E’ville Biz: Zogenix stock soars, Pixar steps in to help city, REBBL harnesses ‘magic’ of mushrooms, Berkeley Lights CEO Profiled

2 mins read

A few Local Businesses have made headlines in recent weeks that we’ve aggregated into this month’s E’ville Biz column.

If there’s news in biotech, SF Business Times reporter Ron Leuty is on it. Leuty has two recent stories that spotlight Emeryville biotech businesses including Zogenix and Berkeley Lights. Fellow SFBT reporter Alisha Green also recently detailed Pixar’s assistance with the City of Emeryville in their successful bid to become a designated California Cultural District.

REBBL (an acronym for ‘roots, extracts, berries, bark and leaves’) is a crafter of organic coconut-milk based super-herb drinks. REBBL’s latest line of products uses the Reishi mushroom which is said to be known for its medicinal benefits and immune health support. REBBL’s CEO is Sheryl O’Loughlin who is a former CEO of both Clif Bar and Plum Organics (both Emeryville-based companies).

Why this East Bay company’s stock ballooned more than 170% in 1 day

By Ron Leuty

An experimental drug for a form of epilepsy saw strong early results, sending shares of an East Bay drug developer soaring Friday.

Zogenix Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX) said top-line results from a late-stage study of its drug, called ZX-008, showed that Dravet syndrome patients who were given the drug had fewer convulsive seizures than patients who received a placebo.

Read more on SF Business Times →
(Paywall may apply)


Economic Development and Housing Manager Chad Smalley (Photo: Todd Johnson/SFBT)

Emeryville finds a friend in Pixar

By Alisha Green

When the City of Emeryville wanted a local business partner on its application to become a California Cultural District, all it had to do was look across the street.

The Pixar Animation Studios campus faces Emeryville City Hall.

In addition to their physical proximity, Pixar, the city’s largest employer with up to 1,200 employees, and Emeryville also share a history of art and innovation.

Read More on SF Business Times →
(Paywall may apply)

Berkeley Lights CEO Eric Hobbs (Photo: Todd Johnson/SFBT)

Eric Hobbs’ relentless nature drives cell manipulation company

By Ron Leuty

Eric Hobbs is a destroyer of obstacles.

As a second grader — after his father left his family in the Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks and his mother returned to college to support her family with a nursing degree — Hobbs often was teased at school for his one pair of pants and his holey shoes. But he “wanted things” — so he got a paper route, making $1 a day, to get what he wanted.


Flash forward to today: The 40-year-old Hobbs is leading a company with a technology that many initially dismissed as not commercially viable. Berkeley Lights’ systems use light to push and manipulate single cells on a nanofluidic chip, enabling them to be imported, cultured, tested and exported, automating a process that drug companies use to identify, develop and test potential drugs.

Read more on SF Business Times →
(Paywall may apply)

REBBL Celebrates the Magic of Mushrooms on National Mushroom Day

REBBL, crafter of organic coconut-milk based super-herb drinks, is celebrating the Magic of Mushrooms in honor of National Mushroom Day on Sunday, October 15. REBBL harnesses the healing power of the reishi mushroom, known for its medicinal benefits and immune health support, in five of its 11 coconut-milk Elixirs and Proteins – Reishi Cold-Brew, Reishi Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Protein, Vanilla Spice Protein, and Cold-Brew Protein.

“Striking the perfect balance of taste and nutritional benefit for each REBBL flavor is no easy feat,” said REBBL’s Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Palo Hawken. “It took several years to identify the best reishi mushroom producers and extraction methods before we were able to finalize the five reishi flavors available today. REBBL’s reishi is ultrasonically extracted using a patented process that results in the highest beta-glucan levels of any mushroom extract in the world, providing superior health and immune benefits. And when paired with coffee and chocolate the resulting taste is spectacular.”

Read more on PRNewsWire →

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. I just sent a note regarding the lack of lighting at E-g-R’s Pixar’s northbound stop.

    I may make this a cause and do an inventory of the Hollis routes to determine how many stops have adequate lighting as well as a bench. Who should I contact in E-g-R and Pixar regarding ‘their’ stops? Of course, this assessment should also be done of E-g-R’s other routes.

    Perhaps such an assessment has been done, and better yet, there is a program to provide lighting and benches at every stop. An example of the latter is the relatively recent provision of a bench and foul weather cover at the Berkeley Bowl West stop (I don’t know about the lighting). Who was responsible for this welcome improvement; a cooperative action by the City and BBW?

    It is conjectural whether lighting of Pixar’s stops would significantly increase their employees’ night use of E-g-R. It is well worth the investment. It is very creepy standing out there in the dark.

    • Jens, the Emeryville Commission on Aging is interested in having benches at more bus stops. We worked with the City to get several installed a few years ago. Since that time benches have been put in place at several more stops. I’d enjoy talking with you.

  2. Joyce: Thank you for your response.

    Is there a list of Emery Go-Round stops which do not have adequate lighting and benches? Any sense of when there may be adequate lighting and benches at the two Pixar stops? And, if I want to continue my interest in improving the security and comfort of the two stops, who should I contact in EGR, Pixar as well as any others in pertinent institutions? I just thought about EGR’s recent user survey. When will the results be posted..or have they been posted?

    Thanks for your attention to my issue. If you want to talk with me or send me an e-mail: 450-0776, jens_sorensen@yahoo.com/ Also I am 74 years old. Perhaps old enough to be within the purview of your Commission.

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