Stories for September 2015

Wednesday, September 30

Avita Medical Contract Could Yield $54 Million

Avita Medical announced Wednesday that it has won a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal agency responsible for preparing the U.S. for public health emergencies.

Staff Awaits Cuts at L.A. Times

With an ax reportedly preparing to fall on jobs at the cash-strapped Los Angeles Times, at least some veteran staffers appear ready to leave.

NetSol Adds Taiwanese Clients

NetSol Technologies Inc. announced Wednesday an agreement to implement its software at two new companies in Taiwan, further expanding its footprint in the growing Asian auto finance market.

Kaiser Names Area Medical Director

Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center has named Dr. James Lau as the new medical director for the area, which extends into the East San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley.

Tuesday, September 29

Cherokee Expands European Distribution

Cherokee Global Brands announced Tuesday it has entered into a new license agreement that will further expand its European distribution.

Ceres Soars on License Agreement

Newbury Park agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. announced Tuesday that it has entered into a licensing agreement with KWS SAAT SE, a worldwide seed developer based in Germany.

Valley Home Sales Slow

Home sales slowed in the San Fernando Valley last month as the summer season came to an end and fewer homes were on the market, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report.

Monday, September 28

Medtronic Launches Phone Connection for Diabetics

Medical device company Medtronic plc announced Monday that its MiniMed Connect system will be available for sale in the U.S.

Anderson Forecast Predicts More Jobs, Costly Housing

Californians can expect continued job growth and lower unemployment over the next three years, but housing costs are expected to continue to rise, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast released Monday.

Cynvenio to Sell Cancer Test in U.S.

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. announced Monday a collaborative partnership with Korean biotech company ATGen Global to bring a new cancer test to the U.S. market.

Trio-Tech Net Income Grows

Trio Tech International Inc. improved in its net income during its fiscal fourth quarter even though revenue decreased slightly.

Friday, September 25

McCarthy Emerges as Speaker Candidate

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is emerging as the frontrunner to replace Rep. John Boehner who announced Friday his resignation as the Speaker of the House of Representatives effective next month.

Haggen Closures to Impact Valley Shoppers

Haggen Food & Pharmacy is closing its remaining stores in Arizona, California and Nevada to focus efforts on maintaining 37 successful stores in Washington and Oregon.

AeroVironment Announces Repurchase Program

The board of AeroVironment Inc. approved on Thursday a $25 million stock repurchase program effective immediately.

Thursday, September 24

Woodland Hills Analyst Calls on Tribune to Sell Times

A Woodland Hills analyst blasted Tribune Publishing Co. in a memo today, saying it bungled the firing of L.A. Times Publisher Austin Beutner and called on the company to sell itself to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. before its valuation dips any lower.

ImmunoCellular Wins $20 Million Grant

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. won a $19.9 million grant to finance a phase 3 cancer study, the company announced Thursday.

Apollo Medical CFO Resigns, Board Shrinks

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc., announced Thursday the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Mitch Creem as well as changes in its board.

Ventura County Shopping Center Sells for $8 Million

A 100,000-square-foot shopping center in Oxnard has traded hands for $8.1 million.

Wednesday, September 23

Valencia Office Buildings Sell for $41 Million

Valencia Corporate Plaza, a three-building office complex on Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita, has sold for nearly $41.3 million, or about $212 a square foot.

Budweiser to Acquire Golden Road

Atwater Village brewery Golden Road is being acquired by Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch, the companies announced Wednesday.

Court Rules DC Comics Owns Batmobile

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Warner Bros. Entertainment’s DC Comics Inc. owns the copyright to the Batmobile as it appeared in the 1960s television show and 1989 film.

Soon-Shiong Could Bid for L.A. Times

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the wealthiest person in Los Angeles, could make an offer to buy the Los Angeles Times, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Shirts With Talon’s Tekfit Hit Stores

Talon International Inc.’s Tekfit stretch technology is now in dress shirts that PVH Corp. is shipping to stores, the company announced Tuesday.

Financier Joins Disney Board

Walt Disney Co. has elected a finance and investment professional to serve as an independent member of its board.

Tuesday, September 22

New Bidders May Emerge for L.A. Times

In the wake of Austin Beutner’s firing as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and reports that billionaire Eli Broad could reignite his interest in acquiring the beleaguered paper, there are now rumblings that others could be interested as well.

VEDC's Barragan Appointed to Fed Advisory Council

Valley Economic Development Center Chief Executive Roberto Barragan has been appointed to serve on the Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board.

Health Net Calls Meeting for Merger Vote

Health Net Inc. will hold a special meeting of its stockholders on Oct. 23 to approve its merger plan with Centene Corp., the company announced late Monday.

Kythera Seeks FDA Approval for Baldness Treatment

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. has submitted an Investigational New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new treatment for male pattern hair loss.

AeroVironment Drone Contract Bid Denied

AeroVironment Inc. was turned down for a phase III contract to continue development of a new unmanned aircraft for use by the U.S. Navy, the company said Tuesday.

New Buses for Burbank Airport Shuttle

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority approved a $12 million contract for shuttle services between its terminal and remote parking lots.

Monday, September 21

Disney Heads $65 Million Investment in Virtual Reality

Walt Disney Co. is the lead investor in a $65 million series C round of funding in Jaunt, a Silicon Valley startup developing virtual reality technology.

Burbank Office Building Sells for Nearly $20 Million

The Burbank Airport Center has changed hands for $19.8 million, or about $220 a square foot.

Warner Bros. Forms Chinese Film Venture

Warner Bros. Entertainment has formed a joint venture to produce and distribute a slate of Chinese-language films starting as early as next year, the company announced Monday.

Keeping Up Connections

INTERNET: Xirrus forges links in Wi-Fi access market with low prices, updatable devices.

Xirrus, which makes Wi-Fi transmitters to cover large venues, has a new product line.

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Labeler Gets Stuck on Suds

MANUFACTURING: Avery Dennison taps craft beer scene.

New labeling process from Avery Dennison takes aim at the craft beer and personal care markets.

Porter Ranch Sold on Mall

DEVELOPMENT: Retail center to address area’s shortcomings.

Plans emerge for the Village at Porter Ranch from developer Shapell Liberty Investment Properties.

Search Firm Says It Found Right Exec

Bruce Clay looks to new hire to grow online ad business.

Simi Valley SEO firm hires an expert in paid search to enhance its online marketing services.

Credit Union Banking On New Home

Logix decides to leave Burbank, build its own HQ in Santa Clarita.

Burbank-based Logix Federal Credit Union has purchased land in Santa Clarita to build a new headquarters.

Sensor Firm To Air Out New Device

Waddan Systems gets $100,000 EPA grant for pollution detector.

Waddan Systems wins $100,000 grant to develop an air pollution detector.

The Number

Which bank branch is the wealthiest in the San Fernando Valley?

Biosimilar Drugs Will Impact Amgen’s Future

BIOTECH: Investors saw near-term competition coming from copycats.

Amgen Inc. is facing its first biosimilar competitor, but it’s getting into the biosimilar game too.

Convention Gives Platform to Valley-Area Firms

TRADE SHOW: Vet attendee sees event highlighting sector’s job-creation value.

Seven companies from the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys exhibited at the Westec manufacturing trade show, which took place Sept. 15 to 17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Dealership Remodelings Accelerate Vehicle Sales

AUTOMOTIVE: Manufacturers help pay construction costs as part of rebranding.

Valley new car dealerships are putting money into upgrading their showrooms and facilities.

Apartment Project Homes In on Luxury Service

DEVELOPMENT: Vision for Woodland Hills property includes concierge staff.

Developer Shawn Evenhaim is on a mission with his new residential project. He wants to introduce the San Fernando Valley to true full-service luxury living – and he’s not just hiring a doorman.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

BYD Motors Inc. was awarded a contract by the Washington State Department of Transportation to supply electric buses to transit authorities and agencies as well universities and other educational institutions.


Calendar of events

Checking In

Bank grows by buying neighborhood branches

Americas United Bank of Glendale buys two branches to expand its outreach to Latino customers.

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Firm Talks Golden Age for Retirees

INVESTMENT: Goldco pitches metals as retirement insurance.

Goldco Precious Metals of Tarzana is growing fast by helping its clients invest for retirement.

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Urge to Merge

Investment banker David Bonrouhi gets a rush from bringing business owners together in merger and acquisition talks.

David Bonrouhi, managing director of Calabasas Capital, talks about making M&A deals, whipping up leftovers and watching his kids play hockey.

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Focus on Exercise Pumps Up Philanthropic Events

HEALTH CARE: Founder of Fit 4 the Cause has boosted wide range of local causes.

Support health with health, that’s Cindy Rakowitz’s mantra.

The Case for Business Friendly

Why every city should vie to be business-friendly.

Friday, September 18

Push for Local Control of L.A. Times Leans on Oaktree

Billionaire Eli Broad and other Los Angeles leaders might be trying to enlist Oaktree Capital Management Co-Chairman Bruce Karsh, whose company owns nearly a fifth of Tribune Publishing Co. stock, into the fight to regain local control of the Los Angeles Times.

County Unemployment Drops Below 7 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell below 7 percent last month for the first time in more than seven years, according to state figures released Friday.

Valley Village Apartments to Replace Closed Car Wash

A developer has proposed a new transit-oriented development that would include both residential and commercial space at the site of the shuttered Galaxy Car Wash at 12444 Chandler Blvd. in Valley Village.

Simulations Plus Makes FDA Sale

Simulations Plus Inc. has sold 50 additional licenses for its GastroPlus software to the Food and Drug Administration, the company announced Friday.

Thursday, September 17

Warner Bros. Sells Digital Distributor

Warner Bros. sold its digital content distribution business to Sherman Oaks company Vubiquity, the companies announced Thursday.

Unico Moves Offices to Calabasas

Unico American Corp. is moving all of its operations and headquarters to Calabasas.

Lawsuit Opposes Sun Valley Studio Project

A planned film production studio in Sun Valley is the target of a lawsuit filed this week by residents living near the project.

Antelope Valley Hospital Sues L.A. County

Antelope Valley Hospital is suing Los Angeles County and its board of supervisors for the improper allocation of billions of dollars of tax revenue for health care.

Wednesday, September 16

Amgen Buys Dezima, Signs Xencor Research Deal

Amgen Inc. announced Wednesday that it will acquire Dezima Pharma B.V., a Netherlands-based biotech that develops blood disorder treatments.

Airtel Hotel Owner Jim Dunn Dies

Jim Dunn, owner of the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, died Monday. He was 70.

Cal State Channel Islands, Feds Sign Drone Pact

California State University Channel Islands and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signed an agreement Tuesday on the use of unmanned aircraft in NOAA airspace.

Tuesday, September 15

On Assignment Division Expands to San Diego

Creative Circle, a staffing agency specialized in advertising and marketing jobs, is opening an office in San Diego, the company announced Tuesday.

NetSol Shares Surge on Narrowing Loss

NetSol Technologies Inc. reported a net loss for the fiscal fourth quarter yet still managed to beat Wall Street estimates, sparking a jump in the stock price.

Monday, September 14

AHF Submits Signatures for Condom Ballot Measure

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Monday filed more than a half million signatures needed for a ballot measure on mandatory condom usage in adult films throughout California.

Soon-Shiong Licenses Amgen Drug

NantPharma LLC, a company controlled by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, has signed a licensing agreement with Amgen Inc. for AMG 337, an experimental cancer drug, NantPharma announced Monday.

Friday, September 11

Amgen Seeks New Monthly Dosage for Repatha

Amgen Inc. has submitted an application for regulatory approval of a new single-dose syringe for cholesterol drug Repatha, the company announced Friday.

Simulations Plus Reports First-Year Results of Acquisition

Simulations Plus Inc. reported preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year results to coincide with the one-year anniversary of its acquisition of Cognigen Corp.

Thursday, September 10

Simi Office Buildings Sell for $57 Million

Rising Realty Partners and Mount Kellet Capital Management LP have sold two Simi Valley office buildings for $57 million, or about $119 per square foot, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc.

Disney's Star Wars Rides to Break Ground in 2016

Walt Disney Co. is moving fast on plans to open its new Star Wars-themed land at Disneyland, announcing Thursday that the company will break ground on the project next year.

Cherokee Misses Estimates, Loses Target Account

Cherokee Global Brands reported quarterly earnings that missed Wall Street expectations, while also announcing that Target stores are dropping one of its apparel lines.

Surf Air Sells 2,000 Memberships

Members-only airline Surf Air announced Thursday selling the 2000th membership for its “all-you-can-fly” business model.

Wednesday, September 9

Walker Zanger Buys Quarry

Luxury stone and tile maker Walker Zanger Inc. has purchased an unused rock quarry in Oklahoma.

Qualstar Narrows Loss

Qualstar Corp. narrowed its net loss and increased revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter as the company continues to execute its turnaround plan.

Bob Hope Airport Passenger Count Continues to Climb

Passenger traffic at Burbank Bob Hope Airport rose again in July, the sixth straight month of gains at the San Fernando Valley’s only commercial airfield.

Tuesday, September 8

BYD Contract Brings More Bus Building to Lancaster

The Antelope Valley came out a winner after BYD Motors Inc. was awarded a contract by the Washington State Department of Transportation to supply electric buses to transit authorities and agencies as well universities and other educational institutions.

Disney Expands Digital Movie Access

Walt Disney CO. has expanded the partners and devices for its digital video service Disney Movies Anywhere.

SetPoint Medical Lands $27 Million Investment

SetPoint Medical received a $27 million investment from new and existing investors, including the venture capital fund of multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

Monday, September 7


Calendar of events

Turbine gives spark to Wal-Mart Truck

Prototype vehicle recharges battery with Capstone technology.

Capstone’s turbine is under the hood of Wal-Mart’s eco-friendly delivery truck.

Extra Hand for Handymen

Magnetic bag holds screws, drill bits.

A Kickstarter campaign could help a Santa Clarita electrician sells his invention to do-it-yourselfers.

Brief Life For Historical Collection

Nathan Turner to run Americana pop-up shop at Topanga mall.

Interior designer Nathan Turner plans an Americana theme for his pop-up shop in the Village at Topanga.

Landlord Sells Stores on App

TECHNOLOGY: BlueList uses discounts to boost foot traffic.

A Woodland Hills shopping center developer gets into the mobile coupon game with a new app.

SEC Puts Plug In Oil Business

ENERGY: Agency alleges trio’s ventures defrauded investors.

Prosecutors accuse a Valley couple of soliciting investments but spending the cash on themselves.

Manufacturer Switched to Sensors

AEROSPACE: Hydra-Electric says customers guided new direction.

A Burbank switch-maker sees its investment in sensors pay off.

Driven Down

West-end Ventura Boulevard shops still spin wheels

Can more parking and pedestrian access help Ventura Boulevard’s mom-and-pop shops compete with Westfield?

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U.S. Should Put Money on Trade

It’s time for Congress to reauthorize the Import-Export Bank.

The Number

Ikea is doubling down in Burbank with its largest U.S. retail center.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Amgen Inc. has received approval to market its cholesterol drug Repatha in the United States.

Mixed-Use Looks to Move Into Warner Center

DEVELOPMENT: Ohm Square would add 369,000 square feet of residential, retail.

The Warner Center Business Park is dominated by low-rise office buildings that typically go dark after work hours.

Everything Old New Again at Remodeled Store

APPAREL: Unique Vintage fashions brighter look to match product on racks.

After spending $50,000 to remodel her eight-year-old shop, Katie Echeverry felt like celebrating.

Hip-Hop Radio DJ Wraps Up Deal for Bio Movie

FILM: Success of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ spurred interest in Greg Mack.

The box-office muscle of “Straight Outta Compton,” a movie about rap group N.W.A, has led Goddard Film Group to obtain the rights to the story of a peripheral character seen in the film.

Turning Eye Toward Future

BIOTECH: Second Sight looks to clinical trial to secure more customers for vision system.

A Sylmar prosthetic retina company is expanding a product to patients suffering from macular degeneration.

Friday, September 4

DineEquity to Move Applebee's HQ to Glendale

Restaurant operator DineEquity Inc. plans to move the headquarters of its Applebee’s International Inc. chain from suburban Kansas City, Mo., to its Glendale corporate home, the company said Thursday.

Cynvenio Hires Chief Medical Officer

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. has hired Dr. Paul Song as chief medical officer to oversee the company’s clinical research program.

Thursday, September 3

Semtech Collaborates on Fox Canyon Groundwater Project

Semtech Corp. has launched a network in Ventura County to wirelessly track groundwater pumping from the Fox Canyon aquifer.

Magic Mountain to Upgrade New Revolution Ride

Magic Mountain in Valencia plans to upgrade the 40-year-old New Revolution roller coaster for 2016, the park announced Thursday.

Amgen Competitor Sells Neupogen Knockoff

Amgen Inc. faces a new type of competition with the launch of Zarxio, the first biosimilar drug approved for sale in the U.S.

Cherokee Launches Brand for Indian Stores

Cherokee Global Brands announced Wednesday the launch of Point Cove – California Clothing Co., a new fashion and lifestyle brand.

Wednesday, September 2

DreamWorks May Switch Distributors

Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios is looking for a new distribution deal as its current arrangement with the Walt Disney Co. is set to expire next year, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Former Hot Pockets Plant Sold

The Chatsworth plant that once turned out Hot Pockets frozen sandwiches has been sold to a Chinese company that was the exclusive supplier of dumplings to the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

DTS Acquries iBiquity for $172 Million

Audio technology company DTS Inc. acquired iBiquity Digital Corp., a developer of high-definition radio technology, in a deal valued at $172 million.

Tuesday, September 1

AeroVironment Reports Disappointing Quarter

AeroVironment Inc. fell short of Wall Street expectation on revenue and earnings in the fiscal first quarter as sales of its unmanned aircraft and electric vehicle charging stations dropped off.

IPC Acquires Virginia Doctors Group

IPC Healthcare Inc. has acquired Mid-Atlantic ElderCare PLLC, a doctors group focused entirely on providing medical care to patients of nursing homes and retirement communities, the company announced Tuesday.