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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Covance, Eli Lilly, Germantown Village Board, Cambridge Major Laboratories, University Research Park at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Shelby County (Tenn.) Pre-Industrial Development Board

Alexandria Real Estate Equities: Lease Out for Approval at NYC Life-Sci Campus
Alexandria Real Estate Equities is awaiting approval from an undisclosed European-based tenant of lease terms for a full floor that would be the first signed agreement with a user of space at the East River Science Park under construction in New York City, the real estate investment trust’s chairman and CEO Joel Marcus told analysts last week.
Alexandria is also “intensely working on a negotiation on about a 110,000- to 125,000-square foot commercial user with a client of ours” in the New York market, Marcus said, during a conference call held to discuss Alexandria’s second-quarter results. Alexandria reported a 15.5 percent increase in funds from operations, a key measure of REITs, to $48.1 million from $41.6 million in the second quarter of 2007. Revenues rose by 17.3 percent year-to-year, from $95 million to $110.1 million.
During Q&A with analysts, Marcus said Alexandria remained in talks with a prospective partner willing to shoulder a minority stake in East River Science Park: “We have a number of discussions ongoing and I think our options are open and we'll continue to keep them open until we tie down some significant pre-leasing, which we hope we're on track for, and then we'll make a go-or-no-go decision about that.”
If such a deal is worked out, it would be a more even, but not completely 50-50, joint venture arrangement, Marcus added: “This isn't a typical REIT JV where we would put up 20 percent … and the JV partner would be 80 [percent]. This is more like a 55 [percent] on our side, and 45 [percent] on the capital partner's side.”

Eli Lilly Sells Greenfield, Ind., Campus for $50M; Hires Buyer Covance to Run Drug Development Operations in $1.6B Deal
Drug development service provider Covance last week said it reached an agreement to acquire Eli Lilly & Co.’s 450-acre early drug development campus in Greenfield, Ind., for $50 million. Covance will take over the facility — which includes 600,000 square feet of lab space — and its operations on or about Oct. 1, then provide 10 years of services to Lilly, retaining 260 Lilly workers, in a deal valued at $1.6 billion.
Lilly said it pursued the deal, announced Aug. 6, in order to cut costs by transforming its R&D model for new drugs. Covance has been in Indiana for more than 20 years, with a global central laboratory facility in Indianapolis, and a Phase I clinic in Evansville, Ind. The company has more than 1,000 employees based in the Hoosier State.
“Covance will invest in this facility and maximize its capacity utilization by conducting substantial work with Lilly and bring in new work from other pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. We expect the Greenfield site to be a key contributor to the future growth and success of Covance,” said Joe Herring, Covance’s chairman and CEO, in a press release.
Under the agreement, Lilly will transfer responsibility to Covance for its non-GLP toxicology, in vivo pharmacology, quality control laboratory, and imaging services. In addition, the contract includes a committed level of clinical pharmacology, central laboratory, GLP toxicology studies, and clinical phase II-IV services.
Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, Covance has operations in more than 20 countries, and more than 9,000 employees worldwide.
Covance plans to make its labs available to other academic and commercial users for a fee — a development some expect will make Indiana more attractive to out-of-state life sciences employers. "If you're XYZ Biotech Company in San Diego, and you really want some formulation or absorption done on a molecule, coming to Lilly wasn't an option unless you had a strategic partnership with them," David Johnson, president and chief executive of the state’s life-sci industry group BioCrossroads, told the Indianapolis Star.
Duane Roth, chief executive of CONNECT, agreed with Johnson, telling the newspaper: "This is transformational, a real moment for Indiana and the industry."
The takeover does not remove Lilly from Greenfield or Hancock County, Ind. The Indianapolis-based pharma giant is finalizing plans to construct a new site for the world headquarters of Elanco, its Greenfield-based animal health division. Lilly will construct a building of about 125,000 square feet at one of two sites under consideration in the county. That facility will be completed in late 2009 or early 2010.

"We have not finalized plans for the building or the site yet,'' Lilly spokeswoman Joan Todd told the Greenfield Daily Reporter. "We're hoping in the next few months to have the details ironed out.''

Elanco, a developer of animal health products, has been headquartered in Greenfield since 2003, though its R&D teams have been based there since 1954. Elanco employs about 360 employees, and will remain a division of Lilly.

Lilly also said last week it would transfer to other companies two additional operations: Its clinical trial monitoring work in the US and Puerto Rico to Quintiles, the world's largest pharmaceutical services company; as well as most of its US data management to i3, a global clinical research organization. A total of 200 more employees can apply for positions with Quintiles and i3, Todd told the newspaper, adding that another 136 jobs will be available at Lilly as a result of the reorganizations.


Wisconsin’s Germantown Approves $376K Sale of Land to Cambridge Major Laboratories
The Village Board of Germantown, Wis., has approved the sale of 5.38 acres in the village's Business Park east of the Cambridge Major Laboratories facility to the company, which has told officials it would use the land toward a possible future expansion.
Village President Tom Kempinski told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Germantown and Cambridge agreed to a price of $69,900 per acre — bringing the sale price to just over $376,000.

Cambridge Major Labs is a supplier of chemical ingredients to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. In June, the company broke ground in June on a $30 million, 120,000-square-foot manufacturing plant next to its headquarters. The expansion, projected to generate 45 jobs, is expected to be completed in August 2009 [BRN, June 9,

May 19].

University Research Park Announces Incubator for Downtown Madison, Wis., With Medical Devices in Mind
The University Research Park at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop in downtown Madison a 6,000-square-foot “urban research park” to be focused on medical devices and other high-tech startups.
Renovations to create the first 10 incubator suites and two conference rooms will begin later this summer at the urban research park, located in the former Marquip Building, 1245 East Washington Ave. The incubator will target startups in medical devices as well as information technology, engineering, and computer sciences.
The facility is set for completion in early 2009.
Marquip's proximity to student and faculty talent at UW-Madison, as well as its placement in an "edgy, young and vibrant" part of the city, should make Madison a more visible player for high-tech companies, Bugher said in a statement released by UW-Madison.

"In addition to being a place for incubation, this also represents an economic development statement by the university: We can help Madison and surrounding communities grow their economies in positive ways,” Bugher said.
The launching of the urban park follows two years of work, and is designed to address a top priority of UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley. It also helps solve one of the current park's limitations — the lack of open commercial space, as tenant demand has outpaced available space in the landlocked 260-acre west-side park.
Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said in a UW-Madison statement that the city welcomes the urban research park. It follows the city spending $80 million to rebuild and beautify East Washington Avenue, as well as generating a new funding source for future improvements, the Capitol Gateway tax incremental finance district.
Cieslewicz also said the downtown incubator could generate enough activity to revive the section of Madison bordered by East Washington and East Wilson, from Blair Street to the Yahara River: "It will no doubt build our local economy, strengthen the East Washington corridor and attract up-and-coming technology entrepreneurs to the area. This could be the spark for the East Rail Corridor redevelopment that we have been looking for."

Biotech Firm Targeted Growth Plans $8M Tennessee Hub for Product Development, Global Expansion
Targeted Growth, an agricultural biotechnology company headquartered in Seattle, won a recommendation from the Shelby County (Tenn.) Pre-Industrial Development Board in favor of its $8 million plan to build a product development and global expansion hub at Agricenter International, the urban farm and research test facility, the Memphis Business Journal reported.
The Seattle, Wash.-based research company plans to construct a 41,000-square-foot glasshouse facility at Shelby Farms, for use in the development and production of new varieties of agronomic crops, including corn, soybeans, camelina and canola. TGI will also build a 15,000-square-foot building that will house three laboratories, and office space.
TGI was recommended for a six-year tax savings deal worth $599,197 by the board, which advises the full Memphis and Shelby County Industrial Development Corp., and the Shelby County Commission.
In return for its benefits, TGI told officials it would ramp up to full staffing in two years, and that its 40 staffers would be paid a median income of $47,250.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.