Daily Business Report-April 22, 2016
Artist’s rendering of the future headquarters of BioLegend.
BioLegend Biotech Company
Building New HQ in Miramar
San-Diego-based biotech company BioLegend has purchased an eight-acre campus for its future headquarters in Miramar at Terman Court, just north of the Miramar Air Station.
The manufacturer of antibodies and reagents is targeting future growth. It has grown steadily since 2002 when it started as a local San Diego company. It now has operations in Europe, Taiwan and Japan.
The headquarters project, which will be completed in several phases, will center on a possible new, four-story building combining research lab space and executive offices, while offering employee amenities.
In addition to the main building, which is expected to be built from the ground up, three existing buildings onsite are expected to be overhauled to create additional lab and office space, plus a new order fulfillment center. A fourth building is planned to be demolished to make room for a parking structure to be built in its place.
Currently Phase 1 of the project is underway. Hughes Marino CM, architect Delawie and general contractor Wieland are working on the tenant improvements of an existing 40,000-square-foot, two-story building, which will house research labs and office space. Phase 1 will be completed in October, at which point BioLegend will begin moving in phases out of its current facility in Sorrento Mesa.
Additional project phases are envisioned over the next three years, with the entire campus slated to be completely finished in late 2019.
Chargers Stadium: Retractable
Roof, Sky Garden and Park
San Diego Union-Tribune
The Chargers released a conceptual plan Thursday for a 61,500-seat stadium with a retractable roof, an adjoining convention center featuring a rooftop “sky garden,” and a new two-acre park.
Project architect David Manica stressed that “we have not dropped a spaceship” into what he said is an admittedly tight Downtown site,
“We want it to be soft, friendly, of San Diego,” he said. “We want it to feel like a building that has been there for a long time, like a natural evolution of the downtown architecture.”
Manica said he drew his inspiration from San Diego’s mild climate, rugged coastline and sailing culture.
UCSD Researchers Join Largest
Autism Study Ever in Nation
By City News Service
The UC San Diego School of Medicine announced Thursday that it will be part of an effort to collect DNA samples from 50,000 autism patients aged 3 to 100, in what is being touted as the largest study of the disorder ever undertaken in the U.S.
Karen Pierce, an associate professor of neurosciences at UCSD and her colleagues will seek 3,000 study participants diagnosed with autism, and their family members, in the San Diego region and in Phoenix, where she’s conducting other autism-related research.
“Autism has a strong genetic component, but there’s a lot of heterogeneity in the genes involved,” said Pierce, a co-director of UCSD’s Autism Center of Excellence. “More than 50 genes have been identified that almost certainly play a role in autism, but there may be 300 or more.”
Sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, based in New York, the study is called SPARK — for Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge — and involves 21 research institutions across the country that are recruiting participants and collecting data.
“One of the major challenges in autism genetics research is sample size,” Pierce said.
“Individual projects may fail to find genetic abnormalities, not because they aren’t there, but because the sample size is just too small,” she said. “SPARK addresses that by pulling together information and data from not just 50,000 persons with autism, but also family members, such as both parents.”
Pierce said the study will provide researchers with an abundance of material to study and share, so they’ll be able to look more effectively for relevant biological mechanisms behind autism, and how genetic and environmental factors interact to result in autism spectrum disorder.
Years ago, children with autism were not identified, helped or treated until they were 5 to 10 years old, or even older, Pierce said. Now, most clinicians and researchers are aiming for early diagnosis and treatment, which gives patients a significantly better chance of improvement, she said.
$1.3 Million Awarded to San Diego
Groups for Cancer Research
By City News Service
The nonprofit Pedal the Cause announced Thursday that it distributed $1.3 million to four San Diego organizations to fund cancer research.
The recipients are the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Rady Children’s Hospital.
“From the beginning, we’ve wanted ‘Pedal’ to be more than just a cycling fundraising event,” said Jay Indovino, the organization’s executive director.
“We want it to be a movement that mobilizes the entire San Diego community to join in the fight to end cancer,” Indovino said. “The money we’ve presented here today is a monumental step towards that goal and is a result of the efforts and contributions of everyone who has rallied to the cause.”
The funding stems from proceeds from last year’s Pedal the Cause event, which featured rides at various distances around the region. This year’s ride is set for Nov. 12-13.
The nonprofit’s funding will pay for, among other things, testing of a drug combination that might help with a lung cancer mutation for which there are limited treatment options; research into how the activation of a particular molecule assists with the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer; and a study of how certain ovarian cancers develop a resistance to a form of chemotherapy most often given to patients.
New San Diego Central
Courthouse Topped Out
Rudolph and Sletten Inc. celebrated the topping out of the New San Diego Central Courthouse on Wednesday, a traditional tribute to the construction crews and project partners.
The 25-story, $555 million project at 1100 Union St. in Downtown was assembled to its full height. When occupied in early 2017, the new courthouse will combine several of the Superior Court of San Diego County’s spaces and offer a full-service facility for criminal, civil, probate, family, and small claims matters, with space for court administration, security operations, and holding areas.
The event included a ceremony as the final beam of the building, signed by all 650 construction crew members, was placed atop the high-rise. The development, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, is intended to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standards.
SDSU Ranks High in Project
Management Certificate Programs
San Diego State University ranks among the top 50 in “best value” for project management certificate programs in the U.S., according to valuecolleges.com.
Offered through its College of Extended Studies, SDSU’s Project Management program is listed as No. 41 among national universities and colleges, and No. 3 within California State University institutions.
The SDSU curriculum is designed to give project managers (and any other professionals who work on projects) the tools they need to successfully manage any type of project – regardless of scope or industry. To earn the certificate, students must successfully complete seven required courses and two electives within five years.
Nearly 1,000 Affordable Housing
Units Going to Veterans Via Grants
By City News Service
Three groups that provide affordable housing for former members of the military in San Diego County will split $16.2 million in grants announced Thursday by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.
The funded projects will provide 2,124 units of housing, of which 983 will be specifically set aside for ex-military.
Veterans Village of San Diego will receive nearly $6.5 million for a facility in Escondido, and the Affirmed Housing Group will get almost $6.4 million for a project in Grantville.
The third award was $3.3 million to Townspeople for the Vista del Puente project in San Diego.
In all, CalVet awarded $116.1 million to 28 projects around the state, funded by voter-approved Proposition 41 and the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program.
“The housing provided to our veterans and their families through VHHP is more than a roof and four walls,” said Housing and Community Development Director Ben Metcalf. “Residents also receive quality supportive services such as case management, substance abuse services, health clinics, benefits advocacy, and family and childcare services.”
San Diego Land Purchased
For New Affordable Housing
Chelsea Investment Corp., a Carlsbad-based developer of affordable housing, has purchased a four-acre property at 7811 Mission Gorge Road in San Diego for $6.58 and intends to develop a 90-unit affordable housing community. A 16,800-square-foot retail center currently sits on the property.
The seller was HM Coleman Inc.
Construction is scheduled to begin later this year. Victor Crebs of Colliers International represented both the seller and buyer.
Illumina Files Patent Infringement
Suit Against Switzerland Company
Illumina Inc. of San Diego and its subsidiary, Verinata Health Inc., filed a patent infringement suit against Genoma SA in the Federal Patent Court in Switzerland. Illumina is seeking all available remedies, including damages and injunctive relief.
The patents are directed to using cell-free fetal DNA for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
The suit accuses Genoma’s Tranquility NIPT testing service, including its use of next-generation sequencing to analyze cell-free DNA from a sample of maternal blood. Genoma’s testing facility in Switzerland also services samples collected from its other labs, including those located in Spain and Italy.
“We will continue to monitor activities in the NIPT field and file suits where appropriate to protect our substantial investments in this technology covered by our intellectual property,” said Charles Dadswell, senior vice president and general counsel for Illumina.
Carlsbad Desalination Plant Honored
As ‘Desalination Plant of the Year’
The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has been honored with a Global Water Award as the Desalination Plant of the Year for 2016 by Global Water Intelligence, publisher of periodicals for the international water industry.
The award, announced this week at the Global Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, goes to “the desalination plant, commissioned during 2015, that represents the most impressive technical or ecologically sustainable achievement in the industry.”
The Carlsbad plant is the result of a 30-year Water Purchase Agreement between the plant’s developer and owner, Poseidon Water, and the San Diego County Water Authority for the production of up to 56,000 acre-feet of water per year.
The largest seawater desalination plant in the nation, it started commercial operations in December 2015 and is providing the San Diego region with a drought-proof water supply during one of the most severe droughts in California’s recorded history. IDE Technologies, an international leader in water treatment solutions, operates the plant. Construction was carried out by Kiewit-Shea Desalination.
The project gained praise for Poseidon’s partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create, restore and enhance 66 acres of vulnerable local wetland as part of the project scope.