Stories for April 2018

Monday, April 30

MGA Wins $1.2 Million Judgment Against Counterfeiters

MGA Entertainment has won a $1.2 million judgment and a permanent injunction against 81 toy manufacturers found to have sold counterfeit versions of the Van Nuys company’s popular L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls online.

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Cedar Oak Mixed-Use Coming to Old Town Camarillo

Aldersgate Investments LLC of Oxnard has a mixed-use project coming online in Camarillo by October or November.

NBCUniversal CEO's Paycheck Grows to $46.5 Million

NBCUniversal’s Chief Executive Steve Burke took home $46.5 million last year, slightly more than the $46 million in 2017, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Henry Mayo Hospital Forms Care Network

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia has launched its own clinically integrated network, or CIN, a collection of physicians and clinics that coordinate patient care with the objective of improving customer satisfaction and lowering costs.

Mojave Hosts Classes for Astronauts

Private prep school for space lasts a week, costs $26,000.

Mojave offers training for space travelers.

Samsung Shows LED Film Screen in Chatsworth

TECHNOLOGY: Surface with 9 million pixels could save theater owners money.

Samsung brings LED screen to Chatsworth.

Parsing the ‘Caruso Effect’

The retail synergy between Rick Caruso’s Americana at Brand and General Growth Properties’ Glendale Galleria has amped up foot traffic to downtown Glendale.

Survey Gives ‘A’ Grade to Kaiser, Adventist

HOSPITALS: Valley facilities rate high for patient safety, low for infections.

Two Valley area hospitals get high grades.

State Restates Need for Hospital-Based Charity

LAW: Attorney General denies requests to ease giving requirement.

Medical charities to benefit from state decision.

Real Estate Quarterly - Quarter 1 2018

A look at 2018’s first-quarter highlights.

Making the Housing Shortage Worse

We have a severe housing shortage, and last week our mayor said that he’d help make matters worse.

Elk Hills Buyout to Enhance CRC’s Profitability

ENERGY: Oil field could add $100 million to company revenues, analyst says.

California Resources Corp. gets financial boost from Elk Hills acquisition.

Metro Ruling a Wild Card

TRANSportation: Businesses await agency’s decision on railyard site for Van Nuys line.

Metro to decide location of Van Nuys railyard.

The Number

3 Ranking of Thousand Oaks on Safest Cities in America list

Hotels Hurry to Upgrade in Face of Competition

High occupancy rates justify investments in infrastructure, technology.

Valley area hotels invest in technology.

Around the Valleys - April 30

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Diagnosis by Data

Can artificial intelligence software developed for NASA’s Mars Rover help doctors back on Earth?

Glendale firm applys AI to healthcare.

Back to the Future in the Valley

Imagine, if you will, being able to ride a rail line on Van Nuys Boulevard in the northeast San Fernando Valley to the West Valley along Sherman Way and across the Cahuenga Pass to downtown Los Angeles. No, I’m not talking about the distant future, but rather the recent past.

Bankruptcy Games

Despite reports of a rebuff, Isaac Larian pushes forward with his bid to buy Toys R Us stores.

Isaac Larian of MGA Entertainment has ideas to revitalize failing retailer Toys R Us.

In Flex Mode at MusclePharm

NUTRITION: Burbank gym part of firm’s turnaround strategy.

Ryan Drexler cuts costs, endorsements to turnaround MusclePharm Corp.

Americana Dream

The Americana at Brand shopping center raised the bar for building a ‘town center’ amid the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley.

Americana at Brand helped to change landscape of downtown Glendale.

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47-Acre Fix-Up

DEVELOPMENT: New owner for former Rocketdyne site.

Canadian company is buying former Rocketdyne property in Warner Center

Q1 Data Paints Partial Picture

Brokers and economists anticipate upticks in future quarters for Burbank and the Conejo Valley.

A look at 2018’s first-quarter highlights.

Friday, April 27

PREVIEW: The Americana at Brand Turns 10

It’s been 10 years since the opening of the Americana at Brand in Glendale. How has the luxury shopping destination on Brand Boulevard changed the dynamics of local real estate?

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PREVIEW: Women’s Council Awards Recognize Local Business Leaders

A social media marketing star, entrepreneurs in insurance and staffing and a well-respected business adviser were among the local business and community leaders honored through the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s annual Women’s Council Awards.

PREVIEW: Larian’s Bid to Save Toys R Us

Isaac Larian has a mission to save bankrupt retailer Toys R Us – and with it, the entire toy industry.

Report: Disney Eyes JPMorgan to Bid for Sky

The Walt Disney Co. reportedly is considering hiring JPMorgan Chase & Co. as an adviser to acquire British broadcaster Sky, according to Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino.

Thursday, April 26

E-Waste Entrepreneur to Serve 15 Months in Prison

A federal appeals court has upheld a 15-month prison sentence against Eric Lundgren, a local recycling entrepreneur.

Wednesday, April 25

Three Valley-Area Companies Beat on Earnings

Three local companies beat the Street for first-quarter earnings.

Teledyne Promotes New President

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has promoted the company’s chief operating officer, Al Pichelli, to president, the industrial conglomerate announced Wednesday.

MannKind Stock Jumps on FDA News

The stock of MannKind Corp. jumped on Wednesday following news that the Food and Drug Administration would no longer require the company to adhere to a special plan to communicate the risks and benefits of its inhalable insulin Afrezza.

Cheesecake Factory Earnings Miss Estimates

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. reported worse-than-expected first quarter earnings of $26 million, or 56 cents a share, the company announced after markets closed on Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 24

Warner Bros. Re-Ups Lease at Burbank’s Studio Plaza

Warner Bros. has renewed its 456,000-square-foot lease at Studio Plaza in the Burbank Media District, according to Real Deal.

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Profits Rise for Mission Valley Bank

Mission Valley Bancorp reported first quarter net income of more than $1.3 million, the strongest first quarter in the company’s history, the Sun Valley commercial bank announced Tuesday.

Capstone Adds Seat to Boardroom

Capstone Turbine Corp. has appointed Robert Flexon, a veteran energy industry executive, to its board of directors.

Amgen Starts Year With Strong Earnings

Amgen Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue in its first fiscal quarter.

Monday, April 23

VICA Opposes Rent Control Initiative

Valley Industry & Commerce Association has voiced its opposition to the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which would remove rent control exemptions for new developments.

Samsung Debuts LED Movie Screen in Chatsworth

Samsung introduced over the weekend the first LED movie screen in the United States at Pacific Theatres Winnetka in Chatsworth.

Hiring Plan for Xavient Digital

Xavient Digital plans to hire 250 employees in California and the Northeast U.S., the company announced Monday.

Certified Thermoplastics Acquired for $30.5 Million

Certified Thermoplastics in Santa Clarita was acquired Monday by Ducommun Inc. for $30.5 million.

Friday, April 20

Princess Cruises Shakes Up Leadership Team

The Santa Clarita company has promoted seven executives to new positions and hired a new vice president, the company announced Friday.

LAX Buys BYD Buses for Up to $23.7 Million

Chinese-owned manufacturer BYD of Lancaster has won the contract to create 20 articulated electric buses for Los Angeles International Airport, according to the airport’s parent entity Los Angeles World Airports.

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L.A. County Unemployment Holds Steady

L.A. County’s economy continued to coast near full employment in March as the unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent for the third straight month and local employers added a relatively small 13,000 jobs, according to state figures released April 20.

Great American to Liquidate Bon-Ton Stores

Liquidation firm Great American Group has partnered with Tiger Capital Group sell off the inventory of 212 locations of Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

Thursday, April 19

More Than 180 Veterans Attend Job Fair

The California Employment Development Department hosted its “Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet” job fair in Canoga Park on Thursday aimed at helping Valley-area military veterans find jobs with local employers.

Restructuring Firm Omni Management Acquired

In a combination of restructuring firms, L.A.-based Beilinson Advisory Group has purchased Omni Management Group in Woodland Hills, the companies announced Thursday.

Pot Banking Bill Passes Committee Vote

A State Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday to allow cannabis business owners to start a limited charter bank in California.

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Panoptic Proposes 154-Unit Warner Center Project

Panoptic Development has unveiled its proposed mixed-use project near Warner Center’s Orange Line, as reported by Urbanize.LA.

Wednesday, April 18

Nordstrom to Open New Store in Santa Clarita

Nordstrom Inc. is set to open a new off-price retail store Thursday at the Promenade at Town Center shopping center in Santa Clarita.

Reports: Toys R Us Rejects Larian’s Bid for Stores

Toys R Us has rejected MGA Entertainment Inc. Chief Executive Isaac Larian’s $890 million dollar bid to acquire some of the bankrupt retailer’s stores in the U.S. and Canada, according to media reports.

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Sun Valley Movie Studio Wins Court Approval

Production rental company Line 204 won approval from the 2nd District Court of Appeals to break ground on the largest movie studio complex to be built in Los Angeles in nearly three decades.

Location Filming Increases During First Quarter

On-location film, television and commercial production increased by more than 2 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, according to figures released Wednesday by FilmL.A.

Tuesday, April 17

Mall of America Owner May Buy Former Rocketdyne Site

The Canadian owner of the Mall of America is negotiating to buy one of the largest redevelopment sites in Los Angeles: the former rocket-engine manufacturing site of Aerojet Rocketdyne, according to CoStar Group.

L.A. City Council Approves Street Vending Program

Los Angeles City Council approved proposed rules for a sidewalk vending program on Tuesday.

Study: Amgen’s Aimovig Curtails Migraine Days

Amgen Inc. said a new study showed its drug Aimovig is an effective preventive treatment migraine patients who have tried other treatments that either didn’t work or had intolerable side effects, the company announced Tuesday.

Data Direct Opens Lab in Colorado

Data Direct Networks has opened a new facility in Colorado Springs that expands its lab and testing capabilities.

Burbank Airport to Study Environmental Impact of New Terminal

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority awarded a $2.8 million contract to a Los Angeles company to prepare an environmental impact statement for a replacement terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Monday, April 16

Record Earnings at Bank of Santa Clarita

The Bank of Santa Clarita reported record high first-quarter earnings Monday, due in large part to the reduction in the federal income tax rate.

Dollar General Expands Footprint at Tejon Ranch

Dollar General has made a 240,000-square-foot commitment to expand its footprint in the master-planned Tejon Ranch Commerce Center in Kern County to more than 850,000 square feet, according to Colliers International, which negotiated the deal.

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VICA Predicts Resident Resistance to Garcetti's Homeless Shelters

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association has issued a statement that Mayor Eric Garcetti’s $20 million plan to build temporary homeless shelters on city-owned property will be rejected by local communities.

Bioscience Gives Valley Shot in Arm

I’ve been looking over our Stockwatch page, and I couldn’t help but notice a couple of things.

Summit Rooms With a View

HEALTH CARE: Mountain location smooths development process.

Sage Mountain gives older residents epic views of the Conejo Valley.

VCs Trust Pray.com With $14M

Investment in app will expand connection for clergy, congregants.

App for Christians receives $14 million.

The Number

2% Businesses that balance core competencies and innovation

Simi Weighs Pot Options

REGUlATION: City wants to balance tax income versus keeping price competitive.

Simi Valley turns to cannabis consultant.

Vegas Shooting, Client Loss Hurt Tix’s Year

ENTERTAINMENT: Ticket vendor launches online to counter revenue decline.

Tix Corp. reacts to reduction in revenue.

Talkin’ a Mouthful

Actor Danny Trejo has opened a restaurant in Woodland Hills, the newest location in his namesake chain.

Danny Trejo discusses his restaurant chain.

New Faces for Older Execs

Skin treatments give edge to job-seekers.

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Amgen Plans ‘Next Generation’ Production Plant

MANUFACTURING: Facility in Rhode Island will use less water and energy.

Amgen to build new drug production plant.

Truck Device Maker Gains Speed in Valley Move

ELECTRONICS: Zed Connect selects Calabasas as its headquarters location.

Zed Connect makes move to Calabasas.

Target Tailors Small-Format Store to Burbank

REAL ESTATE: Sales data and neighborhood outreach guide curated inventory.

Target opens small-format store in Burbank.

From B2B to Autos, PR Firms Focus on Specifics

LIST: Despite disruption in media and tech, visuals and storytelling still work.

Valley area PR firms going after niche clients.

Fight for PAGA Reform

Valley group hires lobbying firm to change labor law after tracking nearly 8,000 suits.

Trade Group launches PAGA reform.

Skyline Comes into View for Homebuyers

RESIDENTIAL: Master-planned subdivsion rises on 450 hilltop acres.

Pardee Homes to build 1,200 single-family houses.

Subprime Comeback

Valley lenders specialize in nonprime mortgages, a growing segment of the home loan business.

Nonprime mortgage market poised to grow.

Nonprofit Homemaker

Conejo Valley group builds $20 million apartment projects with multiple funding sources.

Nonprofit gets creative in low-income housing.

Industrial Gadgetry

Harman’s ‘experience center’ in Northridge shows how its equipment work in office, retail and hospitality.

Harman opens audio-visual experience center.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Even the Valley Hurt by Tariffs

It has been accurately noted that economists don’t agree on much.

Friday, April 13

Preview: New Faces for Older Execs

Skin treatments provide youthful edge for older job-seekers and executives.

MGA’s Larian Makes $890 Million Offer for Toys R Us Stores

Isaac Larian, the chief executive of MGA Entertainment Inc. in Van Nuys, put in a nearly $900 million bid Friday to purchase Toys R Us stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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Qualstar Revenue Bolstered by Gaming Client

A subsidiary of Qualstar Corp. has received a $1.1 million order from an existing gaming industry customer.

Preview: Talkin' a Mouthful

Danny Trejo, star of the “Machete” movies as well as “Desperado” and “Con Air,” is also a restaurant owner.

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Thursday, April 12

Mission Valley Bank Appoints Financial Advisor to Board

Mission Valley Bancorp has elected Ara Oghoorian, president of ACap Asset Management Inc. to its board of directors, the Sun Valley-based commercial bank announced Thursday.

Dine Brands, Comcast Partner on Data Infrastructure

Dine Brands Global Inc. has selected Comcast Business to provide a digital network to help the Glendale-based restaurant company track sales and customer data at its Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar and IHOP franchises, the company announced Thursday.

Rexford Buys Thousand Oaks Industrial Building for $6.6 Million

A 49,585-square-foot industrial property in Thousand Oaks has sold for $6.6 million, or $133 a square foot, according to Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura.

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Capstone Rises on New Distributor Support System

Shares of Capstone Turbine Corp. rose more than 10 percent after the company debuted a new distributor support system to improve training, sales efficiency and product branding.

Wednesday, April 11

Walmart to Close Simi Valley Store

Walmart will close its store in Simi Valley on May 18.

Leaders Appointed to AV Hospital Board

Antelope Valley Hospital Inc., a new nonprofit public benefit corporation established to increase community input over the operations of Antelope Valley Hospital, has finalized its board of directors with the appointment of three community leaders.

Simi Valley Call Center to Hang It Up

More than 120 workers will be laid off from the iQor Holdings US call center in Simi Valley, according to the company.

Tuesday, April 10

CRC Buys Remaining Stake in Elk Hills Oil Field

California Resources Corp. has acquired the remaining surface and mineral rights to California’s largest natural gas-producing oil field from Chevron Corp., the company announced Monday.

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Warner Center Condo Project Begins Construction

Canoga Park-based developer California Home Builders has begun building a low-rise condo project on a corner lot at 6800 Variel Ave. in Woodland Hills.

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Quarterly Results Lift Simulations Plus

Shares of Simulations Plus Inc. rose more than 6 percent Tuesday after the company reported results for its second fiscal quarter.

Limoneira Forms Grupo Argentino

Limoneira Co. has formed Grupo Argentino, a cooperative arrangement between the company and leading citrus packers in Argentina, the company announced Tuesday.

Amgen to Build High-Tech Plant in Rhode Island

Amgen Inc. will build a new manufacturing plant at the site of its existing facilities in West Greenwich, R.I., the pharma company announced Tuesday.

Monday, April 9

Gelt Acquires Seattle Apartment Portfolio for $74 Million

Tarzana-based real estate firm, Gelt Inc. has acquired a two-property apartment portfolio totaling 491 units for $74 million in two Seattle submarkets.

AeroVironment Tests Military Maritime Drones

AeroVironment Inc. has conducted a maritime demonstration of the automated sensor-to-shooter function for its Puma and Switchblade drones from a U.S. Navy ship, the company announced Monday.

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Qualstar to Make Sony Optical Disc System

Qualstar Corp. was chosen by Sony Imaging Products and Solutions Inc. to manufacture an optical disc archive system for computer data, the company announced Monday.

Friday, April 6

Successful Test Flight for Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic successfully completed on Thursday a rocket-powered flight of its SpaceShipTwo space vehicle, VSS Unity.

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New Name, Ownership for Valencia Golf Course

The Oaks Club at Valencia is the new name for the golf course formerly known as the Tournament Players Club Valencia.

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MannKind Drops 25 Percent on Stock Offering

Shares of MannKind Corp. fell nearly 25 percent Friday, after the company announced a $28 million stock offering.

Former Warner Bros. Exec Opens Prodco

Former Warner Bros. Pictures executive Sue Kroll has opened her own production company, Kroll & Co. Entertainment, on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank.

Thursday, April 5

21 Bills on State Chamber's ‘Job Killers’ List

The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual initial list of 21 “job killer” bills on April 4.

Wednesday, April 4

Downtown L.A.'s Santa Fe Lofts Bought for $68.5 Million

Sherman Oaks-based real estate investment firm MWest Holdings has purchased the 11-story, 132-unit Santa Fe Lofts at 121 E. 6th St. in downtown Los Angeles for $68.5 million, or nearly $519,000 per unit, in partnership with GreenOak Real Estate of New York.

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European Label Expanded for Amgen’s Xgeva

Amgen Inc.’s bone drug Xgeva has been approved by the European Commission for the prevention of skeletal complications in patients with multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer.

Cloud Provider Key Information Systems Acquired

Agoura Hills-based Key Information Systems Inc. has been acquired by a Canadian technology firm, the companies announced.

Tuesday, April 3

ApolloMed Merger Complicates Annual Report

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has announced its fiscal year results, but the financial numbers only reflect 23 days’ of the company’s performance.

Tarzana Multifamily Sells for $8.3 Million

A 28-unit apartment property located in Tarzana has sold for $8.3 million, or $296,428 per unit.

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Martini Iosue Appoints Audit Practice Leader

Encino-based business accounting firm Martini Iosue & Akpovi has appointed Kevin Holmes as audit and assurance practice leader.

JLL to Manage Glendale, Burbank Retail Centers

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. has announced that the real estate firm will provide property management services for two commercial centers in Glendale and Burbank.

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Disney Announces Streaming Service Launch Date

Walt Disney Co. will launch its direct-to-consumer streaming service ESPN+ on April 12.

Monday, April 2

Woodbury to Hold Annual Student Fashion Show

Woodbury University will hold its 54th annual student fashion show May 5 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Providence Tarzana’s Expansion Gets City Approval

Providence Tarzana Medical Center’s $542 million "Reimagined Project" has been greenlit by the Los Angeles City Council.

Mixed-Use Project in Van Nuys Proposed

Ketter Construction has filed a proposed development with Los Angeles City Planning Department for a mixed-use destination at a 1.29-acre site in Van Nuys.

Recurring TV Shows Get State Film Tax Credits

PRODUCTION: Funding round includes shows that relocate to state.

State tax credit program attracts TV shows from other states.

Learning Strategist

New dean seeks to build CSUN’s business school on strong accounting and entrepreneurship programs.

Chandra Subramaniam takes over as the business school dean at CSUN.

Big Dealer

Large truck inventory is key to driving in customers from throughout the Southern California region.

Dealership in Lancaster building country’s largest Ram truck center.

Employment Trends Benefiting On Assignment

STAFFING: Calabasas firm gains as more employers hire temps, not full-timers.

On Assignment in Calabasas sees finances rise as employers hire temp workers.

Peddling, Not Pedaling

TRANSPORTATION: Sellers of electric bikes hope they become mainstream.

Valley couple wants to bring electric bikes into the mainstream.

The Number

13% Increase in passengers at Hollywood Burbank Airport

Hollywood Burbank Airport reported an airline passenger count of 370,230 in January, a 13 percent increase compared to the same month a year ago.

Valley Stocks Plunge, Rise With Markets

Big price drops – and gains – swing billions in market value.

Rollercoaster Wall Street markets reflect spooked investors.

Houses Coming To Santa Paula

DEVELOPMENT: Project among biggest ever in Ventura County.

Lemon grower partners on housing project, Harvest at Limoneira.

Retailers Facing New Work Rules

REGULATIONS: Will ‘predictive scheduling’ be in stores’ future?

Labor advocates pushing for predictable schedules for retail, other employees.

Revive Redevelopment Agencies

As I was driving home the other day through Van Nuys, I passed an abandoned vacant lot.

Bullet Train Losing Business Folks

Do you know what really was deflating when California’s High-Speed Rail Authority issued its latest report a few weeks ago?

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Warner Center Buildout

Ambitious millennial-minded, multi-site projects contribute to create a walkable ‘downtown’ in Woodland Hills.

Valley builder constructing a network of five mixed-use buildings in Warner Center.

Santa Clarita’s Economic Forecast: Still Sunny

OUTLOOK: New hospital projects, industrial sites, to stimulate growth.

A booming 2018: That’s the trajectory for Santa Clarita as it continues growth in all sectors.

Cluster Effect

Bioscience firms continue to take root in Conejo and Santa Clarita

Life science clusters are gaining momentum in Conejo and Santa Clarita valleys

KCET Chief to Head DeGeneres’ Media Firm

MEDIA: During 3-year term, Riley helped KCET’s ratings and revenue.

Former KCETLink chief executive moves on to Ellen DeGeneres’ media firm.

‘Advanced’ AI Firm Moving into Health Care

MEDICAL: Glendale firm appoints business development chief.

Glendale artificial intelligence company expands into health technology.