Orange County Business Journal

Senate Again Tackles Medical Device Tax Repeal

Industry Leaders Monitor Debate Over Hated Levy

A new Congress is in session, and one of its first actions took up a top goal of the medical device industry in Orange County and elsewhere: the repeal of a federal tax on companies’ revenues.

Stem Cells Step Forward With OC Manufacturing

HEALTHCARE: Latest FDA trial, manufacturing set to start here

What could be the most advanced attempt to bring stem cell treatments to the market could start any day now in Orange County.

Summit Picks Brains About Healthcare Accelerators

Institute Hosts Event On Helping Efforts Succeed

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute, a provider of business services and products and investment management services to health systems, is taking a broad role in championing its cause.

Report Puts Apria On Sales Block

Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. is up for sale, according to an industry website.

2015 Preview: HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s healthcare sector marks the beginning of a new era in 2015—one that no longer features Allergan Inc. as a locally based company.

La Palma Hospital Switches to Nonprofit Status

Ontario-based Prime Health Services said it donated La Palma Intercommunity Hospital to the Prime Healthcare Foundation.

UCI Medical Center Head to Retire

UC Irvine Medical Center Chief Executive Terry Belmont said he plans to retire from his post on June 30.

Edwards Reaches to Roots for Engineer Training

U. of Oregon Partnership Helps Teach Engineers

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp., maker of replacement heart valves and other cardiovascular devices, is working with the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., on a technical training program.

Allergan Execs Hold Own at Operations Level

An early look at Actavis PLC’s plans to integrate its $68 billion acquisition of Allergan Inc. signals that operations executives from the Irvine-based drugmaker will maintain a strong presence in the combined company.

St. Joseph Hoag, Irvine Company Extend Partnership

HEALTHCARE: 2nd edition of concept at Jamboree Center

St. Joseph Hoag Health has laid another building block for the integrated regional care delivery it is establishing in Orange County.

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La Palma Hospital Goes Nonprofit

Ontario-based Prime Health Services said today that it donated La Palma Intercommunity Hospital to the Prime Healthcare Foundation.

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UCI Medical Center Chief to Retire

UC Irvine Medical Center Chief Executive Terry Belmont said today that plans to retire from the post on June 30.

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SJC Eye Drug Maker Gets $20M from South Korean Pharma

San Juan Capistrano-based Allegro Opthalmics LLC said today that it raised $20 million from South Hanmi Pharmaceutical in South Korea.

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NB Company Invests in Biotech Firm

Newport Beach-based CureDuchenne Ventures LLC said today that it invested $1 million in Capricor Therapeutics Inc. to fund research for treating heart disease associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Hoag Irvine Expansion Plan Aims to Deliver ‘Healthcare Village’

HEALTHCARE: 3-building center expected to open in 2016

Put Irvine and Hoag down as a good match.

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Deals for Ensign in Three States

Mission Viejo-based Ensign Group Inc. has bought several skilled nursing, home healthcare and hospice operations.

Edwards In $50M Round for NorCal Device Maker

HEALTHCARE: Gets option to buy Menlo Park-based startup

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has dipped its toe into the investment waters of the medical device business.

More Investor Attention for Edwards’ Valves Expected

Leerink: High-Growth Markets to Get More Cash

High-growth medical technology markets, such as transcatheter heart valves—a bellwether product for Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (see story, page 3)—will continue to draw increasing levels of investor attention this year, according to a recent report by Boston-based investment bank Leerink Partners.

Pyott's Premium

$68B Deal Puts Allergan Boss in First Position

David Pyott expected 2014 to be a year of hunting for deals.

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Auxilio Signs $18M Contract

Mission Viejo-based Auxilio Inc., a managed print services company focused on the healthcare industry, said it has signed a five-year, $18 million contract with the largest operating region of what it called “a top 10 U.S. health system.”

Quality Systems Enters Cloud With New Products

Uses Annual Meeting To Talk Up Coming Debuts

Quality Systems Inc. is dipping into the world of cloud computing and recently shared some of its new products at its annual users’ group meeting.

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Device Maker Insightra Raises $12M

Irvine-based Insightra Medical Inc. has raised $12 million in a pair of fundings, according to a regulatory filing.

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Actavis to Trim Allergan Executive Ranks

Actavis PLC said today it plans to replace most of the top executives at Allergan Inc. with its own personnel when its $68 billion acquisition of the Irvine-based drug maker closes next year.

2014 Year in Review: Healthcare

We picked the veteran chief executive of Irvine-based Allergan Inc. as a the person to watch for a number of reasons, including the expectation of new products and his pick of a clear No. 2 executive in Douglas Ingram, Allergan’s president.

Ensign Expands San Diego Presence With Acquisitions

Hospice Care Added To Other Facilities in County

Mission Viejo-based nursing home operator Ensign Group Inc. is making moves to the south.

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Grosses Donate $10M to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach

Pacific Investment Management Co. founder Bill Gross and his wife, Sue, president of the Gross Family Foundation, have donated $10 million to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

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Kaiser Names New Top OC Exec

Kaiser Permanente has named Mark Costa its new executive director of its Orange County service area.

OC Efforts Spur Japanese Device Regulation Changes

New Law Loosens Process US Firms Have Criticized

Efforts over the past decade by several of Orange County’s better-known medical device executives to change Japanese laws are bearing fruit.

Avanir to Continue as OC-Based Business Under Otsuka

HEALTHCARE: $3.5B for maker of neurological drug

Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. hopes to continue its recent surge under new owner Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., which aims to beef up its neurology drug lineup following an upcoming patent expiration.

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Kaiser Names New Top OC Exec

Kaiser Permanente has named Mark Costa its new executive director of its Orange County service area.

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Actavis to Cut Jobs in Corona

Actavis PLC, which is buying Irvine-based Allergan Inc., will lay off 200 workers at its operation just across the county line in Corona, according to a state filing.

Integrated Healthcare Vies for Joshua Tree Hospital

Works With Affiliates To Get Operations Lease

Hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc., one of Orange County’s lower-profile public companies, is working with some of its affiliates to lease a hospital in the High Desert community of Joshua Tree.

Kaiser Considers Internal Candidates For Top Executive in OC

HEALTHCARE: Harrier interim; final choice expected next month

Julie Miller-Phipps says Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan will likely stick with the familiar as it seeks to fill her role as its top executive in Orange County, where consideration of internal candidates is under way.

UCI Health Partners With IE Hospital

UC Irvine Health has struck a deal on an affiliation with Corona Regional Medical Center, a midsize hospital just across the Riverside County line.

Allergan Buyer Could Make Irvine HQ For Specialty Pharma

HEALTHCARE: Boss of N.J.-based Actavis likes OC’s appeal, talent

Orange County will remain a nerve center for Allergan Inc., according to the chief executive of its future parent company.

Seattle Drugmaker With Local Plant Files for Bankruptcy

Performance of Dendreon Provenge Drug Elusive

Five years ago, the Business Journal wondered whether a “biotech beachhead” was going to take root in Orange County, an area long known for its domination by the medical device industry.

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Valeant, Ackman Cash Out of Allergan

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP have slashed their stake in Irvine-based Allergan Inc. after losing a bidding war to Actavis PLC.

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SEC Suspends Trading of Penny Stock

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said today that it halted trading in Anaheim-based Wholehealth Products Inc. and three other penny stock companies that “claim to be developing products and services in response to the Ebola [virus] outbreak.”

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Ackman Withdraws From Meeting

Activist investor Bill Ackman said today that he would withdraw from a special shareholders’ meeting he had planned in the wake of Irvine-based Allergan Inc.’s $66 billion acquisition by Actavis PLC, according to CNBC.

Senator Visits CHOC to Publicize Patient-Safety Effort

Preventable Patient Deaths ‘Makes You Choke Up’

A major supporter of the patient safety movement led by Irvine-based Masimo Corp.’s Chief Executive Joe Kiani stopped by Orange County this month.

Aliso Viejo Device Maker Raises $15M

Aliso Viejo-based device maker OrthAlign Inc. completed a $15 million round of funding. The company makes devices used in orthopedic procedures.

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Edwards Lifesciences Appoints Director

Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said today that Nicholas Valeriani is a new member of its board of directors.

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Allergan, Actavis in “Advanced Talks”

Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc. is in advanced negotiations with potential “white knight” suitor Actavis PLC, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday.

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Allergan, Actavis in “Advanced Talks”

Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc. is in advanced negotiations with potential “white knight” suitor Actavis PLC, according to a Bloomberg report.

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OrthAlign Gets $15 Million

Aliso Viejo-based device maker OrthAlign Inc. completed a $15 million round of funding. The company makes devices used in orthopedic procedures.

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ICU Surges on Earnings Revision

San Clemente-based ICU Medical Inc.’s stock shot up today after it forecast stronger financial results for the full year.

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Hoag Gives $3.7M to Senior Center

Hoag Memorial Hospital said today it donated $3.775 million to the new Huntington Beach Senior Center in the Park.

Allergan Shares Climb on Reports of Actavis’ Interest

HEALTHCARE: Drugmaker still mum on ID of latest suitor

Investors seem to be warming to the possibility of a combination of Irvine-based Allergan Inc. and “white knight” Actavis PLC.

Medtronic Details Exec Structure Post Covidien Buy

Changes Precede Nearly Doubling Workforce

Medtronic Inc., which has about 700 employees in Orange County, recently detailed a management team and restructured its business segments in the run-up to its proposed $42.9 billion buy of fellow device maker Covidien PLC, which has 670 local workers.

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Allergan Said in Talks with Actavis

Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc. is in active talks with New Jersey-based Actavis PLC about a deal, sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg today.