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Howard Fine

Stories by Howard

Seed Health Closes $40 Million in Financing

Venice-based microbial sciences company Seed Health Inc. has closed a $40 million financing round.

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Consumer Sentiment in LA Surges as Virus Fears and Restrictions Recede

Local consumer sentiment about current and future business conditions in Los Angeles County and the nation surged during the first quarter from record low levels last year.

Solar Rooftop Installer PermaCity Is Acquired

Downtown-based commercial solar rooftop installer PermaCity has been acquired by Catalyze, an independent renewable power producer in Boulder, Colo.

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Glass House Venture Grows Hemp in Mojave Desert

Glass House and Cadiz formed a joint venture in late 2019 to grow hemp in the Mojave Desert.

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LA County Adds 34,000 Jobs in March as Unemployment Rate Drops

L.A. County’s economic recovery continued in March as employers added 34,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dipped again.

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Agilon Health Raises $1 Billion in IPO

Long Beach-based Agilon Health Inc. raised approximately $1.07 billion through its initial public offering.

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NantHealth Secures $137 Million Financing Package

Culver City-based NantHealth Inc. announced a $137 million financing package that will be provided by two of its existing investors.

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El Segundo Opposes LAX Terminal Plan

El Segundo, which sits on the airport’s southern edge, last month sent in comments opposing LAWA’s proposal to add two new terminals as part of the Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project.

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Startup Creates Concrete That Reduces Carbon Emissions

Westwood-based startup CarbonBuilt Inc. has a concrete plan for reducing carbon emissions.

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Cadiz Faces New Suit Over Water Pipeline

Another legal challenge has been launched against a project by downtown-based water infrastructure company Cadiz Inc. to pump and transport water from its desert aquifer.

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Agilon Health Seeks $1.7 Billion in IPO

Long Beach-based Agilon Health Inc., which helps primary care physician groups to cap costs for their Medicare Advantage patients, is seeking to raise up to $1.7 billion from its IPO.

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Metro Names Stephanie Wiggins as Next CEO

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority has named former Metro executive Stephanie Wiggins as the agency's next chief executive.

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Pomona Drilling Company DJ Scheffler & Nye Tackle Tough Projects

Pomona-based specialty drilling contractor D.J. Scheffler & Nye Inc works on some of the region's toughest projects.

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LA’s Jobs Recovery Is Underway

After three months of job losses during a devastating surge in Covid-19 cases, Los Angeles County’s economy finally perked up in February.

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Passenger Traffic Plunges 73% in February at Local Airports

Local airports continued to tell a tale of two worlds in February as passenger counts dropped yet again while cargo tonnage surged to new heights.

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Cost Containment Company Agilon Health to Go Public

Long Beach-based Agilon Health Inc., which helps primary care physician groups cap costs for their Medicare Advantage patients, filed paperwork on March 18 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a publicly traded company.

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USC Names Shapiro to Lead Health Sciences Program

USC has selected University of Pittsburgh Medical Center executive Steven Shapiro to fill a newly created role to guide the school’s health sciences programs starting May 15.

Kite Pharma’s Yescarta Approved for Adult Lymphoma Treatment

Santa Monica-based Kite Pharma announced March 5 that the Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval for the company’s principal drug, Yescarta, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma after two or more other therapies had already been applied.

City of Hope Researcher Arthur Riggs Helped Create Artificial Insulin, Now Emerges as Its Largest Donor

Arthur Riggs, a pioneer of the modern biotech industry and developer of artificial insulin has donated over $300 million to City of Hope.

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Unemployment Rate Drops to 11.5% in LA County

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.5% in February as the county added nearly 48,000 jobs.

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USC Will Pay $852 Million to Settle Sex Abuse Claims

The settlement brings USC’s total payouts for lawsuits involving former campus gynecologist George Tyndall to more than $1.1 billion.

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New Herbalife CEO Agwunobi Puts His Pandemic Background to Work

The LABJ Interview

CEO John Agwunobi sat down with the Business Journal to discuss the pandemic’s impact on Herbalife, his unique perspective on pandemic preparedness and more.

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LA County Unemployment Tops 12% in January

Even as Los Angeles County’s employment picture darkened after revised state data showed job losses for 2020 were substantially bigger than previously reported.

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Health Tech Firm Ontrak Names New CEO

Ontrak Inc., which recently announced that it would be losing its largest customer, has named CVS Health executive Jonathan Mayhew as its new CEO.

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L.A. County Unemployment Tops 12% in January

L.A. County’s unemployment rate for both December and January at 12.6%, with December’s rate being significantly higher than the 11% first reported six weeks ago.

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ImmunityBio, NantKwest Complete Merger

The biggest change in years for billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s family of biotech businesses was completed last week.

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Metro Weighs Rail Proposals for Sepulveda Pass

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is slated to vote March 25 on proceeding with two proposals for rail transit through the Sepulveda Pass.

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American States Water Spends Big for Fire Protection

San Dimas-based American States Water Co.’s primary business is owning a water utility with customers throughout the state.

AECOM Tests Device to Clean Up Contaminated Fluids

Downtown-based AECOM has unveiled its first large-scale field demonstration of an economically and environmentally sustainable technology.

GoodRx Posts 42% Revenue Growth in 2020

Santa Monica-based GoodRx Holdings Inc. reported a 42% jump in revenue for 2020 in the company’s second quarterly earnings report since going public.

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FDA Clears BreathDirect’s Low-Cost Ventilator

BreathDirect, a startup Long Beach medical device company, has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to market its low-cost medical ventilator.

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ChromaDex Lands Walmart Distribution Deal

Westwood-based ChromaDex Corp. has reached an agreement to place its TruNiagen nutrition supplement in 3,000 Walmart stores.

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Passenger Traffic Plunges Again at Local Airports in January

The “K-shaped recovery” phenomenon doesn’t just apply to the Covid-era economy.

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Bionaut Labs Launches With $20 Million in Funding

Palms-based Bionaut Labs, which is developing nanorobots that can be used to deliver drugs to treat brain diseases, announced last week that it has received $20 million in a funding round.

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AI Telehealth Firm Ontrak Loses Largest Customer

Santa Monica-based artificial intelligence telehealth firm Ontrak Inc. will be losing its largest customer in June.

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Tetra Tech Reels In $39 Million Sustainable Energy Consulting Contract

Pasadena-based engineering and consulting firm Tetra Tech Inc. has received a five-year, $39 million contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Innova Turns to Acquisitions in Bid to Boost Production

With two recent acquisitions under its belt, Pasadena-based startup Innova Medical Group Inc. is ramping up procurement and production of rapid antigen tests.

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Capricor Receives License for New Covid-19 Test

Beverly Hills-based biotech firm Capricor Therapeutics Inc. is about to start work on an entirely new type of Covid-19 test.

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ImmunityBio, NantKwest Get OK to Expand Covid Vaccine Trial

The Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by two of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s companies moved a step closer to deployment.

Molina Is Eagerly Anticipating Biden Boost

Few companies have been as eagerly anticipating the new administration of President Joe Biden and Democratic control of Congress as Molina Healthcare Inc.

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LAX Passenger Traffic Continued Slump in January, but Cargo Boomed

LAX statistics for January show passenger traffic remains stalled while cargo tonnage is accelerating.

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Xencor Partners With UCLA to Develop New Drugs

Monrovia-based biopharmaceutical company Xencor Inc. has signed a partnership agreement with UCLA’s Technology Development Group to develop new drugs.

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Surf Air to Buy Hybrid Engine-Maker Ampaire

Hawthorne-based private aviation company Surf Air Mobility Corp. is going electric.

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Gene Hale Guides His Company as Well as the Black Business Community

Black Entrepreneurs Month Special Report

For more than a quarter of a century, Gene Hale has been a leader in L.A.’s Black business community.

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Quantgene Raises $6 Million, Sets Marketing Partnership

Quantgene's partnership with Vikor Scientific will help commercialize its liquid biopsy genomic test platform.

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AirVet Pet Telehealth Platform Soars During Pandemic

Growing up the son of a prominent local veterinarian, entrepreneur Brandon Werber never thought he would have to search for a vet for his two French bulldogs.

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Avhana Health Is Acquired by Amalgam Rx

Local incubator member and digital health company Avhana Health Inc. has been acquired by Wilmington, Del.-based digital medicine products company Amalgam Rx Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

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Boring Co. Enters Next Phase for Tunnel to Connect Ontario Airport, Metrolink

Hawthorne-based Boring Co. on Feb. 3 gained approval from the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.

Tetra Tech Snags $25 Million Renewable Energy Contract

Pasadena-based engineering and consulting firm Tetra Tech Inc. was awarded a five-year, $25 million contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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City of Hope Receives $100 Million Gift

Duarte-based City of Hope has received a $100 million donation from one of its research pioneers, Arthur Riggs.

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