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Crisis Messaging

PROFILE: Mustang Marketing’s Dianne McKay counsels clients to stay on message during pandemic.

Dianne McKay took the helm as sole owner of Mustang Marketing in April, with the retirement of founder Scott Harris.

Westlake Bio, Alexandria Team on Lab Buildout

BIOTECH: VC firm to invest in startups that become tenants.

Two real estate deals have put the Conejo Valley’s biotech hub on the fast-track to expansion.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Protests Amgen Pricing for Orphan Drugs

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles staged a socially distant protest at Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks in response to the biotech giant’s refusal to sell orphan drugs to nonprofit entities at a reduced price.

Valley Microloans Add to $3 Million

City program seeks to convert debt to grants for struggling businesses.

In an effort to keep voters informed on which businesses were able to benefit from L.A.’s microloan program, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin’s office launched a microloan tracker website at the beginning of December.

Carbon Health Opens Testing Site in Simi Valley

Clinic starts with COVID based on current demand.

San Francisco-based urgent care chain Carbon Health opened its first clinic in Ventura County just before Thanksgiving — with its initial focus on COVID-19 testing, according to the company.

For Drug Modeler, French Connection Pays Off

Quarterly report validates Simulations Plus’ acquisition of Lixoft earlier in the year.

Simulations Plus bought French medical software company Lixoft in April, despite a pandemic that hampered in-person communication.

MannKind Buys QrumPharma for $3.5 Million

MannKind Corp. announced it has acquired Pennsylvania-based QrumPharma Inc. for $3.5 million in cash and more than 3 million shares of its common stock.

Lancaster Looks to Form Health Agency

Antelope Valley city wants autonomy in regulation.

The city of Lancaster took a hammer to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, first backing a vote of no confidence in its director, Barbara Ferrer, then commissioning a study on how to form a separate public health department.

Nurses Strike Called Off

A nursing strike planned for the holidays was narrowly avoided, with Hospital Corporation of America and Service Employees International Union 121 RN coming to a tentative contract agreement.

Buying into Market Dip to Rebalance Portfolios

One of Jason Sands’ clients asked how he could help others financially during tough times.

Wealth manager Jason Sands sought to keep clients on track for their long-term goals during the year of crisis, while also meeting short-term needs.

Nurses Strike Planned in Thousand Oaks, West Hills

Nurses at two hospitals in the Valley region have called a 10-day strike from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3 to protest unfair labor practices.

Lancaster Looks to Form Health Department After No Confidence Vote on County Leadership

Lancaster City Council unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County public health director, while also beginning the process of creating its own public health department.

Westlake Village BioPartners Debuts Funds With $500 Million

Westlake Village BioPartners has announced two new funds totaling $500 million to invest in life science startups and construct lab facilities for them.

Atara Biotherapeutics Signs Deal With Bayer Worth Up to $610 Million

Atara Biotherapeutics and German pharmaceutical giant Bayer have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop therapies for solid tumors.

Resonance’s Soothing VR Platform

Audio, video calms patients during MRI procedure.

Resonance Technology in Northridge demoed its virtual reality platform at the Radiological Society of North America’s virtual event last year, a bright point for the small medical device manufacturer.

Behavioral Health Hospital Coming to Lancaster

Antelope Valley Hospital and Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare have entered into a joint venture to build and operate a new specialty hospital in Lancaster.

Hearing System Approved for Valencia Company

Advanced Bionics in Valencia, in collaboration with fellow Sonova Group subsidiary Phonak, on Thursday announced it has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market its cochlear implant technology platform.

Hospital Spurs Building Boom

HEALTH CARE: Providers seek proximity to Tarzana campus.

Developers and medical professionals are eyeing space surrounding the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, with the area poised to become a central health care hub for the West Valley.

SBA Loans Debt of Choice During Pandemic

FINANCE: Manufacturing, professional service firms look to buy real estate.

Small businesses have found opportunities during the pandemic, creating a need for capital that SBA lenders have worked to fill.

First Home COVID Test In Valencia

Ellume’s $30 kit secures approval from the FDA.

Digital diagnostics company Ellume Inc., an Australian company with U.S. operations in Valencia, developed the first at-home COVID-19 test approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.