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Friday, May 24, 2024

around the valleys

– San Fernando Valley Sherman Oaks A coalition formed to bring light rail projects to the San Fernando Valley has added a significant number of members. Joining the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s Valley on Track coalition are L.A. City Councilmembers Mitch Englander, Tom LaBonge and Nury Martinez; Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Woodland Hills; Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles; and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys. Institutional members joining were the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Sherman Oaks group is lobbying for three light rail projects in the Valley. Burbank Low-budget Burbank production company The Asylum scored a big hit as its “Sharknado 2: The Second One” drew in a viewership of 3.9 million in its first weekend. The sequel to last summer’s surprise hit – featuring B-list celebrities taking on sharp-toothed sea creatures flung about by high winds in Los Angeles – aired July 30 on NBC Universal’s Syfy cable channel. “Sharknado 2,” which starred Tara Reid, Ian Ziering and CGI sharks, was set this time in New York City. It became Syfy’s most watched original movie, with the first “Sharknado” drawing an audience of 1.4 million for its premiere. SeaPort Airlines Inc. announced it would expand service from Burbank Bob Hope Airport to serve San Diego. Flights between Burbank and San Diego International Airport will begin Oct. 1 with four roundtrip flights on weekdays, one roundtrip on Saturday, and two roundtrips on Sundays using Cessna 208 Caravan turboprop aircraft. The Portland, Ore.-based air carrier currently offers four weekday flights between Burbank and Imperial County Airport in El Centro. SeaPort also provides service in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas. Warner Bros. Entertainment has formed a business group to exclusively handle future installments of its lucrative “Harry Potter” franchise. The Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team will operate from both the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank and London, working in conjunction with Potter creator, author J.K. Rowling. The eight-film “Potter” franchise brought in more than $7 billion in global box office before ending in 2011 – a money machine Warner Bros. wants to continue. Glendale The Glendale Financial Center, a Class A office property adjacent to the Americana at Brand mall, sold to a foreign investor for $27.2 million. The six-story building at 225 W. Broadway was purchased by Hyun 1996-2 Family Lp from Ag/cambra 225 Broadway LLC. Its 122,000 square feet of offices are about 95 percent leased, mostly to health-care related tenants, including the California Nurses Association and HealthCare Partners. Hyun 1996-2 Family Lp is registered at Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, according to real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc., but the brokers on the deal described the buyer as a foreign investor. Calabasas ArmaGen, a private biotech firm, has signed a licensing agreement to fund development of AGT-182, an investigational enzyme to treat degenerative nerve disorder Hunter syndrome. Under the agreement, Calabasas-based ArmaGen will receive payments up to $225 million, including an initial upfront payment of $15 million in cash and equity, from Shire plc, an Irish pharmaceutical company. In exchange, Shire will receive worldwide commercialization rights for AGT-182, ArmaGen’s main investigational drug. The company plans to start clinical trials before the end of the year. – Conejo Valley Thousand Oaks Energy crop developer Ceres Inc. will receive nearly $39 million in financing from the Brazilian government to expand its product development program. The Thousand Oaks agricultural biotech will receive $34 million in the form of a four-year credit line through the PAISS Agricola initiative promoting agricultural innovations. Ceres also was granted $4.5 million. The company has operations in Brazil and is working with farmers to plant a proprietary version of sweet sorghum as an energy crop. The company will use the funding to further advance its work with sorghum, as well as with sugarcane. Walter De Logi, co-founder and chairman of Ceres, died unexpectedly, the company announced last week. He was 63. De Logi served on the board for Ceres since the company’s inception and as chairman since 2002. He was Ceres’ president and chief executive from 1996 until 2002. Ceres was founded in 1996 by a group of investors including De Logi. He had worked in alternative energy for decades. He held an MBA from Harvard University and a PhD from the California Institute of Technology. The company declined to state the cause of death or exact date, citing family privacy issues. The Terrace, a 40,000-square-foot shopping center in Thousand Oaks, has sold for $13.5 million. The center was acquired from Newbury Giant LLC by an investment group led by Robert Selleck, brother of developer Dan Selleck and actor Tom Selleck. Robert Selleck was the original developer of the project, built in 2004. The Terrace at 1714 Newbury Road in the Newbury Park neighborhood has some high-profile tenants, including Chili’s, Roadrunner Sports, Holdren’s Steak and Seafood and Spumoni’s Italian restaurants. Amgen Inc. announced positive human trial results for a cancer drug that was the focus of a multibillion dollar acquisition last year. The Thousand Oaks biotech said that Phase 3 trials showed patients with multiple myeloma who used Kyprolis had a longer lifespan than patients using treatments currently on the market. Amgen obtained Kyprolis as part of its $10.4 billion acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. Kyprolis is an injectable drug for myeloma patients who have tried and failed at least two other therapies. – Santa Clarita Valley Valencia Princess Cruises will add a third ship to its Royal Princess fleet, a 3,560-passenger vessel that will cost about $800 million. The 143,000-ton ship will be constructed by Fincanteri, an Italian shipbuilder based in Trieste, and is expected to set sail in 2017. The vessel will be similar in design to a pair of sister ships: Regal Princess, which entered service in May, and Royal Princess, introduced last year. The ship will offer multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues, including an outdoor movie theater. About 80 percent of staterooms will have balconies. MannKind Corp. has signed an agreement with a French company to manufacture insulin for Afrezza, the company’s inhalable insulin that was approved in June for sale in the United States. Under the agreement, Amphastar France Pharmaceuticals S.A.S. will make recombinant human insulin for use in Afrezza from 2015 to 2019. The minimum order is for $161 million in insulin during the five-year period. – Antelope Valley Lancaster Simulations Plus Inc. announced a $7 million acquisition of a Buffalo, N.Y. company that helps drug makers seek approval for their products. Simulations Plus, which develops clinical trial software, is buying Cognigen Corp., which operates a similar business. Under the agreement, Simulations Plus will pay Cognigen shareholders $7 million, with $2.8 million of that in cash and the remainder in newly iissued unregistered shares of stock. The deal, expected to close Sept. 2, will swell Simulations Plus’ workforce from 30 to 65 and add about $5 million in revenue in the next fiscal year. – Around the Valleys To be considered for publication, submissions should be emailed to [email protected]. Please put ATV in the subject line. For more information, call (818) 316-3123.

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