Funding Success for Cardiac Dimensions

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Greater Seattle’s life sciences industry continues to grow and prosper, as another company receives a major funding boost. Cardiac Dimensions, a Kirkland-based company that builds devices to treat heart failure, has received $20 million in a new round of financing last week. The funding came from M.H. Carnegie & Co, an Australian VC firm, and Lumira Capital, a Canadian VC firm.

Cardiac Dimensions will use the new funds to expand internationally: build a new facility in Australia to tap into the Asia Pacific market; jump-start a series of clinical trials in 20 hospitals; and increase commercial activity in Europe.

The good news for Cardiac Dimensions follows a string of recent VC attraction success for Washington State companies. In the first quarter of 2014, there were 23 venture investments in the state totaling $151 million. Other companies that announced new funding deals last week include Julep Beauty and Avvo.


Kenya Airways Receives First Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Friday, April 18th, 2014

April 4th, 2014 was an exciting day for Boeing and Kenya Airways. A new 787 Dreamliner was delivered to the African airline, which will be the first of nine planned 787 Dreamliners set to join its fleet.

The Dreamliner departed Paine Field in Everett for a 7,800 mile  nonstop flight to Kenya Airways’ home base in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The deliveries of additional 787s, along with 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes, forms part of the Kenya Airline’s 10-year strategic plan called “Project Mawingu” (Project Wings). The plan is focused on increasing the airline’s fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021 and adding more destinations, from 62 to 115. All of its current airplanes are Boeing made.

“The delivery of our first ever 787 Dreamliner not only opens a new chapter for our airline, but also for Kenya,” said Dr. Titus Naikuni, chief executive officer, Kenya Airways. “The 787 will enable Kenya Airways to explore new markets, improve its economic performance, provide passengers with revolutionary comfort, while continuing to contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa.”

Kenya Airways’ first 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally within Africa in the coming weeks, before beginning service to Paris in early June. Currently the airline serves destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

To date, more than 130 Dreamliners have been delivered to 17 customers worldwide. A couple members of the Trade Alliance staff had the pleasure to experience the Dreamliner first-hand during the 2015 International Leadership Mission – via All Nippon Airways from Seattle to Tokyo. It was an incredible ride!


Port of Tacoma Considered For More Auto Shipments

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Tacoma may soon be importing a lot more automobiles through its port, thanks to the rise of Mexico as a major auto exporting country and a potential partnership with Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Line (MOL). MOL announced this month that it will soon start transporting new cars from Mexico’s port of Lazaro Cardenas to U.S. West Coast ports, one of those being the Port of Tacoma.

Although arrangements for this new route haven’t been fully finalized, the Port of Tacoma is an unsurprising pick given its experience importing automobiles already. Currently the port imports Mazda’s from Japan and Kia’s from Korea. Tacoma-based company, Auto Warehousing, is an experienced auto importer with operations in 28 ports.

This potential new route highlights the rise of Mexico as an auto manufacturer and exporter – it currently is the second-largest auto exporting country to the United States and is expected to become #1 next year. Nearly 20% of all North American-built vehicles are produced in Mexico.

Pass-through imports are important to the ports here in Greater Seattle, as we act as a gateway to the rest of the country. It helps keeps port operations humming and busy, supporting thousands of workers.


No Wonder Delta Started a Seattle-London Route

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Delta loves Greater Seattle and Greater Seattle loves London. So it makes perfect sense that Delta opened a nonstop Seattle-London route, with the inaugural flight occurring on March 30th. According to Expedia (another Greater Seattle company), London was the number one international destination from SeaTac Airport in 2013. It was also the second fastest growing overall destination from Greater Seattle behind New York City.

The route furthers Delta’s recent efforts to grow its presence in Greater Seattle, where Delta has a deep alliance with hometown carrier Alaska Airlines. Delta calls Seattle “one of (its) fastest-growing international gateways” after adding new routes to Beijing, Osaka, Shanghai and Tokyo Haneda — all since 2010.

“Our international expansion in Seattle is possible because of our partnerships with Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM,” Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s Marketing, Network Planning and Revenue Management chief, says in a release. “Together the airlines can provide customers in the Pacific Northwest with an unmatched global network and an industry-leading customer experience on the ground and in the air.”

Delta’s new route to London will depart daily from SeaTac at 6:40 PM, arriving at London’s Heathrow airport the next day at noon. British Airways already flies non-stop between Seattle and London.


Pay Day for Seattle Genetics Due To International Sales

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Its payday time! Seattle Genetics, a biotechnology company based in Seattle that specializes in developing antibody-based therapies to treat cancer, announced last week that it will receive $6 million in milestone payments from its Japan-based partner, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The payments have been awarded due to the success in the commercial sales of their jointly developed antibody-drug conjugate, ADCETRIS, in Australia, South Korea, and Mexico. All three of the countries have been given permission to sell ADCETRIS by their local health authorities to treat patients with relapsed or refractory in Hodgkin Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

ADCETRIS is already available commercially in the US and Japan, as well as in 40 other countries including the European Union, Canada, Ukraine, Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, and Iceland. Seattle Genetics will continue to partner with Takeda on developing ADCETRIS, which Takeda has the rights to commercialize outside of the US and Canada. Seattle Genetics receives royalties based on a percentage of Takeda’s net sales in addition to milestone payments.


ANA Places Large Boeing Order Worth $13B

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The Boeing Company is gearing up to deliver on new orders. Japan’s All Nippon Airways announced plans to order forty wide body airplanes worth $13 billion, including 20 of the 777-9X airplanes. ANA’s agreement helps to assure Greater Seattle will continue to stay busy as a global aerospace hub, building and exporting airplanes all over the world.

Earlier this year, the Machinist’s Union agreed to a new contract with Boeing to keep base production of the new 777X jets here in Washington State. Boeing employees will build the new jet’s fuselage, wing, interiors, and other major parts – a lesson learned after the significant delays with the 787, where components were built by different companies in different parts of the world.

ANA and Boeing share a long and successful partnership that spans more than five decades. “ANA helped launch the 787 Dreamliner with Boeing, and we are honored to once again have ANA as an early customer of the 777X family of airplanes,” said Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, in a statement.

To hear more from Boeing on its plans for our region and about the future of the global aviation market, join us at our Annual Dinner on June 25th to hear from the President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Mr. Ray Conner.



Zillow Partners Up With Beijing Firm, Leju

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Seattle-based Zillow, a popular online-based real estate database that has nearly 70 million visitors every month, has entered into a partnership with Chinese real estate website, Leju. This agreement, which is the first non-U.S. deal for Zillow, will lead to the development of a co-branded website operated by Zillow and translated into Chinese. Errol Samuelson, Zillow’s Chief Industry Development Officer, noted that “Brokers and agents with listings on Zillow are now able to reach Chinese home shoppers who are ready to invest in the U.S. market…”

This deal clearly underscores the recent phenomena of wealthy Chinese coming to the U.S. and to Greater Seattle to buy homes. According to Reuters, the US is the 2nd favorite destination for the Chinese (after Great Britain) and they spend on average $425,000 per home. Seattle, particularly the Eastlake area, is a popular destination – thanks in part to a recent Chinese romantic comedy movie called “Beijing Meets Seattle”. Set in Seattle, the movie has become so popular in China it is one of the country’s highest-grossing films of all-time.

We can expect even more Chinese to come to Seattle following Canada’s sudden cancellation of its immigration investment program, which allowed foreigners to establish residency if they invested in Canada. More than 60,000 applications were refunded. Meanwhile, the U.S.’s counterpart program, EB-5, continues to grow in popularity.


Virginia Mason Inspires Changes to England’s National Health Service

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Greater Seattle is a global pioneer on many fronts to which health care is no exception. Virginia Mason, a nonprofit regional health care system that serves the Pacific Northwest, has helped to inspire new patient safety measures for England’s National Health Service.

The announcement was made yesterday at Virginia Mason by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. Hunt explained that the new initiatives to improve England’s health care system, which has been struggling with safety and quality failures of late, were developed after studying Virginia Mason’s commitment to patient safety. He noted that Virginia Mason is “…now regarded as one of the safest hospitals in the world.”

This is a tremendous and noteworthy accomplishment for Virginia Mason, which has completely transformed itself following a tragic death at its hospital 10 years ago. It is now a global pioneer in patient safety, as well as in applying lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery that has eliminated waste and lowered costs. In fact, last month Virginia Mason partnered with the Seattle Chamber and the Trade Alliance to lead a group of Greater Seattle leaders to the Toyota factory in Japan to learn more about the lean manufacturing process.



Start-up based in Seattle and Chennai, India raises $8.5 Million

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Indix, a start-up company that has 46 employees in both Seattle and Chennai, India has just raised $8.5 million in additional funding, thanks to Avalon Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. The company is founded and run by a former Microsoft executive, Mr. Sanjay Parthasarathy, who actually was the person who hired Microsoft’s new CEO, Mr. Satya Nadella, 22 years ago.

Indix’s new funding will go to continue building and marketing its product intelligence platform, which lets businesses visualize and analyze a wealth of real-time product data, including costs, price fluctuations, reviews, and much more. Businesses such as retailers can track how products are being sold and at what price online, which can help determine which products it should carry and how much to sell it for. Microsoft is already using the platform to compare how its third party sellers and distributors sell’s Microsoft products.

Indix is another example of how having a giant corporation like Microsoft in our backyard pays off in drawing creative, talented, and smart individuals from all over the world to our region who in turn create their own companies here, an ongoing cycle that keeps Greater Seattle at the forefront of innovation.


Cray Inc installing supercomputer in Hong Kong

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Greater Seattle, known for its superb high technology industry, is always going global. Our region has been a pioneer in transforming the world’s computing industry, and Cray Inc is no exception. Cray, a global leader in supercomputing that is headquartered in Seattle, will be installing a XC30 supercomputer in the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital (HKSH) later this year. The supercomputer will be the first of its kind in Hong Kong and in China – and will be used to further the hospital’s medical research in genetic sequencing and bioinformatics.

Cray has more than 1,000 employees worldwide and over 40 years of experience developing the world’s most advanced supercomputers.