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BioRegion Real Estate: Oct 2, 2009


Northern Ireland’s Almac Gets OK to Build on 5.4-Acre Parcel Near HQ

Northern Ireland drug maker Almac has secured permission for an expansion plan that could see the company create more than 500 jobs during the next five years.

The company, which provides integrated research, development, and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies has acquired a 5.4 acre site adjacent to its Craigavon headquarters, and will “shortly embark on the first phase of development” there, the firm said in a statement.

In 2008 UK-based staff rose 15 percent to 1,426 while those based in the US rose 10 percent to 762, Almac said. The company also announced the creation of 128 new graduate and research positions in the first two months of 2009.

The initial phase of the planned development will see Almac construct a three-story office unit to accommodate over 220 existing staff and expected recruits. To accommodate the second phase, the company obtained permission from the city to build a new research facility and a new distribution unit to expand existing capacity.

Indiana Redevelopment Commission Buys 845-Acre Site from Pfizer

The Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation in Indiana this week said the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission has acquired three parcels at the Pfizer Terre Haute site.

The parcels, which include manufacturing, packaging, laboratory, warehouse, and office facilities, comprise 383,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities on 845 acres. They are adjacent to the 1,500-acre Vigo County Industrial Park.

The Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation will market the site on behalf of the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission to a “wide variety” of industries including life sciences.

LifeTech Initiative Lures Ginkgo BioWorks, Eutropics Pharma to Boston

Ginkgo BioWorks and Eutropics Pharmaceuticals have moved to Boston, lured in part by the city’s LifeTech initiative, created in 2004 to attract life-sciences firms to the city through low-interest loans, site location, and permitting.

Ginkgo BioWorks, a synthetic biology firm developed by five MIT researchers, received a $150,000 LifeTech Innovation Fund loan from the Boston Local Development Corp. Its new digs are in a 3,400-square-foot lab located in the Marine Industrial Park on the South Boston Waterfront.

Meantime, Eutropics, a blood cancer-treatment firm launched out of Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and MIT, moved from Woburn to a 1,500-square-foot site at BioSquare, the Boston University Medical Campus. There it plans to add new staff to its five-person team, according to a statement reported by local media.

Dow AgroSciences to Expand Into Purdue Research Park

Dow AgroSciences announced this week that it plans to expand its Indiana research operations to Purdue Research Park.

The ag-bio company said it plans to partner with Purdue Research Park to “formalize a new research partnership.” In cooperation with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Purdue Research Foundation will build a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse complex and lease 15,000 square feet of research and office space in the newly built Herman and Heddy Kurz Purdue Technology Center.

As part of the move, the IEDC will issue a grant of an undisclosed amount to help the Purdue Research Foundation construct the $2.2 million greenhouse research center.

Dow AgroSciences, which develops technologies used for crop protection, pest and vegetation management, seeds, and agricultural biotechnology, said it “plans to begin hiring scientists to support the research partnership starting this year.”

Hanford Pharma Sells Manufacturing Facility in Syracuse, Plans to Redevelop Leased Space

Hanford Pharmaceuticals this week said it has completed the sale of a manufacturing facility in Syracuse, NY, for an undisclosed sum.

The facility, which manufactures the antibiotic cephalosporin, has been “an asset that had been under-performing for quite some time,” the firm said in a statement.

Hanford said the sale will enable it “to expand into new areas outside of its current market space.” It did not elaborate.

According to a local news report, Hanford plans to use the money from the sale to “redevelop” an 84,000-square-foot building it leases in nearby Clay, NY, into a manufacturing warehouse and laboratory for making clinical trial quantities of drugs for other companies.

Three Life-Sci Shops Plan to Expand in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Three life-science companies plan to expand in Palm Beach County, Fla., according to the county’s Business Development Board.

The companies are TMS Health, a healthcare communications company; BioCatalyst, which specializes in assisting biotechnology startups in bringing their products to market; and Strox Biopharmaceuticals, which is developing products for treating and preventing Staphylococcus infections.

The moves are expected to add $4.85 million to the local treasury and create 261 jobs, according to the board.

West Pharmaceutical Services Opens Manufacturing Plant in China

West Pharmaceutical Services has opened a manufacturing facility in China, according to local media.

The company, which is based in Lionville, Pa., develops drug-delivery technologies. Its China facility will be located in the Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone. It covers 129,000 square feet and employs 52 people.

West next plans to build a plant on land adjacent to the new facility that will manufacture vials and prefilled syringes, according to Ron van Dijk, president of West’s Asia Pacific division.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.