Helen Floersh

Staff Reporter (Healthcare, Law, Biotech)

Helen covers healthcare, law, insurance and biotechnology in the greater Valley region.

Email: hfloersh@sfvbj.com
Phone: 818-316-3121 Extension: 112

Recent Stories

Preview: Recycle Plan Gone Wrong

Last February, Eric Lundgren, a 33-year-old self-made millionaire determined to rid the world of electronic waste, pleaded guilty to participating in a felony-level counterfeit scheme.

CRC’s Stock Jumps, Thanks to Oil Prices

The stock of California Resources Corp. continued a three-day climb on Wednesday, rising nearly 8 percent during trading hours to its highest price in two years.

Atara Shares Soar on FDA Approval

Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. capped off a strong week with a soaring stock price on Friday, when shares of the biopharmaceutical firm rose nearly 30 percent to a two-year high.

Hasserjian Joins NAI Capital as Property Management Chief

Eric Hasserjian has joined NAI Capital Management, the property management arm of brokerage NAI Capital Inc. in Encino, as the division’s chief executive.

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Record Revenue at Simulations Plus

Simulations Plus Inc. had a strong start to fiscal 2018, with record-breaking revenue and an earnings jump of more than 20 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.

Management Reorganization at Salem Media

Salem Media Group in Camarillo announced three management appointments on Monday, including one for its national operations and two in its local radio markets in Nashville and Philadelphia.

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Amgen Named Best Place to Work in Med Sales

pharma: Survey finds compensation is main factor for rep satisfaction.

What’s the best big biotech company for jobs in medical sales?

Thomas Fire Fallout

As the smoke clears, businesses face questions of loss and recovery

How businesses are suffering, benefiting and coping after the devastation of the Thomas Fire.

Talk Therapy For the Stars

Communication: Young actors and mature execs visit Achieve Speech Associates.

Achieve Speech Associates caters to a growing clientele of young actors and mature executives.

Averting Eviction

Gelt Foundation wants to keep responsible tenants facing a financial emergency in their apartments, thus preventing homelessness.

A new foundation aims to help people in financial difficulties stay in their apartments.

FDA Expands Use of Amgen Drug Xgeva

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Amgen Inc.’s request to expand the indications of its drug Xgeva, a medication used to prevent fractures and other skeletal complications in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors.

Preview: Thomas Fire Fallout

Ash from the Thomas Fire may have stopped falling on Ventura County businesses, but the already-struggling local economy will be nursing the burn for some time to come.

Vice Suspends Execs, Sets New Standards for Company Culture

Vice Media has suspended two executives while it conducts an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the men, the details of which were published on Dec. 23 in an in-depth report by the New York Times.

LTC Enters First-of-Kind Joint Venture

LTC Properties Inc. has entered into a joint-venture relationship with the affiliates of a geriatric care provider and a senior facility developer to finance the construction of a $23 million senior living complex in Wisconsin, the first deal of its kind for the Westlake Village real estate investment trust.

North Hollywood Building Gets Flexible Loan

J.H. Snyder Co., an L.A.-based real estate developer, has arranged $68 million in bridge financing from Meridian Capital Group for 5250 Lankershim Plaza in North Hollywood in anticipation of tenant turnover.

AV Hospital Selects COO

Colette Menzel will assume the role of chief operating officer at Antelope Valley Hospital effective immediately, the hospital announced Wednesday.

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Ventura County Retail Sales Suffer From Thomas Fire

The winter holidays are typically the jolliest time of the year for the region’s small businesses, but the Thomas Fire has dealt a setback to Ventura County’s retail and service sector that will likely spill over into the coming year.

MGA's L.O.L. Dolls Become Year's Bestselling Toy

More than a decade after its pouty-lipped Bratz dolls were dubbed the world’s most popular doll, Van Nuys toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. has scored another chart-topper with its L.O.L. Surprise Tots. The collectible playthings were the No. 1 best-selling toy year-to-date as of November, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, N.Y.-based retail market research firm.

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Gelt Foundation Launches to Prevent Homelessness

The co-founders of a residential real estate firm in Tarzana have established a foundation that they hope will keep some cash-strapped renters from becoming homeless.

Thor Debuts Electric Semi-Truck

Watch out, Elon Musk: A small San Fernando Valley startup is revving up to join the green truck movement with the debut of its new electric semi.

Second Sight Stock Swings Up

Shares of Second Sight Medical Products Inc. made some major gains Tuesday, jumping more than 20 percent during trading hours before falling back to a nearly 18-percent gain by market close.

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Names Advisory Board Members

Leading medical minds from Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Miami and other major institutions will lend their expertise to Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. as members of its newly established corporate advisory board.

Device from Small Biotech Gets Advanced by FDA

In what could be a breakthrough development for a small Valencia biotech, SetPoint Medical Corp. has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to launch a pilot study on its main product.

MannKind Added to Nasdaq Biotech Index

The stock of MannKind Corp. – in danger of being delisted a year ago – got something of a vote of confidence Monday when it was announced the stock will be added to the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index effective Dec. 18.

Hospital Partnership to Benefit Paralysis Patients

PROVIDERS: Foundation finds ambassadors to promote program in Antelope Valley.

Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster and the Triumph Foundation in Santa Clarita have partnered to offer newly paralyzed patients the support they need to transition to life after an immobilizing injury.

Dance Hall For the Stars Opens Doors

Studio City rehearsal space starts classes for beginning hoofers.

Julz Tocker opens dance hall in Studio City to the public.

Execs Vexed By Harassment

Sex allegations prompt companies to re-examine workplace culture

Companies face the threat of sexual harassment claims, but human resources, public relations and legal experts offer advice.

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VICA Installs New Board, Chairwoman

Members of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association approved the business advocacy group’s 2018 board of directors, including new Chairwoman Lisa Gritzner, on Friday during its annual lunch meeting.

Eating Disorder Treatment Center Opens in Agoura Hills

A new treatment center for teenage girls with eating disorders has opened in Agoura Hills.

Preview: Execs Vexed by Harassment

Sex allegations prompt companies to re-examine workplace culture.

Cherokee's Stock Plunges After Report

The stock of Cherokee Global Brands dropped more than 20 percent Wednesday after the company reported a third-quarter loss when Wall Street was expecting positive earnings.

Amgen to Support FDA Approval for Biocartis Cancer Test

Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks has agreed to provide operational and financial support to Belgium-based Biocartis Group in its pursuit of Food and Drug Administration approval for a test that compliments Amgen’s metastatic colon cancer drug Vectibix, or panitumumab.

FDA Approves Label Expansion for Amgen's Repatha

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Amgen Inc.’s drug Repatha as a prevention for heart attacks in patients with cardiovascular disease, potentially enlarging the customer base for the drug.

Paralysis Partnership for Antelope Valley Hospital

The Antelope Valley Hospital has partnered with a local nonprofit to provide support to newly paralyzed patients.

Garcetti Talks Jobs, Transportation at Valley Business Lunch

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to Valley business leaders Wednesday to garner support for his initiatives at the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley’s yearly Mayor’s Luncheon.

Build Fever For Hospitals

Increasing demand and regulations have spurred a health care construction spree.

Hospitals are in a building frenzy in anticipation of more patients.

Big Princess Passes Thru New Canal

Cruise ship takes 3,200 guests from Caribbean to Pacific.

Princess Cruises takes its big ships through the widened Panama Canal.

‘Light the Night’ Starts Holiday Shopping Season

Malls: Concert kicks off campaign for Village at Westfield Topanga.

The Village at Westfield Topanga in Woodland Hills kicked off the holiday shopping season Nov. 18 with a special program that featured the talents of local music groups and a visit from Santa Claus.

Woodbury Names Local Business Leader to Board

Woodbury University in Burbank has named Greg Lippe, an accountant based in Simi Valley, to serve as chairman of its board of trustees.

Pixar Exec Takes Leave for ‘Missteps’

John Lasseter, creative head of Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar Inc. and Walt Disney Animation Studios, will take a leave of absence from the company following allegations of inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

Amgen Invests in Software Startup Syapse

Amgen Ventures, the investment arm of Thousand Oaks biopharmaceutical firm Amgen Inc., has invested an undisclosed sum in Syapse Inc., a San Francisco software company that has developed an integrative platform designed to streamline the “precision medicine” approach to cancer treatment.

Lancaster City Council Supports Water Rate Reform

The Lancaster City Council has put its stamp of approval on the efforts of a grassroots campaign that seeks to reform the way rates are set by private water companies.

Amgen to Lay Off 121

Amgen Inc. will lay off up to 121 workers at its California sites beginning Dec. 31, according to a notice filed in early November with the California Employment Development Department.

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Union Holds Protest in Warner Center

Workers and supporters of the local operating engineers union made themselves heard Monday morning during a protest at the Warner Center in Woodland Hills.

Simi Group Revives the Renaissance

Folk with 14th century interests gather for weekend event.

Businesses with medieval flair show their wares at Renaissance faire.

50 Fastest Growing Private Companies 2017: Geolinks

Building Broadband Access for Rural America

Largest Company and Star Performer winners.

Legal Diplomats

Law firms need managers with special people skills, say authors Andrew Elowitt and Marcia Watson Wasserman.

Q&A: Lawyer manager Marcia Watson Wasserman and attorney Andrew Elowitt on how to manage law firms

Amgen, Novartis Launch Alzheimer’s Drug Trial

PHARMA: Treatment could prevent symptoms, but prior therapies have failed.

Amgen Inc. and Swiss biopharma Novartis have launched a second clinical trial for their co-developed drug to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk patients who are not yet showing symptoms.

Applebee’s Drags on DineEquity Earnings

Shares of DineEquity Inc. rose modestly Thursday following the release of the Glendale restaurant group’s third-quarter financial results, despite the company missing Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue.

Salem, MannKind Stocks Droop

The stock prices of both Westlake Village biotech MannKind Corp. and Salem Media Group in Camarillo closed down Wednesday following the companies’ disclosure of their third-quarter financial results.