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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Shannon Development, Industrial Development Agency Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, RainDance Technologies, Georgia Medical Center Authority, Cancer Research Technology Ltd., Cancer Research UK, Ingrepro, Technology Park Malay

Alexandria Plans $1B, 1.6M-Square-Foot Lab Campus for Cambridge, Mass.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities will spend the next decade developing a $1 billion, 1.6 million-square-foot life sciences campus in Cambridge, Mass., the Boston Globe reported.
The publicly traded real estate investment trust would build six buildings scattered over several properties it already owns between Kendall Square and the CambridgeSide Galleria mall. The parcels are now occupied by parking lots and one-story industrial buildings.
No tenants have been signed.
Alexandria hopes to capitalize on the tight market for lab space reflected in high asking rents due to rising demand by biotechs and limited supply. Intent on containing space costs, five companies — Shire Human Genetic Therapies, Altus Pharmaceuticals, ImmunoGen, WMR BioMedical, Magen Biosciences, and Microbia PE — have confirmed plans over the past year to shift at least some operations from Cambridge to suburban communities.
Tom Andrews, regional market director for Alexandria, told the Globe his company expects to spend a year pursuing zoning changes and permits from the city of Cambridge, then two years constructing the first two buildings, set for completion in 2010.

Economic Development Agencies Promote New Technology Park in Roscrea, Ireland
Irish officials last week celebrated the opening of the €3 million [$4.7 million] Roscrea Business and Technology Park, a 26-acre tech campus situated at Benamore, a town about 75 miles southwest of Dublin.
The park has the potential to create 1,000 new jobs, said Máire Hoctor, Ireland’s minister of state at the Department of Health and Children, in remarks to attendees, adding: “This new business park, combined with Birr Technology Centre, Tipperary Technology Park in Thurles, and the other network of business parks already established by Shannon Development, is tangible evidence of the [agency’s] commitment to drive economic growth in Roscrea and the whole North Tipperary and Offaly area.”
Shannon Development – the regional economic development agency that acquired land for the project, then developed it – has produced a new brochure for the tech park, which it will market with Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency and national economic development agency, Enterprise Ireland.

Disease Research Company Relocating from Connecticut to Lexington, Mass.
RainDance Technologies, a provider of human health and disease research solutions based on microdroplets, was set to open May 27 a new headquarters facility in Lexington, Mass., with space for startup commercial and manufacturing operations. RainDance has relocated its HQ and facilities from Guilford, Conn., to a site twice the size, namely the 28,000-square-foot 44 Hartwell Ave.
The building will house the firm’s executive and administrative offices, research and development group, sales and marketing team, and manufacturing operations. In addition, the company plans to purchase more than $500,000 in scientific and office equipment.
Chris McNary, RainDance’s president and CEO, said in a statement it was important for his company to be located in a top-tier biotech cluster given the scheduled launch during the fourth quarter of the company’s first life sciences application. The application will enable the high-resolution analysis of genetic variation between individuals and populations at a level RainDance says is unmatched by current methodology.
“As we enter the commercial phase of product development and begin manufacturing operations, a larger facility and access to the exceptional life sciences talent pool and customer base of the greater Boston/Cambridge area will be essential,” McNary said.
McNary said in the statement RainDance will employ about 65 people at the Lexington facility by year’s end: “During the coming months, we will be hiring about 30 people, including biologists and chemists, mechanical engineers and technicians, software programmers, customer service representatives, and administrative support.”

Georgia Med Center Authority Marks Opening of Life Science Business Incubator
The Georgia Medical Center Authority on May 21 held a formal grand opening for its 17,000-square-foot Augusta BioBusiness Center, a life sciences business incubator that has been open at 973 Broad St. for nearly a year.
The incubator cost $900,000, reflecting the combined investment of the medical center authority and incubator’s tenants. They include pathology services provider ClariPath Laboratories, diagnostic kit maker Integrated Science Systems, and Reach Call, a telemedicine company focused on strokes.
"Every state in the union wants to play a role in biotechnology. They're investing a lot of money. There's only going to be a handful of places in the United States that are going to be real players in biotechnology. Georgia can be a player. It doesn't mean we're going to be, but it can be, if you look at our medical college [and] our incubators," Georgia Medical Center Authority Chairman Bill Brundage said, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The Augusta BioBusiness Center was conceived in 2005, with renovations starting two years later. The wet laboratory suite was completed first in April 2007, followed four months later by dry laboratories and offices to house the telemedicine, medical software, medical devices and bioinformatics type of companies. An additional wet lab/office suite was completed in February 2008 at a second building located at 958 Broad Street.

Cancer Research UK’s Tech Transfer Division to Open Drug Discovery Lab in Cambridge, UK
The technology transfer division of Cancer Research UK, a specialist oncology development and commercialization unit of the United Kingdom’s largest funder of cancer research, said it will open a drug discovery laboratory in Cambridge, UK, in September.
The division, known as Cancer Research Technology Ltd., will measure success by its ability to land both corporate and academic licensing deals.
Cancer Research Technology is expected to invest around £15 million ($29.7 million) over the first five years of the project.
Cancer Research UK already has a Cambridge presence through the Cambridge Research Institute on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus at Addenbrooke's, where it is housed in the £50 million ($99 million) Li Ka Shing Centre.
At its new 10,000-square-foot facility, part of the old Millennium Pharmaceuticals facility on Coldhams Lane, Cancer Research UK will base 25 scientists in part of the space, using the remainder of its laboratory capacity for spin-out companies as well as collaborations with partners from industry and academia.

CRT has played a key role in establishing several oncology spin-outs based in the region, including Antisoma Research, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals and Phogen, as well as many others around the UK.

"The opening of CRT Cambridge forms part of our five-year expansion plan, which aims to locate CRT research staff close to or within major Cancer Research UK Institutes,” Keith Blundy, CEO of CRT, said in a statement.

Dutch Biotech Company Inks Algae Production Deals with Malaysia
Dutch biotechnology company Ingrepro said on May 21 it would spend more than €10 million ($15.8 million) to develop algae plantations for healthcare products, feed additives and development of the PowerFarm concept in Malaysia, the country’s Bernama national news agency reported.

The PowerFarm, to be set up at Technology Park Malaysia, will produce renewable biodiesel from algae and biogas. It will also produce algae for biomass using industrial and agricultural waste water, Ingrepro's director and CEO Carel Callenbach told the news agency.

Ingrepro signed a technology transfer and business collaboration agreement with Biomac to produce biofuel from algae, as well as a memorandum of understanding with Algaechem to produce algae for oxidants, beta-carotene and astaxanthin.

Callenback told Bernama his company will invest in Malaysia to take advantage of its favorable weather for algae production, interest by government officials in agro biotechnology, and what he called a “favorable” business infrastructure.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.