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Howard Fine

Stories by Howard

GoodRx Adds Telehealth to Its Comparison-Shopping Platform

Santa Monica-based GoodRx Inc., which rose to prominence through its app allowing consumers to comparison shop pharmacies for prescription drugs, now wants to give consumers the power to lower their overall health care costs.

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Heal to Partner With Humana After $100 Million Investment

Sawtelle-based physician house call and telemedicine service Get Heal Inc. has received a $100 million investment from health insurance giant Humana Inc., the two companies announced July 29.

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NantHealth Acquires Data Company OpenNMS

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Inc., which uses data analysis and artificial intelligence technology to assist physicians and improve patient outcomes, is going even more high tech.

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LAX Passenger Traffic Down 87% in June

The toll from the Covid-19 pandemic continued at LAX in June as passenger traffic fell 87% from year-earlier levels.

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LA Biotech Companies Post Huge Year-Over-Year Gains

Investors were bullish on several of L.A.’s publicly traded bioscience companies during the 12 months ending June 30, sending those companies soaring on the Business Journal’s annual public companies list.

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AECOM Secures Contract for Thames Tunnel Project

Century City-based engineering and infrastructure giant AECOM has received a contract to provide ground assessment services for the third phase of the 14.3-mile, $7 billion-plus Lower Thames Crossing highway tunnel project near the mouth of England’s famed Thames River.

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Work on Delayed Metro-LAX Connector Project to Begin Soon

After a wait of decades, work is about to begin on connecting Los Angeles International Airport to L.A.’s rail system.

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L.A.’s Publicly Traded Companies Underperform Broader Market

L.A.’s publicly traded companies have felt the sting of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting business shutdowns, with entertainment behemoth Walt Disney Co. leading the way.

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Prime Healthcare Deal for St. Francis Is Approved

Prime Healthcare received approval from state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to purchase St. Francis Medical Center.

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JetBlue Sees LAX as More Than Just a Hub Airport

Plans to triple flights out of the airport by 2025

For JetBlue Airways Corp., the Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unexpected opportunity to finally cut the cord at Long Beach Airport and move operations to LAX.

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Float Shuttle Acquires Alaska Carrier’s Routes, Assets

Pomona-based Float Shuttle Inc. launched in February to fly commuters over traffic-choked Los Angeles freeways for a monthly subscription fee.

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City’s New Procurement System Should Help Diverse Businesses

The city of Los Angeles is poised to overhaul its contract procurement platform in an attempt to bring more small and diverse businesses to the table.

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Molina Healthcare to Acquire Business Lines of Kentucky Health Plan for $20M

Molina Healthcare announced July 17 that it has agreed to buy certain business lines of Passport Health Plan for $20 million.

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Economists Say June Jobless Gain Is Only Temporary

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped to 19.4% in June from a record high of 21.1% in May as the economy reopened around Memorial Day and local employers added back a record 147,000 jobs in subsequent weeks.

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DxTerity Develops At-Home Covid-19 Testing

Like many genetic testing companies, Rancho Dominguez-based DxTerity Diagnostics Inc. has pivoted to Covid-19 testing, but with a special focus on testing employees before they return to the workplace.

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Local Clinics Receive Telehealth Grants

Pacific Clinics, Kheir Center to expand remote services

Two local health care clinics each received two grants last month to expand their telehealth services.

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UCLA Teams Report Gains in Health Monitoring, Genetic Counseling

UCLA announced a couple of health care-related developments last month that had little to do with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Consumer Confidence Reaches Record Low in Second Quarter

Jolts from Covid-19, social justice protests take their toll on LA County

Consumer confidence plunged to another record low during the second quarter as the region’s economy was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting business shutdown orders.

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GoodRx Continues Expansion With Executive Hires

Hires of Voermann, Nagji continue rapid expansion

GoodRx Inc., a Santa Monica-based company that allows consumers to price shop among pharmacies for prescription drugs, has appointed industry veterans to two key executive posts to help guide the company through a period of rapid expansion.

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JetBlue to End Service at Long Beach

JetBlue said it will end service at Long Beach Airport in October and transfer flights and crews to LAX.

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Xencor to Collaborate on Cancer Antibody Treatments

Monrovia biopharmaceutical company Xencor Inc. has entered into a strategic collaboration with Bay Area biopharma company Atreca Inc. to develop cancer treatments.

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LA's Bioscience Sector Sees Continued Gains

L.A.’s bioscience sector generated $44 billion in economic activity and nearly 196,000 jobs last year.

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Airports Post Sharp Traffic Declines Again for May

May passenger counts slide, but cargo tonnage increases

The devastation to the travel industry wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hold Los Angeles International and other local airports in its grip in May.

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LAEDC Fills Key Leadership Roles

Nissen, Medina, Cheung are elevated

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. announced last week that recently retired NBCUniversal exec Steve Nissen has been elected as the organization’s new board chairman.

American Drops International Flights From LAX

American Airlines is shifting its trans-Pacific flight hub from LAX to Dallas-Fort Worth International.

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Gold Line Extension Work to Resume

Glendora to Pomona might be final extension

Major construction gets underway next month on the latest — and possibly final — segment of the Foothill Gold Line Extension light rail project.

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County’s Jobless Picture Gets Darker

Experts divided after May rate reaches 20.9%

While the nation’s jobless picture showed signs of improvement in May, Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate continued to surge last month, sparking debate among economists about the local outlook.

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8minute Solar to Build Kern County Facility

Kern facility could power roughly 93,000 homes a year

Mid-Wilshire-based 8minute Solar Energy has signed a contract to develop a 250-megawatt solar energy and storage project in Kern County.

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Recycled Water Project Comes Online in Torrance

West Basin pipeline serves Torrance business park

The West Basin Municipal Water District announced the completion of a recycled water pipeline at Sares Regis Group’s Torrance Commerce Center on the site of the former Toyota Motor North America Inc. headquarters campus.

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FDA Approves Fulgent Virus Tests

Company offering home-based kits

Temple City-based genetic testing firm Fulgent Genetics Inc. is joining the rush of companies with home-based Covid-19 tests, announcing the launch of its service after receiving emergency authorization approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

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Quantgene Dials in Tests

Startup puts focus on cancer and Covid-19

Santa Monica health tech startup Quantgene Inc. is one of dozens of companies racing to revolutionize cancer detection screening by using only a drop of blood instead of the intrusive biopsies prevalent today.

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DearHealth Turns to AI to Develop Disease Management Tools

Company is addressing issues with electronic medical records

DearHealth Inc., a Venice-based health-tech disease management firm, is using artificial intelligence algorithms to develop a disease management app that crafts structured care and treatment programs tailored to individual patients.

Interim LA Airports Chief Erbacci Moves a Step Closer to Permanent Post

Los Angeles World Airports interim Chief Executive Justin Erbacci moved one step closer to the permanent job.

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LA County Unemployment Near Record 21% in May Despite Uptick in Payroll Jobs

L.A. County’s unemployment rate hit a record 20.9% in May, up slightly from a revised 20.8% in April.

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AECOM Names New CEO

Century City-based AECOM has named Troy Rudd to become its new chief executive, replacing longtime CEO Michael Burke.

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Metro Project Wraps Ahead of Schedule in Beverly Hills

Metro announced that decking for a Purple Line Extension subway station on Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Beverly Hills was finished seven months ahead of schedule.

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Key Milestone at BioLabs

Incubator is now home to 20 companies

The BioLabs LA incubator's 20 member companies have raised a total of $31 million over the past year to fund research and development of their therapies, medical devices and services.

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Wild Ride for Soon-Shiong's Firms

NantKwest, ImmunityBio in the hunt for virus vaccine

Developments have been coming at a rapid clip since late May for the effort by two of Patrick Soon-Shiong’s companies — El Segundo-based NantKwest Inc. and ImmunityBio Inc. — to come up with a vaccine for Covid-19.

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Kite Cancer Drug Passes a Key Test

Company seeks approval to expand use of Yescarta

Santa Monica pharmaceutical concern Kite Pharma has passed a key clinical trial milestone as it seeks to expand the use of one of its breakthrough drugs to treat a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer.

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Schools Turn to MiraDx

Company’s Covid-19 tests attract colleges nationwide

MiraDx Inc., a West Los Angeles-based molecular genetics company, is now signing up public and private universities and colleges across the country for its Covid-19 testing service.

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20 in Their 20s: Seungjun Yeo

"Within an hour of sharing our ideas and visions, we decided to start a company together."

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20 in Their 20s: Joshua Javaheri

"We’ve been taking what works and being relentless about implementing it."

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20 in Their 20s: George Sehremelis

"We believe that people should have the power to share information without the fear of spreading false information."

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Digging In

Musk’s Boring Co. tunnels into new territory

While the world’s eyes have recently been focused on the first manned space launch by Elon Musk’s Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., another Musk company has been making some news of its own.

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Prospect Medical Buys Physician Groups

Hospital company boosts network with addition of 10,000 doctors

Palms-based hospital and physician group operator Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. has acquired three medical groups with about 10,000 physicians, nearly doubling the doctor count in its physician association holdings to about 21,000.

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Glass Company Rallies During Riots

Giroux responds for business owners

The first frantic call came into downtown-based Giroux Glass Inc. at 5 a.m. on May 30 from a terrified official at the Los Angeles Community College District office building in downtown.

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Lufthansa Resumes Flights from LAX to Munich

In a sign that LAX is starting to rebound from the air travel slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Lufthansa resumed service between LAX and Munich.

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Covid-19 Cuts Deep Into LA Jobs

Hospitality, entertainment sectors drive record unemployment results

It’s no surprise that L.A.’s economy has been walloped by coronavirus-driven business shutdowns, but the extent of the damage and how much worse L.A. County has fared only became apparent with the release of data for April.

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LAX Traffic Tumbles 96% in April

Slight rise is anticipated for May

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport dropped nearly 96% in April, to less than 300,000, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the air travel industry with full force.

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Edison International Completes $800 Million Offering

Utility's parent company plans $5B annual investment

Rosemead-based Edison International recently completed a private placement of common shares worth $800 million, with proceeds destined for the company’s mandated wildfire fund contribution and other infrastructure investments for its Southern California Edison utility subsidiary.

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