Daily Business Report-Jan. 13, 2015
Rajesh Grover, an assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute, co-produced the short documentary film.
New Film Project Seeks to Encourage
Students to Turn Ideas Into Startup Companies
A breakthrough today was a crazy idea yesterday.
That’s a line from a new film project that documents a student-driven effort at UC San Diego and research institutions across the Torrey Pines Mesa to encourage students to turn ideas and breakthroughs into startup companies. The short documentary film was produced and directed by Rajesh Grover, an assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute and a visiting investigator at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, and Kenan Azam, a data scientist in the laboratory of UC San Diego bioengineering professor Shankar Subramaniam. Both are former leaders of the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge for the 2011-12 academic year.
“The documentary conveys the powerful message that entrepreneurial skills can mitigate unemployment and poverty by enabling students with the potential to be self-employed, and help create job opportunities in the community,” said Azam.
If one has an idea or innovation, diving into entrepreneurship can appear confusing and intimidating, as there are many unknowns. To better communicate these risks to young students and innovators, the documentary, “Risking Aspirations,” explores the passions that drive people to face the challenges of entrepreneurship and to succeed.
“I believe that the science and technology exist. The ideas exist. But the entrepreneurship is the bridge that is needed to take those technologies and turn them into business ideas and bring them to the public,” says Grover in an interview included in the film.
Now, both Grover and Kenan are members of the executive board for the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge and help current organizers with raising sponsorship money for the competition and mentoring.
The 29-minute short film weaves together conversations with 12 individuals from San Diego’s entrepreneurial community who have been involved in the Entrepreneur Challenge and in building and supporting entrepreneurship in San Diego. By interweaving the viewpoints and perspectives of people with a wide range of experiences, the team hopes any viewer will relate to at least a few characters featured in the documentary.
Qualcomm Ventures and Novartis
Launching Joint Investment Firm
Qualcomm Inc.’s venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures, is teaming up with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a global health care leader, to create a joint investment company targeting early stage companies offering technologies, products or services that “go beyond the pill” to benefit physicians and patients. The joint investment company will leverage up to $100 million to support selected innovations.
“The adoption of mobile technologies is already having a positive impact on health care practices and patient experiences around the world,” said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm Ventures. “Qualcomm has been actively investing in digital health since 2011, and we currently have 18 health care startups in our global portfolio. This joint investment company with Novartis will allow us to combine their expertise in health care solutions with our knowledge of mobile technologies to accelerate innovation in the field of digital medicine.”
Said Rick Valencia, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life Inc., “By expanding Qualcomm’s relationship with Novartis, we are making a significant stride towards achieving our goal of mobilizing health care and delivering the medical grade-enabling technology platforms to power scalable digital care models.”
BioMed Realty and Illumina Creating
World-Class Life Science Campus
Illumina has signed a 15 year lease with BioMed Realty Trust Inc. for a new 360,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, build-to-suit campus in Foster City, Calif. This agreement represents one of the largest life science lease transactions in the country over the past 10 years.
BioMed Realty’s campus development is expected to be a world-class facility for Illumina and a model design for life science companies to focus on their research and science.
The new campus in Foster City will include: two Class A laboratory and office buildings totaling 360,000 square feet which are expected to be delivered in 2017.
Illumina will lease 100 percent of the initial 360,000 square feet. In addition, Illumina has an option to expand the campus with the development of a third building providing at least an additional 160,000 square feet, which would bring the campus to a total of at least 520,000 square feet.
Lockheed Martin and Illumina Collaborate
On Genomics Solutions to Public Health Care
Lockheed Martin and Illumina Inc. announced a new strategic alliance to collaborate on scalable and affordable genomics solutions to provide personalized health care for national populations.
Genomics is the science of studying genomes or DNA. Applied to health care, analyzing a person’s DNA sequence data can provide a better understanding of health risks (such as how susceptible a person is to a particular disease or if the person may react to a type of medication), resulting in more precise and proactive medicine. By aggregating genomic data across large populations, public health and wellness officials can more effectively address health concerns, reducing health care costs and improving quality of life.
The alliance brings together Illumina’s next-generation genetic sequencing tools with Lockheed Martin’s expertise in large-scale information systems and integration to meet the needs of countries as they begin to integrate genomics into their national health systems.
“Genomics is enabling a fundamental transformation of health care,” said Horace Blackman, vice president of health and life sciences for Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business. “We envision the advantages of early national adoption for countries across the globe, applying clinical decision support applications that can improve health and health care, and lower national health care costs.”
Scripps Scientists Discover
New Vaccine to Help Smokers Quit
When a promising nicotine vaccine failed in clinical trials a few years ago, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) were determined to keep trying to help smokers overcome their addiction.
Now the team has designed a more effective nicotine vaccine and proven that the structures of molecules used in vaccines is critical. The study was published recently in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
“This study provides new hope that one could make a nicotine vaccine that succeeds in clinical trials,” said Kim Janda, the Ely R. Callaway Jr. Professor of Chemistry and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI.
According to the National Cancer Institute, smoking is the leading cause of eight types of cancer, including lung cancer and fast-moving pancreatic cancer.
Nicotine vaccines train the body to see nicotine as a foreign invader. To prompt this immune response, scientists have tried attaching nicotine derivatives called haptens to a larger carrier protein used in other approved vaccines.
The body reacts to the vaccine by creating antibodies to bind specifically to nicotine molecules. When a person later uses tobacco, the anti-nicotine antibodies stop the nicotine molecules from entering the central nervous system and ever reaching the brain.
Though a vaccine wouldn’t be a silver bullet — there would still be withdrawal symptoms — a person may be less motivated to relapse because the brain’s reward system could no longer react to nicotine.
The problem with the previous nicotine vaccine, which only worked in 30 percent of patients, was that it did not single out the most common form of nicotine for attack. Nicotine has two forms that look like mirror images of each other — one is a “right-handed” version and one is a “left-handed” version. Even though 99 percent of the nicotine found in tobacco is the left-handed version, the previous vaccine elicited antibodies against both.
Janda believes that was a waste of immune response. “This is a case where something very simple was overlooked,” he said.
Pieter Dorrestein Recognized by Pharmacology Society
Pieter Dorrestein has been selected to receive the 2015 John Jacob Abel Award in Pharmacology by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dorrestein is a professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UC San Diego. The John Jacob Abel Award, ASPET’s oldest and most prestigious award, is given to young investigators to stimulate fundamental research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics.
“This recognition is a great credit to Pieter, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and UC San Diego,” said Palmer Taylor, dean emeritus of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. “John Jacob Abel was a consummate pharmacologist and biochemist in the early 20th century — a time when constituent isolation and the biological assay reigned supreme. He would have been amazed to see how mass spectrometry and analytical technologies, as developed and applied by Pieter and his many collaborators, now dominate contemporary scientific endeavors.”
Dorrestein serves as director of the newly launched Collaborative Mass Spectrometry Innovation Center and co-director of the Institute for Metabolomic Medicine at UC San Diego. Dorrestein’s research team applies high resolution and laser imaging mass spectrometry expertise to help answer a broad range of medical and ecological research questions.
Predator Drone Amasses Record 20,000 Flight Hours
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced that a Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA has reached a record 20,000 flight hours on a single aircraft, signifying the highest flight time of any Predator B. The milestone was achieved while performing a 17-hour combat mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on Dec. 23.
“Accumulating 20,000 hours on a lone Predator B airframe is a major engineering milestone that can be traced back to our talented and resourceful GA-ASI Engineering team, who continues to develop highly resilient, reliable, and affordable platforms that continue to keep warfighters safe every day overseas,” said Linden P. Blue, CEO.
Predator B is currently operational with the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and French Air Force as MQ-9 Reaper, and with the Italian Air Force as MQ-9.
Additionally, Predator B is in use by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NASA. Some 230 Predator B aircraft have amassed more than 942,000 flight hours since the RPA’s first flight in 2001.
c3 Communications Celebrates
Its 15th Anniversary
San Diego public relations firm c3 Communications Inc., a national award-winning agency, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The firm announced its milestone at the same time that it promoted its latest client — SusieCakes, located at La Costa Town Centre.
c3 represents a number of local and national household brands, including Belmont Park, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, The Marine Room, Massage Envy Spa, Veterinary Specialty Hospital, Securing Our eCity Foundation, Meals-On-Wheels of Greater San Diego, and Exclusive Collections Gallery, to name a few.
The agency also promotes big name shows such as Cirque du Soleil, the San Diego International Boat Show, Healthy Living Festival, San Diego Sunroad Marina Boat Show, San Diego Kids Expo & Fair, and the San Diego STEAM Maker Festival.
“These last 15 years have been a gratifying and incredible journey,” said agency founder Joice Truban Curry. “All of us at c3 are grateful for all of the support from clients, local media, and our PR colleagues. We cannot wait to see where the next 15 years takes us.”
As part of the agency’s anniversary, c3 has a new logo and has re-vamped its website with new case studies, a new special moments throughout 15 years photo gallery, client testimonials, about c3 page, updated clients and more. The website is at: www.c3publicrelations.com.
Parallel 6 Acquires The Agency San Diego
Parallel 6, a mobile technology company, has acquired The Agency San Diego, a creative agency that specializes in strategic, creative marketing and design.
“The Agency San Diego’s 10 years of building a brand’s identity and talent through beautiful, engaging designs are a perfect fit with Parallel 6 and our Captive Reach Platform and enterprise mobile engagement technology,” said David Turner, president and CTO of Parallel 6. “Together, we’re extending our best in-class technology and creative design to global brands as an end-to-end mobile solution that fully and measurably engages customers, patrons, patients and clients, all from the palm of their hands.”
As part of the growth strategy, Parallel 6 Inc. has relocated to La Jolla UTC at 3655 Nobel Drive, Suite 650.
Linda Broyles Reappointed
To EMS Commission
Linda Broyles, 59, of Coronado, has been reappointed to the California Commission on Emergency Medical Services by Gov. Jerry Brown. She has served on the commission since 2013.
Broyles has been clinical coordinator at American Medical Response since 2007 and continuous quality improvement coordinator at the Regional Cooperative Care Partnership Joint Powers Agreement since 2006. She was base hospital nurse coordinator at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla from 2005 to 2007 and held several positions at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista from 1989 to 2005, including base hospital nurse coordinator. Broyles has been a certified emergency nurse since 1990 and a registered nurse since 1977. The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Broyles is a Republican.
Former City Manager Heads
SDSU Fundraising Arm
Former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory is the new chairman of the Campanile Foundation, the fundraising arm of San Diego State University, the school announced Monday.
McGrory, who assumed the position on Jan. 1, has served for seven years on the foundation’s board and earned his master’s degree in public administration from SDSU in 1976. He has taught graduate-level public administration courses at SDSU for nearly 20 years and has twice given $1.2 million gifts to the school.
“It’s an honor to be the chair of this prestigious board,” McGrory said. “Our goal is to be successful in helping to make SDSU an even greater national university. We hope that our friends and alumni will generously support our effort.”
McGrory was city manager of San Diego from 1991-97, when he left to become president and CEO of Price Enterprises. He was also the chief operating officer of the Padres for a couple of years.
The ex-Marine is now CEO of La Jolla MJ Management, which invests in real estate.
SDSU reached its initial $500 million goal for its “Campaign for SDSU,” so it has now upped its target to $750 million.
— City News Service
School Shooting Site Up for Sale
The elementary school campus where the infamous “I Don’t Like Mondays” shootings took place 36 years ago is one of two properties that could be sold under a plan to be considered Tuesday by the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education.
The almost 9-acre Cleveland Elementary School, at 6365 Lake Atlin Ave. in San Carlos, received no interest by any public agencies and would be advertised for sale if the board approves the plan. The state Education Code requires school districts that want to unload property to seek out any interest from other government agencies as a first step.
On Jan. 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opened fire on the campus with a .22-caliber rifle from a window at her family’s house across the street, killing principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Suchar. Eight students and a police officer were wounded.
Spencer later said she didn’t like Mondays. Frequently referred to as the first school mass-shooter, she is imprisoned and not eligible for another parole hearing until 2019.
The campus is occupied by the Magnolia Science Academy charter school.
The district estimates it could gain $5.8 million in revenue from a sale,minus costs for the transaction.
Councilman Wants Parking Money Spent
The council member who represents the two San Diego neighborhoods generating the most parking-meter revenue is putting the bureaucrats and volunteers responsible for amassing almost $18 million in reserves on notice, U-T San Diego reports.
Councilman Todd Gloria said if City Hall and the parking districts in control of the funds do not start spending it for the good of the public, he will work to change the policy or find new people to spend the money.
“The city should cut red tape that prevents good ideas from being implemented in our neighborhoods,” Gloria said. “If progress isn’t seen soon, the council should take action to amend the city’s parking policies or find new vendors to execute needed
Gloria, whose district includes parts of heavily metered Downtown and Hillcrest, was responding to a U-T Watchdog report last month disclosing that City Hall had accounts totaling $17.8 million collected from drivers who feed San Diego parking meters.
The reserves represent more than six years’ worth of revenue, even though there is no shortage of need for the money. Some proposals have been on the city’s planning agenda for years.