Daily Business Report-Oct. 20, 2015
The Scripps Research Institute
TSRI Scientists Find Way to Make
Leukemia Cells Kill Each Other
Strategy May Open Up New Front in War on Cancer
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a way to change leukemia cells into leukemia-killing immune cells. The surprise finding could lead to a powerful new therapy for leukemia and possibly other cancers.
“It’s a totally new approach to cancer, and we’re working to test it in human patients as soon as possible,” said senior investigator Richard A. Lerner, Institute Professor and the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry at TSRI.
The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, result from the discovery of a rare human antibody.
The Lerner laboratory has pioneered techniques to generate and screen very large libraries of antibodies (immune system molecules), using the power of large numbers to find therapeutic antibodies that bind to a desired target or activate a desired receptor on cells.
Recently, the lab mounted an effort to find therapies for people with certain immune cell or blood factor deficiencies, by looking for antibodies that activate growth-factor receptors on immature bone marrow cells that might induce these bone marrow cells to mature into specific blood cell types. Over the past few years, Lerner and his team succeeded in identifying a number of antibodies that activate marrow-cell receptors in this way.
In the process, the scientists noted that some of these receptor-activating antibodies have unexpected effects on marrow cells, causing them to mature into radically different cell types, such as neural cells.
While why this happens is an unresolved issue, the discovery led the team to wonder if they could also use the method to convert cancerous marrow cells (leukemia cells) into non-cancerous cells.
Following the Trail
To find out, in the new study Lerner and his team, including first author Kyungmoo Yea, an assistant professor of cellular and molecular biology at TSRI, tested 20 of their recently discovered receptor-activating antibodies against acute myeloid leukemia cells from human patients. One of these antibodies turned out to have an extraordinary impact on the acute myeloid leukemia cells.
Casey Brown to Convert Former Union-Tribune
Property Into Class A Offices for Lease
Buildings acquired for $52 million
Casey Brown, a veteran commercial real estate executive, has acquired the former San Diego Union-Tribune property in Mission Valley for $52 million and plans to convert the five-story main building into Class A offices for lease.
The adjacent three-story industrial building, which was the former newspaper printing plant, is being evaluated for alternative uses, according to the announcement of the sale.
The 170,000-square-foot office building and 190,000-square-foot industrial building are at 350 Camino de la Reina. Doug Manchester was the seller of the property.
CBRE will be leasing the propery.
The site was also recently entitled for 200 apartment units with a unanimous approval by the City Council, according to the announcement.
“I was drawn to the asset given its premier central location at the intersection of I-8 and SR-163, which is further enhanced by the walkability to the Green Line Trolley stop and Fashion Valley, San Diego’s premier mall,” said Brown, founder, president and CEO of the Casey Brown Company. “I plan to make this an iconic landmark for all of San Diego. I have a great deal of respect for Doug Manchester and the Union-Tribune and I look forward to celebrating the rich history of the campus while converting it to the next generation office environment.”
The purchase is the first for the Casey Brown Company, which was recently established.
As past president of BBL Commercial Real Estate, Casey was instrumental in the acquisition of many properties in San Diego such as 2550 Fifth Avenue, a 13-story financial building, where Mr. A’s restaurant is located, The downtown Bank of America and Commonwealth Towers, and The Palladium building.
Brown was the founder and president of BBL Inc., a commercial real estate investment firm for more than 18 years. Brown started his career at CBRE where he was a broker for 13 years and was a top producer in the region.
Air Pollution Control District to Give
Local Truck Drivers $12 Million
The county’s Air Pollution Control District wants to give local truck drivers $12 million — to replace or modify their old, pollution-belching diesel engines with modern, advanced technology/alternative fuel trucks.
The district is scheduled to hold four workshops, the first one at 1 to 3 p.m. today at the county library in El Cajon, to answer drivers’ questions and to help them apply for the funding.
The roughly $12 million is part the $1 billion bond that California voters approved in 2006 — Prop. 1B: Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program — that was designed to, among other things, cut the air pollution created by the state’s massive truck and freight movement. The program is a partnership between California’s Air Resources Board and local air districts and ports.
Local truckers who are interested have until Nov. 20 to apply for this year’s funding. Application forms can be found at the county Air Pollution Control District’s grants and incentives web page inside the “Notice of Funding Availability” table.
The other three workshops:
• Wednesday, Oct. 21: From 10 a.m. to noon, County of San Diego North Inland Wellness Center, 649 W. Mission Ave., Escondido.
• Thursday, Oct. 22: From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Truck Net, 8490 Avenida de La Fuente, San Diego.
Wednesday, Oct. 28: From 10 a.m. to noon, County Operations Center, 5560 Overland Ave., Building 5530, Room 124, San Diego.
People who are interested in the program can also call the County Air Pollution District at (858) 586-2600.
CONNECT to Celebrate 30th Anniversary
CONNECT will celebrate its 30th anniversary with an autumn-themed soiree on Oct. 29. The 5 to 8 p.m. event is an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the growth of San Diego’s innovation community over the last 30 years, as well as look to the future of San Diego’s technology and life sciences sectors.
The evening is free with pre-registration, open to all, and will highlight some of the hottest start-ups and growing companies in San Diego.
“CONNECT is the very definition of a community organization — a place where people come together to make San Diego a better place,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “We’re looking forward to gathering with our friends and fellow San Diegans to mark this special milestone to celebrate our legacy, as well as our future – a continued and renewed commitment to the growth of innovation companies in San Diego.”
Guests at the event will get a first look at CONNECT’s new office space located at 4790 Eastgate Mall, Suite 125 in the UTC area of San Diego. Designed by bkm OfficeWorks and Hollander Design Group, the new CONNECT office physically reflects the organization’s mission of growing the innovation community through collaboration. At the event, CONNECT will also formally debut its new website, redesigned in partnership with MJD Interactive, which highlights the stories of entrepreneurs past and present.
To pre-register to attend the event, click here.
Water Board Proposing to Fine
Developer $850,000 for Violations
Times of San Diego
The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board on Monday proposed a penalty of up to nearly $850,000 on San Altos-Lemon Grove LLC for water quality violations related to construction activities at the 18-acre Valencia Hills site in Lemon Grove.
The complaint alleges the developer allowed polluted storm water to reach Chollas Creek by failing to implement routine management practices to reduce sediment transport from the construction site in the southwest portion of the city.
Water board officials said the city of Lemon Grove had issued multiple administrative citations, stop work notices and correct work notices for water quality violations to the developer, with minimal response. The San Diego Water Board said it also issued a notice of violation, with no impact.
“Repeat non-compliance tells us they didn’t take the city or our inspectors very seriously,” said Chiara Clemente, San Diego Water Board’s enforcement coordinator.
“These requirements are not new,” Clemente said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s taking a large monetary penalty to motivate them to do basic management measures that the industry considers routine for protecting downstream water quality.”
The company, which could not be reached for comment, can pay the penalty, propose a settlement or supplemental environmental project, or contest the complaint.
The San Diego Water Board scheduled a Dec. 16 hearing to consider the complaint.
San Diego East County Chamber Honors
Women in Leadership Award Winners
The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce honored eight women with Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL) awards.
Honorees are: Mara Fortin, Nothing Bundt Cakes; Carey Guthrie, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors; Molly Nocon, Noah Homes; Erica Pinto, Jamul Indian Village; Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine; Elizabeth Smith-Chavez, Smith Chavez Law; Wendy Urushima-Conn, Asian Business Association; Shelly Zimmerman, San Diego Police Department.
According to Leah McIvor, 2015 event chair, a record 41 nominees were considered by the committee for the awards program, now in its 13th year. She said the recipients were honored for their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and integrity in the community, as well as their efforts to empower women to succeed and prosper in life and business.
• Mara Fortin, a former lawyer working in Las Vegas, was San Diego’s first franchise owner of a Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery store in 2007. Today, she operates six stores with plans to open a seventh store in Carmel Valley in November.
• Carey Guthrie is serving as 2015 president of Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors, a 2,000-member trade organization in the San Diego area. She currently manages Coldwell Banker West’s East County office.
• Molly Nocon is CEO of Noah Homes, a nonprofit providing residential care and advocacy for adults with developmental disabilities. Founded in 1983, Noah Homes cares for 70 men and women with developmental disabilities.
• Erica Pinto is the recently elected chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village Council after serving as vice chair since 2008. She joined the Council at age 22 in 1994.
• Mirian Raftery is founder and editor of East County Magazine, a news website founded in 2008 that covers politics and community events happening in the East County region. She also oversees an emergency alert service that delivers breaking news to subscribers on a variety of topics.
• Elizabeth Smith-Chavez, an attorney and founder of her own firm, Smith-Chavez Law, has worked in the legal profession since 1970. After three decades with a prominent San Diego firm, she founded her own private practice in 2013.
• Wendy Urushima-Conn is president/CEO of the Asian Business Association (ABA), a San Diego-based chamber of commerce for the Asian community. The ABA has about 500 member business representing more than 60,000 employees.
• Shelly Zimmerman was promoted to chief of the San Diego Police Department in March 2014. She joined the SDPD in 1982.
Parsons Brinckerhoff Adds 3 Executives to Staff
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services organization, has added three professionals to the staff of its San Diego office. Joining the firm are Miguel Galvan, senior supervising engineer, Richard Bottcher, senior engineering manager, and Darryl Carty, senior architectural manager.
Galvan will be responsible for designing storm water management systems along major highways and rail corridors in Southern California. He has nearly 20 years of experience in urban grading, urban drainage system planning and design, storm water pollution prevention, and erosion control design.
Bottcher will be responsible for managing storm water projects in Southern California. He has 32 years of experience in storm water management, drainage design, hydraulics, hydrology and storm water treatment studies throughout California, with special expertise in storm water systems along major highways and rail corridors.
Carty will provide architectural design services for transit and transportation projects in Southern California. He has over 38 years of experience managing architectural design for complex projects, including rail transit systems, fare collection studies and implementation, airport master plans, airport terminals and concourses, public safety facilities, vehicle maintenance facilities, air cargo and industrial storage facilities, parking decks, and water and wastewater treatment plants.