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Business briefs

For Friday, April 22, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


UH-originated biotech firm is sold

Neugenesis Corp., a California-based biotechnology company founded at the University of Hawaii Manoa Innovation Center in 1994, has been sold for an undisclosed amount.

Intrexon Corp. said its acquisition of Neugenesis will allow it to accelerate product development in the markets for industrial synthetic biology applications

Intrexon, based in Blacksburg, Va., said it will locate its industrial products division at the Neugenesis facility in Burlingame, Calif.

UH, which held as many as 125,000 shares in Neugenesis at one point, received cash and shares in privately held Intrexon as a result of the sale.

Neugenesis moved to California in the late 1990s to gain better access to venture capital and be closer to other biotech companies.

Intrexon officials said they were particularly excited about incorporating some of the recent research done by Neugenesis using fungi in the development of industrial products.

Cyanotech appoints new chairman

Michael Davis has been elected chairman of Cyanotech Corp., a producer of human nutritional proj­ects from microalgae.

Davis was vice chairman and has been a director of the Big Island company since March 2003. He also serves as president of Skywords Family Foundation and is a director of Canobie Films Inc.

"Michael has been a key influence in helping Cyanotech sharpen its business model and market focus in recent years," said Brent Bailey, president and CEO of Cyanotech.

The company's shares fell 14.2 cents, or 4.8 percent, to $3.24 yesterday.

30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.80%

NEW YORK » The rate on the 30-year mortgage fell last week, staying below 5 percent. But low rates have done little to lift the struggling housing market.

Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 4.80 percent from 4.91 percent the previous week. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent in November.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.02 percent from 4.13 percent. It dropped to 3.57 percent in November, the lowest on rec­ords dating back to 1991.

GE's earnings climb 77 percent

NEW YORK » Earnings at General Electric Co. rose 77 percent in the first quarter as its financial services business continued to rebound. But Wall Street was expecting stronger revenue from GE's industrial side, and shares fell 45 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $19.95 yesterday.

GE, which makes everything from light bulbs to wind turbines and health care equipment, reported net income of $3.43 billion, or 31 cents a share, for the three months ended March 31.

That compares with $1.95 billion, or 17 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 6 percent to $38.45 billion.

Sites sink with Amazon Web service

NEW YORK » Scores of websites and Internet services like Foursquare and Reddit crashed or had limited availability yesterday because of problems at a data center run by

The problems revealed widespread reliance on Amazon Web Services, which rents out computers and data storage on a self-service basis over the Internet.

The service is generally considered reliable because it uses vast numbers of computers, spread out in different data centers, making yesterday's failure unusual.

On the Move

YWCA of Oahu has announced the following five women as honorees at the 34th annual LeaderLuncheon in June 2011: Vicky Caye­tano, president and chief executive officer of United Laundry Services; Colleen Minami, vice president of Aloha Medical Mission; Suzanne Chun Oakland, state senator; Catherine Payne, a retired principal of Farrington High School; and Linda Rosa­rio, owner/operator of Grelyn of Hawaii, the state’s largest McDonald’s franchise company.


Territorial Savings Bank has appointed Debbie Tran assistant vice president, electronic banking services operations supervisor. She joined the company in 1996 and has extensive operations, branch and electronic banking experience.


ProService Hawaii has promoted the following senior business development managers to team leaders: 

>> Rick Piper has been with the company for four years and was previously a Realtor with Prudential Locations, Fine Homes Division.

>> Shane Takeshita has been with the company for six years and was previously a human resources manager and sales director for Team Clean.

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