Orange County Business Journal

Startup Armed With Cash to Develop ‘Novel’ Drug

HEALTHCARE: $22M for blindness prevention medicine

San Juan Capistrano-based startup Allegro Ophthalmic LLC is aiming to take on a major cause of blindness and has an enriched war chest to do it with.

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AtheroNova Shares Fall on Debt News

Irvine-based drugmaker AtheroNova Inc.’s shares fell sharply today after it disclosed that it experienced “an event of default” on a $427,500 loan that triggered defaults on three others.

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Actavis Cutting More Jobs

Actavis PLC will cut more jobs just over the county line in Corona, as it awaits the finalization of its buy of Irvine-based Allergan Inc., according to a state filing.

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Edwards Changes Directors

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said today that it made a pair of changes to its board of directors.

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Ensign Meets Q4 Profit Projections

Mission Viejo-based Ensign Group Inc. today reported an adjusted profit that matched Wall Street’s expectations.

Analyst Outlook Good for Tenet, Other For-Profits

Credits Bigger Post-Reform Medicaid Enrollee Numbers

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (see story, page TK), which owns three Orange County hospitals, should get a bump this year from increased Medicaid enrollment fueled by healthcare reform, according to one analyst.

Q&A

Healthcare is more often being delivered outside of traditional hospital walls, a trend that has been driven to some degree by the Affordable Care Act, as well as by technological improvements. Orange County hospitals are no stranger to the shift. The Business Journal’s Vita Reed talked to several hospital executives to discuss outpatient offerings and their purposes. Edited excerpts of their answers follow.

Community Benefits a Must for Private Nonprofits

Law Requires the Hospitals To Assume Social Obligation

More than a few of Orange County’s prominent hospital operators deliver something in addition to their standard healthcare: “community benefits.”

Big Hospitals’ Profits Drop 21% in Year Through Sept.

28 on List Have Second Down Year in a Row

Pretax profits dropped steeply at Orange County’s largest hospitals during the past year.

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Allergan Beats Analysts' Expectations

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. Wednesday reported mixed fourth-quarter financial results.

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Tenn. Company Adds Aliso Hospital

AAC Holdings Inc., a publicly traded operator of inpatient substance abuse treatment centers, is buying a hospital with a license for 84 beds in Aliso Viejo for $13.5 million, according to a news release.

Pearson Tells of ‘Miscalculations’ in Allergan Pursuit

Valeant CEO Talks To Financial Times

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s chief executive is speaking out on his company’s unsuccessful seven-month pursuit of Irvine-based drugmaker Allergan Inc.

USGI Raises $19.5M for Launch of Pose

San Clemente-based USGI Medical Inc. raised more than $19.5 million from equity and debt investors.

UCI Could Reconfigure Duties for Medical Post

HEALTHCARE: Likely to oversee all of ‘medical enterprise’

The search for a new chief executive for UC Irvine Medical Center will likely take awhile as another key job gets reconfigured.

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$15M for Crossover Health

Aliso Viejo-based Crossover Health Inc. said it received $15 million in equity financing.

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USGI Medical Gets $19.5M

San Clemente-based USGI Medical Inc. has raised more than $19.5 million from equity and debt investors.

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Allergan Sets Meeting on Actavis Deal

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. has set a March 10 special meeting to get shareholder approval of its acquisition by Actavis PLC in a cash-and-stock deal currently valued at about $70 billion.

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.