Daily Business Report-Aug. 18, 2015
Illumina CEO Jay Flatley will serve as chairman of Helix.
Illumina and Investment Firms
Form Genomics Company
Partners report more than $100 million in commitments
San Diego-based Illumina and private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Sutter Hill Ventures announced today that they have formed a consumer genomics firm called Helix, which has received financing commitments of more than $100 million.
According to the partners, they founded Helix to provide affordable sequencing and database services for consumer samples obtained through third-party partners. Customers will be able to manage their data and have access to a marketplace of on-demand applications provided by Helix partners in order to gain insights into the genomic data.
“Genomics is reaching an inflection point in cost, volumes, and knowledge, creating a significant opportunity to unlock information that is currently not widely accessible to individuals,” Illumina CEO Jay Flatley, who will serve as Helix’s chairman, said in a statement. “Helix and its founding investors are committed to creating a neutral platform at the highest quality standard that will work with partners to accelerate consumer adoption of genomics.”
The new company’s first partners include the Center for Individualized Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, which will collaborate with Helix to create applications initially focused on consumer education and health-related questions. As part of the arrangement, the Mayo Clinic has made an undisclosed investment in Helix.
Also signing on as a Helix partner is Laboratory Corporation of America, which will develop and offer data analysis and interpretation services through Helix’s platform, with an initial focus on medically actionable genetic conditions.
Future partners are expected to develop applications in areas such as genealogy, fitness/wellness, and inherited traits.
To support its efforts, Helix plans to establish a large next-generation sequencing lab with secure and protected database capabilities. Customers will have control over how their data are accessed through a consent process, while the company will take steps to ensure that information is communicated to customers “in a responsible and ethical way.”
Illumina said that it intends to consolidate Helix within its financial statements.
— Reported by GenomeWeb
La Costa Town Center to get a New Name,
$15M in Improvements and New Fitness Center
Equinox to open its first facility in the county
By the end of next year, the La Costa Towne Center in Carlsbad will sport a $15 million new look, a new fitness center called Equinox in the space once occupied by a Vons and a new name — The Beacon La Costa.
The 123,000-square-foot property was acquired in October 2014 in a joint venture with Centennial Real Estate Company and Angelo, Gordon & Co. The owners said the center will be renovated and repositioned into “a cohesive luxury retail center.”
Work is to begin this fall with completion next year.
Equinox — the first to open in the San Diego region — will occupy 31,000 square feet on the property and will offer its slate of exclusive services, including personal trainers, state-of-the-art fitness equipment and a rejuvenating spa. In addition to Equinox, The Beacon will offer 62,000 square feet of retail space along with 30,000 square feet of office space. The tenant mix will feature a variety of full-service and fast-casual gourmet restaurants, boutiques and specialty neighborhood services.
“This project was in desperate need of capital infusion and a fresh tenant mix,” said Scott Schonfeld, principal of Linwood Ventures. “We are excited that Equinox has chosen The Beacon as the springboard for its expansion into San Diego. It’s the perfect anchor for the unique community gathering place that we’re going to create.”
The improvements will include façade enhancements and upgrades to the project’s parking and common areas, including new parklets and outdoor dining terraces with views of the Batiquitos Lagoon and nature preserve directly across El Camino Real.
Governor Signs Bill Protecting Grocery
Workers After Change in Store Ownership
City News Service
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Monday by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez that aims to protect grocery workers from being fired following a change in store ownership.
According to Gonzalez, AB 359 protects workers from being fired during a 90-day transition period if a store is undergoing a change of ownership. Following the transition period, the new employer must provide a written performance evaluation and consider an offer of continued employment following a satisfactory evaluation.
Employers retain the right to terminate an employee for cause at any time during and following the transition period, according to Gonzalez’s office, which called the law the first in the country to require grocery stores to retain employees after a change in ownership.
“Wall Street mergers and acquisitions that make big money for corporations and private equity firms should not jeopardize jobs of the grocery workers who live and work in our communities,” Gonzalez said. “This is a common sense opportunity to save people’s jobs and make sure the most experienced, best prepared workers stay on the job during a complicated transition period.”
Brown’s signed the law just days after the Haggen grocery store chain announced it would put up 27 stores for sale — including six in San Diego County. The grocery chain announced last month that around 700 employees in Southern California would be laid off.
California boasts an estimated 383,900 employees of large grocery stores whose jobs will be protected by the law during mergers or sales, according to Gonzalez’s office.
New Rankings Name UC San Diego
14th Best University in World
UC San Diego has been ranked the 14th best university in the world for the third consecutive year, according to the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The rankings were released by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a public research university located in Shanghai, China.
UC San Diego’s programs in life sciences, engineering, computer science, chemistry, and economics are ranked among the top 20 in the world. Nationally, UC San Diego is listed as the 12th best university.
The ranking uses six indicators to evaluate world universities: the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals; the number of highly cited researchers; the number of articles published in the journals Nature and Science; the number of articles indexed in the Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index; and per capita performance.
The list also recognizes broad subject fields in which UC San Diego’s programs excel. Life sciences is ranked 11th, engineering ranked 14th, clinical medicine and pharmacy ranked 20th, social sciences ranked 26th, as did natural sciences and mathematics. Selected subject field rankings for the campus include computer science (14), chemistry (18), economics (19) and mathematics (30).
Petco Stock Offering Could be One of San Diego’s Largest
Times of San Diego
Pet supplies retailer Petco Holdings announced plans Monday to return to the public market, setting the stage for what could be one of the largest stock offerings in San Diego corporate history.
Petco made the announcement after the close of stock marketing trading on Monday, saying it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.
Underwriters of the offering are Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Securities.
The $3 billion company was taken private in 2006 by private-equity firms TPG and Leonard Green & Partners.
Petco operates more than 1,400 stores across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.
El Paseo Apartment Homes in
Spring Valley Sold for $14 Million
Cushman & Wakefield announced the sale of El Paseo Apartment Homes at 10130 Austin Drive in Spring Valley to New Standard Equities for $14 million. The buyer is based out of Encino. The seller was Fowler Property Acquisitions.
The 74-unit, five building complex totals 64,960 square feet on 3.86 acres. The two-story walk-up was built in 1976 and is comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Community amenities include a swimming pool, three on-site laundry facilities, covered carport and a playground. Unit amenities include private balconies and patios, outside storage and large closets.
Study: Smoking Cessation Drug Not
Boosting Number of Smokers Who Quit
The introduction of a new prescription smoking-cessation aid, varenicline, in 2006 has had no significant impact on the rate at which Americans age 18 and older successfully quit smoking, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
The findings, published online in Tobacco Control, suggest that the primary effect of varenicline (marketed as Chantix) has been to displace the use of older tobacco addiction therapies, such as nicotine patches and the antidepressant, bupropion (Zyban).
Moreover, in this population analysis, researchers said varenicline’s enhanced effectiveness in helping smokers quit, compared with other cessation aides, appeared to be short-lived, lasting for three months, after which time varenicline users no longer had higher rates of success.
“We had hoped the new pharmacotherapy would help more people quit, but this is not what is happening,” said lead author Shu-Hong Zhu, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and director of Center for Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control at UC San Diego. “Instead, varenicline is replacing other options like the patch, without having any significant population-level impact on quitting success.”
Mesa West Capital Funds $130 Million
Loan to Recapitalize 1 Columbia Place
Mesa West Capital has provided an affiliate of The EMMES Group of Companies a $130 million in first mortgage debt to recapitalize 1 Columbia Place, a 556,000-square-foot Class A office complex in Downtown San Diego.
A majority of the proceeds from the five-year, non-recourse loan will be used to refinance the CMBS loan Emmes assumed when it acquired the 27-story high rise in 2012. Funds have also been earmarked for additional leasing costs and to continue EMMES’s capital improvement program that will complete a $20 million renovation and repositioning of the re-named Columbia Center located at 401 W. A Street.
“EMMES acquired an iconic building and transformed it into one of the most desirable places to work in Downtown San Diego,” said Mesa West Principal Steve Fried who led the origination team for Mesa West.
“The Art of Patrón” is coming to San Diego Exclusively at #Art4ALZ on August 24 at a Robert Cromeans Salon!
From tasting walls, and virtual reality experiences, to fashions and bottle design, you don’t want to miss this event to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research here in San Diego.
Robert Cromeans, the famed creative director for Paul Mitchell, and his team will dazzle guests with a very special live performance hair show. Add top local musicians, award-winning chefs and graffiti artists and you’ve got a MUST ATTEND event.
Click here for more information and to get tickets. Use Promo Code ALZ for $100 ticket discount.