A $12.1 million gift from a longtime supporter will enable Good Samaritan Hospital to break ground later this year on an $80 million-plus outpatient surgery and medical office pavilion.

The L.A. medical center west of downtown is being positioned to capture a greater market share of high-paying elective and specialty procedures for more affluent residents of fast-growing Koreatown and new condo complexes on the west side of downtown. There are roughly 20 hospitals within a five-mile radius of Good Samaritan.

"Competitionwise, it's a big advantage to have a beautiful-looking pavilion like this that's extremely efficient with the latest equipment," said Chief Executive Andrew Leeka.

Hospital officials expect to attract new doctors to set up practice closer to the facility, and already have received some inquiries. The new seven-story surgery center will offer surgeons eight outpatient operating rooms, compared with three at the existing outpatient center.

The hospital is taking pains to integrate the new building into its campus. The 190,000-square-foot structure will be constructed at what now is the front parking lot of a medical office building. The office building and the surrounding grounds will receive a facelift to create a more integrated and attractive Wilshire entrance to the campus, Leeka said.

The new facility will include a discount pharmacy and an Internet-enabled health center where patients can do health research, which will be also aimed at residents of nearby poor neighborhoods.

The $12.1 million gift comes from the Frank R. Seaver Trust, also a significant donor to Pepperdine University and USC. Seaver's son, the late Richard Seaver, was a hospital trustee and Richard Seaver's daughter, Victoria, sits on the hospital board. The outpatient portion of the facility will be named the Frank R. Seaver Ambulatory Surgery Center.

The Seaver donation brings the building fund to roughly $60 million. The hospital earlier sold several nearby vacant parcels to launch the fund drive. It will continue to raise money from donors and possibly sell bonds to fund the balance of construction and equipment costs, which Leek said could run to $83 million.

The new facility is expected to take 18 months to complete and will enable Good Samaritan to more fully implement a new electronic medical records system. Offices will be networked so physicians can electronically write prescriptions during medical visits that should be ready for patients to pick up in the pharmacy by the time they leave the building, Leeka said.

Biotech Deals

Xencor Inc. recently signed its third licensing deal this year with a drug maker that wants access to its technology for souping up antibody treatments.

Merck & Co. will pay the Monrovia drug developer to test its proprietary technology for making antibody-based drugs work better and longer. Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are used to fight disease by harnessing the body's immune system.

The licensing agreement follows similar deals struck with New York drug giant Pfizer Inc. and CSL Ltd., a specialty biotherapeutics company in King of Prussia, Pa.

Pfizer will use both Xencor's Xtend and XmAb ADCC platforms. Merck is licensing Xtend; CSL is licensing XmAb.

Xencor said it is receiving upfront payments from all three companies including at least $3 million from Merck alone and will get more money if the companies commercialize products incorporating its technology.

Privately held Xencor also is using the technology to develop its own antibody treatments to treat conditions such as inflammatory disease and Hodgkin's disease.

Local Acquisition

U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, a Valencia chain of occupational health care centers, has acquired Memorial Maritime Clinic in Long Beach. The deal, terms of which were not announced, increases the number of U.S. HealthWorks medical centers to 118 nationwide.

Memorial Maritime provides a broad range of occupational medical services, including injury and illness diagnosis, post-job offer exams and return-to-work programs.

U.S. HealthWorks, which moved its corporate headquarters to Valencia from Alpharetta, Ga., in 2007, has been scooping up stand-alone occupational health care centers. The company, which has centers in 13 states, has become California's largest operator of such facilities.

Staff reporter Deborah Crowe can be reached at dcrowe@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 232.

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