Vita Reed

Vita Reed covers healthcare, including health insurance, hospitals, medical devices and drug companies for the Orange County Business Journal. She can be reached at

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 242

Recent Stories

Aerie Rises on Latest Signs of Progress for 2 Drugs

Shares Up Sharply; Market Cap About $1B

Irvine-based Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been ramping up its activity in recent weeks.

Medical Marijuana Drug Industry Takes Root in OC

Much More Here Than Dispensaries, Grow Houses

Orange County, which is known for its concentrations of medical device makers and drugmakers, is quietly building a medical cannabis industry.

Masimo Takes Another Step Into Regional Oximetry

Gets European Approval For Sensor for Pediatrics

Masimo Corp. in Irvine got CE marking for its O3 regional oximetry sensor in some pediatric settings, which allows it to be sold throughout Europe and other countries.

HMO Membership Flat in OC, PPOs Post 12% Rise

Growth on Hold As Planned M&As Scrutinized

Orange County’s top eight health maintenance organizations grew slowly during the 12 months through July.

MemorialCare-Boeing Contract May Be First of Trend

Local Systems Have Talked With Employers

Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System is the first local participant in an early movement by big employers to rein in healthcare prices.

Mazzo-Mussallem Talk to Headline Device Forum

Annual Event Also To Feature Panel Discussions

Companies seeking funding and potential investors will link up just over two months from now at an annual Orange County medical device industry forum.

Dental Care Plans’ Growth Stagnates Following Spike

Membership Flat at 13 Biggest To 2.6 Million

Membership at managed dental healthcare plans operating in Orange County slightly declined over the year ended last month after a surge in 2015.

Pyott, Kiani in $13M Investment

David Pyott and Joe Kiani were part of a $13M Series A funding round for Bioniz Therapeutics Inc. in Irvine and both joined its board, with Pyott being named chairman.

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Pyott, Kiani Join Biopharma Company Board

Irvine-based Bioniz Therapeutics Inc. said today that it appointed David Pyott, former Chief Executive of Allergan Inc. [now Allergan PLC] as board chairman.

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Former Lakewood Regional Chief New Hospitals’ Head

Takes Helm of Chapman, South Coast Global Centers

A pair of Orange County hospitals has a new chief executive.

Mazzo to German Device Maker

Jena, Germany-based Carl Zeiss Meditec AG said today that veteran Orange County medical device executive James Mazzo will be its new global president of ophthalmology.

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MemorialCare Taps Finance Execs

Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System appointed a pair of financial executives for its Orange County hospitals.

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Edwards Beats on Q2

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. surpassed analysts' expectations on second-quarter revenue and profit and hiked its 2016 forecast in a report issued after markets closed today.

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Abbott Gets FDA OK on Intraocular Lens for Cataracts

One Version of Lens Also Approved for Astigmatism

Santa Ana-based Abbott Medical Optics, a unit of Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, scored a regulatory approval this month.

Innovation Institute Buys IT Company

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute bought Corona-based information technology specialist Hospitality Business Network Solutions for an undisclosed price.

Hoag Expands on Claim in ‘Greater Irvine’ Area

HEALTHCARE: New center includes 4 institutes, urgent care

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is making an aggressive push to deliver comprehensive healthcare services beyond its traditional base in Newport Beach and put a firm claim on a market it calls “Greater Irvine” through a large development there.

Glaukos CFO to Retire in 2017

Glaukos Corp. in Laguna Hills said Chief Financial Officer Richard Harrison will retire next year.

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Innovation Institute Buys IT Company

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute said today that it has acquired Corona-based information technology specialist Hospitality Business Network Solutions. A purchase price was not disclosed.

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Analysts Open Edwards Coverage With Neutral Rating

Caution High Valuation Could Suffer With Slip-Up

Edwards Lifesciences Corp.’s effort to create a “catheterized revolution” in heart valve treatment has landed it new institutional analyst coverage.

Heart Valve Maker Names Board Member

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp., a maker of replacement heart valves and other cardiovascular devices, named Leslie Heisz to its board of directors, bringing it to nine members.

System to Put $100M into Mental Health

The newly formed Providence St. Joseph Health said it’s launching a $100 million effort toward improving mental healthcare in communities it serves.

Masimo Gets OK for Device That Moves With Patient

Says Monitor Avoids False Readings of Past Products

The Food and Drug Administration closed out June with a pair of approvals for an established Orange County medical device maker and a startup.

MemorialCare Strategy Pays Off in Boeing Contract

HEALTHCARE: New service option for aerospace workers

MemorialCare Health System’s ongoing effort to diversify care delivery has reached a large Orange County employer with a tailored offering of services, and the Fountain Valley-based provider sees the possibility for similar deals in the future.

Providence St. Joseph in $100M Mental Health Effort

The newly formed Providence St. Joseph Health said today it is launching a $100 million effort toward improving mental healthcare in communities it serves.

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Edwards Names New Director

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. today named Leslie Heisz to its board of directors.

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Hoag to Perform Cancer Trials

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian’s Hoag Family Cancer Institute has launched a first-phase clinical trial program.

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Innovation Institute Company Buys Fullerton Building

Realty Firm Aims to Grow St. Jude, Own Portfolio

A portfolio company of the La Palma-based Innovation Institute is making real estate moves.

Cannabis Science to Irvine

Cannabis Science Inc. moved its corporate headquarters to Irvine from Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Saddleback Memorial CEO Retires

Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System said today that Steve Geidt is retiring as chief executive of Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, effective in September.

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UCI, Harvard Renew Partnership

University of California- Irvine said today it and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute will receive up to $6.7 million in renewed federal funding to help improve patient safety in healthcare settings.

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Ex-Allergan Chief Offers Another View of Valeant

HEALTHCARE: Pyott says it should’ve pursued more buys itself

David Pyott says he would have done a few things differently leading up to his ultimately successful attempt to beat back a hostile takeover attempt of Allergan Inc. about two years ago.

Innovator on New Path With Nitroglycerine Drugmaker

Pham Intends to Maximize Value of Tried Treatments

Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Quang X. Pham, who made his name at Orange County-based startups in the 2000s, is back on the scene with a new company, Espero Pharmaceuticals Inc.

NB Biotech Gets $7.5M

Newport Beach-based Blueprint Bio Inc. has received $7.5 million in Series A funding.

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AG Grants Conditional Consent to Providence-St. Joseph Combination

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has conditionally consented to Irvine-based St. Joseph Health’s proposed affiliation with Providence Health and Services.

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Stem Cell Therapies Firm Founder Terms It Distinct

Uses Cell Secretions, Bypassing Hurdles

Irvine-based AiVita Biomedical Inc., the latest creation of local stem cell entrepreneur Hans Keirstead, is working to set itself apart from other companies in the field that have struggled.

Rehab Hospital Opens in Aliso Viejo

AAC Holdings Inc. said today it opened Laguna Treatment Hospital in Aliso Viejo.

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Terumo Buys Aliso Device Maker

Aliso Viejo-based Sequent Medical Inc. has been acquired for $280 million by Japan’s Terumo Corp.

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New OC Company Developing Cannabis-Based Drug

Compound Could Treat Chemo-Induced Pain

Douglas Ingram’s drug development work encompasses more than just Alzheimer’s disease, which his Irvine-based Chase Pharmaceutical Corp. focuses on.

Keirstead Buys Back In on Stem Cells

Orange County stem cell entrepreneur Hans Keirstead refers to his newly established biotechnology company as a “startup with mature assets.”

Allergan Gets Japanese Approval for New Botox Use

Drug Will Treat Crow’s Feet in Those Up to 65

A product developed by Allergan PLC’s medical aesthetics hub in Irvine has a new use in the fast-growing Japanese market.

Allergan Vet Brings Pharma Startup to OC

HEALTHCARE: Keys on talent pool fostered by former employer

Drug development startup Chase Pharmaceuticals Corp. is now being led from Irvine with a familiar face at the helm—Chief Executive Douglas Ingram, a former president of Allergan Inc.

CareTrust Buys in Michigan

San Clemente-based CareTrust REIT Inc. said today it bought four senior housing properties in Michigan.

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REIT and Repeat

Healthcare Real Estate Investment Trusts Multiply In Favorable Climate

Orange County, while primarily known as a center of medical device companies, is also home to several sizable companies that are in the business of owning and investing in real estate where healthcare is delivered, and they aim to grow by focusing on private-pay properties to achieve more reliable rents.

Edwards Talks up Victories in and out of Test Lab

Unit Wins in Court As Valves Get Good Results

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has scored wins in the trial court and clinical trial arenas.

Medical Business Services Firm Aspires

HEALTHCARE: Advantmed grows beyond records collection

Santa Ana-based Advantmed LLC aims to help doctors get paid in the wake of reform-fueled changes in payment processes.

Alphaeon CEO Steps Down

Robert Grant is no longer the chief executive of Irvine-based Alphaeon Corp., a lifestyle healthcare company he founded three years ago.

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Dallas Biotech to Costa Mesa

Dallas-based Cerebain Biotech Corp. has moved its corporate headquarters from Dallas to Costa Mesa.

Pyott Slated to Return to Spotlight at Eye Conference

Will Be Interviewed By Another Company Veteran

David Pyott, retired chief executive and chairman of Allergan Inc., now Allergan PLC, will be the headliner next month at the annual Ophthalmology Technology Summit put on by OCTANe, an Aliso Viejo-based booster group for life sciences and other forms of technology.

Device Maker Plans Summer Intro of Weight-Loss Aid

Transplant Startup from Ariz. Sees Breath Tool as Innovator

A startup company that recently relocated to Aliso Viejo is aiming to introduce breath analysis as a tool for weight management.

Details of Pending Abbott-St. Jude Merger Unclear

HEALTHCARE: Combo to make both more competitive

It’s not yet clear how Abbott Laboratories’ pending $25 billion buy of St. Jude Medical Inc. will impact the latter’s Orange County operations.