Valley Briefs Diodes Signs Pact Westlake Village based Diodes Inc., a manufacturer and supplier of discrete semiconductors announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with one of the largest suppliers and distributors of electric components in North America, Mouser Electronics Inc. IRIS Reports Revenue Hike IRIS International, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of automated IVD urinalysis systems and medical devices used in hospitals and reference clinical laboratories worldwide, announced a 53 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004, and strong profits in what has historically been a seasonally slower quarter for the company. Revenues for the first quarter rose to $9.4 million, compared with $6.1 million in the corresponding quarter of 2003. Net income was $530,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $488,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, in the like period a year ago. Studio City Business Expo The Studio City Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor a business expo on Friday April 30, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Osaka University in Studio City. The one-day event is a marketing opportunity for companies to showcase goods and services to other businesses and residents of Studio City and the Valley. The event is free to the public. The fee for vendors is $99. This fee is waived for Chamber members and new members joining the Chamber for 2004. Housing Summit Planned On Thursday, May 6, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors is holding an affordable housing summit at its offices at 7232 Balboa Blvd. in Van Nuys. Registration and a continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m, followed by an hour of presentations from Mercedes Marquez, General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department, policy analyst Christian Peralta, and developer Severyn Aszkenazy. Following the presentations, a bus tour will take people on a bus tour of innovative affordable housing developments in the Valley. For more information, contact: (818) 947-2256. VICA Business Advocacy Awards VICA is holding its 4th annual “Excellence in Business Advocacy Awards” and gala on Thursday, June 17. These awards are designed to recognize and celebrate the exceptional companies and VICA volunteers in the greater San Fernando Valley area. These five awards will be presented in a black-tie gala at the Universal Sheraton Hotel. The awards presented will be in five categories: an achievement award for outstanding VICA volunteer advocate, an achievement award for a not-for-profit organization, an achievement award for a small business (50 or fewer employees), an achievement award for a large business (51 or more employees), and an achievement award for outstanding new VICA company. IHOP Attracts Franchisees IHOP Corp. announced that it has signed multi-store development agreements with three franchisees new to the IHOP system to develop 14 new IHOP restaurants over the next four to five years. These commitments represent the first development agreements that IHOP has signed with non-existing franchises as the Glendale-based company works to capture franchise interest outside of the IHOP system. New restaurant development will take place in Colorado, Texas, and Wisconsin. First Commerce Record Earnings In the first quarter of this year, Encino-based First Commerce Bancorp reported net income of $444,000, an increase of 67 percent from the $266,000 in the like period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share were $0.05 for the first quarter, as compared to $0.03 for the same period in 2003. VICA Ready for Return of Football The Valley Industry and Commerce Association Board of Directors overwhelmingly voted to support the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as the preferred site for a state of the art stadium that would be home to an NFL team. NFL owners are expected to discuss the topic at their upcoming gathering in Jacksonville, FL next month. Advanced Biotherapy AIDS Study Woodland Hills based Advanced Biotherapy Inc. announced the launch of a phase I FDA-approved clinical trial to initially treat antiretroviral drug-resistant AIDS patients. The trial is being conducted by researchers at Georgetown University. The study’s enrollment at the onset is limited by 10 patients who are in virologic failure and no longer able to benefit from the administration of highly active anti-retroviral therapy. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of AIDS patients ultimately become non-responsive to such drugs during the course of their treatment. Advanced Biotherapy’s plan is to use an inhibitor that targets TNF-alpha, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, that severely disturbs the body’s immune system. The new Phase I study is intended to test the safety and possibly show a clinical effect of this inhibitor aimed at helping to restore normal immune system function in AIDS patients with advanced disease.