatley.

“With the most extensive sequencing portfolio available, we are well-positioned for continued long-term growth as we develop and address the large and untapped market opportunities ahead of us.”

Illumina has emerged as the global leader in gene sequencing and DNA array technologies. In March, the editors of the MIT Technology Review named Illumina “the smartest company in the world.”

Minimum Wage Hike Measure

To Go Before Voters In June 2016

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to put an incremental hike in the minimum wage in San Diego before the public on the June 2016 primary election ballot.

Last week, the City Clerk’s Office reported that opponents of the wage hike had collected enough petition signatures to force the council’s hand on the minimum wage issue. The council members could have repealed the ordinance themselves or scheduled an earlier, but costly, special election.

The three-stage hike would have resulted in the lowest pay in the city being set at $11.50 an hour by January 2017. The ordinance, adopted on a 6-3 party-line vote in July, also required employers to offer five annual days of paid sick leave.

Opponents contended that raising the minimum wage above the state standard would make San Diego’s businesses less competitive with enterprises in neighboring cities.

Jerry Sanders, the former mayor who is now head of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, called for the repeal of the “bad policy, which will make it harder for our 45,000 unemployed to find jobs, drive up the cost of goods and services, and make it more difficult for the very businesses that we rely on to create jobs to succeed.”

City Council President Todd Gloria, who first raised the issue back in January, called the wage hike “a necessary, common-sense measure” to help the estimated 38 percent of San Diegans who can’t afford to make ends meet without government assistance.

“It’s disappointing that big businesses have used their money and misinformation to block thousands of San Diegans from receiving five earned sick days and a pay raise this January,” Gloria said.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner blamed a “loud, disingenuous and well- funded opposition” for blocking implementation of the ordinance.

— City News Service


Research Center Plaza in Carlsbad

Research Center Plaza in Carlsbad

Research Center Plaza

Sells for $9.5 Million

CARLSBAD — The three-building, 81,118-square-foot Research Center Plaza in Carlsbad has been sold for $9.5 million to a joint venture of Lincoln Property Company and Artemis Real Estate Partners.

The research and development and office development is located at 2232, 2234 & 2236 Rutherford Road. It was 75 percent occupied at the time of purchase.

RCP Funding Corp. and Shmael Carlsbad Investors LLC, based in Philadelphia, sold the building to Lincoln and Artemis. Cassidy Turley represented the sellers.

The ownership team plans to upgrade the exterior and interior spaces of the project, creating office lofts with collaborative features, open ceilings and enhanced natural lighting.

Research Center Plaza marks Lincoln Property Company’s third Carlsbad acquisition this year.  The firm also acquired a 106,311-square-foot, multi-tenant industrial building at 2270 Camino Vida Roble and a 150,159-square-foot corporate headquarters building at 2081 Faraday Ave.

UC San Diego Professor

Elected to Institute of Medicine 

Richard Kronick

Richard Kronick

, a health policy expert and faculty member at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences and widely regarded as one of the nation’s most respected scientific society.

Kronick, a professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, is among 70 newly elected members and 10 foreign associates announced by the Institute of Medicine. He joins 46 other UC San Diego faculty members, current and emeritus, who are IOM members.

Kronick’s expertise is in understanding how market forces — pricing, competition and regulations, for example — affect the quality and accessibility of health care in the United States, particularly among the most vulnerable segments of the population, such as children, seniors and the poor.

Although Kronick has spent most of his career at UC San Diego, he is currently on leave serving as director of the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a position he accepted in 2013.

UCSD Announces Human Testing

Of Stem Cell Treatment Underway

UC San Diego Health System announced Monday that human testing of injected neural stem cell therapies are underway at its Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center.

Researchers are conducting three different trials — one on a 26-year-old woman paralyzed after a traffic crash, and others on diabetes and leukemia patients.

“What we are seeing after years of work is the rubber hitting the road,” said Lawrence Goldstein, director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell program and Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center.

“These are three very ambitious and innovative trials,” he said. “Each followed a different development path — each addresses a very different disease or condition. It speaks to the maturation of stem cell science that we’ve gotten to the point of testing these very real medical applications in people.”

The first tests are being made with low doses in order to ensure the safety of the patients, Goldstein said.

Working with Maryland-based Neuralstem Inc., neural stem cells were injected into the site of the paralyzed woman’s spinal cord injury on Sept. 30, and she is recovering at home without complications or adverse effects, said Dr. Joseph Ciacci, a neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health System. Her name was not released.

The researchers hope that the transplanted cells will develop into neurons that bridge the gap created by the injury, replace severed or lost nerve connections and restore at least some motor and sensory function. According to UCSD, testing in laboratory rats with spinal cord injuries were promising.

— City News Service

San Diego Adopts Mandatory Water Limits

San Diego is cracking down on water waste, after the city council voted unanimously Monday to invoke mandatory water restrictions. The shift from Stage 1 “drought watch” conditions to Stage 2 “drought alert” restrictions transforms voluntary water conservation measures into legal requirements, and stiffens some existing restrictions, such as those on ornamental fountains.

The heightened measures mark the city’s response to three years of drought, and are designed to reduce city water use by 20 percent and forestall deeper cuts in the future, according to the city staff report.

Under the new restrictions San Diegans must limit outdoor watering to three days a week, based on a schedule set by the city. Sprinklers will be limited to 10 minutes per day in warm months and just seven minutes per day in cool months. San Diegans will also need to use timed sprinklers or hoses with a shut-off nozzle for landscape irrigation. The rules also limit watering time and frequency of hand-watered and potted plants.

— U-T San Diego

New Investors Resurrect

Gregory Canyon Landfill Plans

After 20 years, two ballot measures and $60 million of investor money, plans to build a landfill in North County’s Gregory Canyon appeared to be dead. Permits, still in the works, were rescinded because of unpaid fees earlier this year. There were reports of a possible bankruptcy filing.

But Nancy Chase, spokeswoman for Gregory Canyon Ltd., said a new investor, Sovereign Capital, has stepped in to replace the original East Coast investors.

“I think it’s interesting that it’s a San Diego-based capital company,” Chase said. “We have submitted a budget to them of what it’s going to cost to complete the project. I think we are back on track.”

Chase would not be specific but said the new budget is $2 million to $10 million. She believes all permits will be final in 12 to 14 months.

The original investors, who could have seen zero return on their investment if the project had declared bankruptcy, have been offered pennies on the dollar under the new deal, Chase said.

Once permits are obtained, Chase said, construction costs would be in the tens of millions of dollars, but the landfill could be developed in stages.


Petco Among First Retailers to Offer Apple Pay

Apple Pay on iPhone 6 models

Apple Pay on iPhone 6 models

San Diego-based Petco became one of the first national retailers to offer Apple Pay, announcing Tuesday that the service is available at some 1,300 Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores. “We’re pleased to be among the first retailers to offer Apple Pay technology to our customers,” said Petco CEO Jim Myers. “Making transactions faster and easier through Apple Pay will help make our store experience better and allow pet parents to get back to what’s important — spending time with their pets.”

Apple Pay will work with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. The service allows customers to safely store credit cards on their iPhone or Apple Watch and authorize payments through their device.

Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores have offered customers the opportunity to use mobile technology to complete transactions wirelessly since 2012. Known as “Tap and Pay,” the system allows certain credit cards and mobile devices to use Near Field Communications technology to send a customer’s payment information without swiping a card.

— Times of San Diego

 Cox Doubling Internet Speeds

Cox Communications today began doubling the speeds on two of its most popular Internet service packages, Cox High Speed Internet Preferred and Cox High Speed Internet Premier. These packages represent more than 75 percent of Cox’s high-speed Internet customers in San Diego. Internet service speeds also will be increased on Cox High Speed Internet Ultimate service package.

The rollout of the new speeds will be completed by Oct. 23 for customers in San Diego County. With speeds as fast as 150 megabits, Cox said it continues to provide its customers with the fastest residential speeds in San Diego. The increased speeds come on the heels of the company’s announced plans to offer gigabit speeds in all of its markets by the end of 2016.

Cox High Speed Internet Preferred will increase from 25 megabits per second to 50 megabits per second. Cox High Speed Internet Premier will increase from 50 megabits per second to 100 megabits per second. Cox High Speed Internet Ultimate will increase from 100 megabits to 150 megabits per second

Wine D’Vine Gala Set for Oct. 25

Wine D’Vine

Wine D’Vine

Walden Family Services, a nonprofit foster care and adoption agency, will celebrate its 11th annual Wine D’Vine Gala on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall in San Diego.

The event will feature many of Napa Valley’s top wineries, such as Benovia Winery, Duckhorn Wine Company, Orin Swift, Ramey Wine Cellars, Rombauer Vineyards, Schramsberg Vineyards, Tantara Winery and Vineyard 29. These will be matched with the culinary offerings from some of San Diego’s most popular restaurants, including The French Gourmet, Old Venice, Pamplemousse Grille, The Patio and Red Tracton’s.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Walden Family Services. Event chairs are Craig and Terri Gainor. The presenting sponsors are Art and Michelle Candland and the VIP reception sponsor is Maryanne Carlin.

For reservations or sponsorship opportunities, contact Teresa Stivers, (619)727-5881.

Personnel Matters

Greg Mikrut, Paul King Join CBRE in San Diego

Greg Mikrut

Greg Mikrut

Paul King

Paul King

Greg Mikrut has joined CBRE as senior associate director for the financial consulting group in the San Diego region. CBRE also announced that Paul King will join the company as managing director of asset services.

Mikrut joins CBRE from BioMed Realty Trust, where he served as the primary analyst for the Boston, Seattle, New York, North Carolina, Connecticut and the Colorado markets. He also worked for Savills Studley Inc.,where served as the lead financial analyst for a team of brokers. Mikrut has more than nine years of real estate experience.

King will oversee the management of more than 15 million square feet under asset services. He has more than 25 years of property management, asset management, construction management, leasing and business strategy experience. Most recently he served as National Leasing Manager for GE Capital’s equity real estate group with a 16 million square foot portfolio.

Fraternity Culture Linked to

College Sexual Assault Problem

Sexual assaults involving fraternities is not a new problem. In fact, such assaults are high on the list of insurance claims against fraternities nationwide. But with the news media, lawmakers and the White House focusing on how universities handle these cases, some believe the culture and norms of campus Greek life will soon get even more scrutiny.

— has the full story. Click here.


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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: