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The Beacon Council, BD Biosciences, Kansas Bioscience Authority, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Uganda Investment Authority, Lake Victoria Information/Communication Technology and Biotechnology Limited, VisEn Medical, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Jones Lan

BD Biosciences Plans $20M+ New Manufacturing Facility in Florida’s Miami-Dade County
Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company headquartered in Franklin Lakes, NJ, plans to open a new BD Biosciences manufacturing facility in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.
According to the Beacon Council — the county’s nonprofit, public-private economic development agency, which announced the new facility on May 28 — BD will invest more than $20 million in renovating 90,000 square feet at the former IVAX Pharmaceuticals building in North Miami, which will produce cell culture media supplements that are used in the production of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. The new facility is expected to create 75 high-paying jobs over the next eight years.
In a press release announcing the project, the Beacon Council said it had sought to draw BD to the site since 2006. The council said the availability of an existing building with a manufacturing infrastructure, as well as economic incentives, were factors in BD’s  decision to locate the facility in Miami-Dade County.
The council’s assistance package included business contacts and referrals, research, incentives and permitting assistance. BD qualified for state and local incentives totaling more than $1.4 million, including a Florida Qualified Target Industry tax refund and a Miami-Dade County Targeted Jobs Incentive Fund incentive — all subject to meeting investment and job-creation goals over the next eight years.
Tom Isett, BD Biosciences’ vice president for advanced bioprocessing, cited in a statement growing global demand for the company’s cell culture media supplements used in the production of biological medicines as a factor behind the move to Miami-Dade, as well as "its spirit of public-private partnership, skilled workforce and infrastructure.”

Thermo Fisher Marks Expansion of Lenexa, Kans., Facilities; Set to Add 90-180 Jobs
Thermo Fisher Scientific last week celebrated the completion of a 30,000-square-feet expansion of its Lenexa, Kans., facility at 12230 Santa Fe Drive.
The Kansas facilities, which include four buildings in Lenexa, manufacture the Remel brand of products sold by Thermo Fisher. Those products include microbiology lab products and diagnostics that are sold into the clinical, industrial, and research markets.
The Kansas Bioscience Authority, a state-run initiative aimed at attracting and retaining bioscience research in Kansas, awarded $1.25 million to Thermo Fisher in September 2007 to help pay for the facility expansion. According to the KBA, the Remel business intends to add between 90 and 180 employees through 2012 to its Lenexa operations, where more than 500 people are now employed.
KBA was created by the Kansas Legislature in 2004 to reinvest roughly $580 million in tax revenue from the state's bioscience industry in the next 10 to 12 years, toward an expansion of that industry within Kansas.
Thermo Fisher spokeswoman Kelly Fowler told the Kansas City Business Journal the renovation project made room for additional general office space, information technology operations, a state-of-the-art chemistry lab, facilities for evaluating raw materials and finished-product quality assurance, and manufacturing of a product called dehydrated culture media.
The expansion was reported by the Business Journal to cost $4 million, but a spokesperson could not confirm that figure when contacted by BRN sister news outlet GenomeWeb Daily News.

Joint Venture Seeks Approval for $200M Bio/IT Park in Jinja, Uganda
Lake Victoria Information/Communication Technology and Biotechnology Limited or LAVIT, a joint venture between India's United Telecoms Limited and Uganda's Jinja Institute of Technology, has applied with authorities for a license to build a $200 million biotech/IT park in Uganda.
According to the IDG News Service, which cited documents filed with the Uganda Investment Authority, LAVIT would build a biotechnology innovation center, a hardware and software innovation center, and a multinational engineering design center on a campus intended to revive the Ugandan town of Jinja. LAVIT hopes to develop Uganda's pool of telecom and IT workers, as well as bring IT and biotech jobs to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa or COMESA region.
The park will be given a special economic zone status and serve as one of the first projects of its kind in East and Central Africa, UIA official Sheila Karungi told IDG. A feasibility study, which commenced in January, is currently underway and will be completed before breaking ground on the park.
LAVIT hopes to capitalize on Uganda’s preferential access to the US, Canada, Japan, and the European Union. The agency said the center hopes to step up Uganda’s trade with the UK, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Mauritius, citing Uganda’s reduced tariffs.
According to its web site, UTL is a Bangalore-based ICT solutions company with wide experience in setting up telecom networks, e-governance networks and solutions in the transport sector. UTL boasts more than eight manufacturing facilities spread throughout Bangalore, which has grown into India’s IT hub.

Molecular Imaging Company More Than Doubles Its Space With Move to Bedford, Mass.
VisEn Medical, a molecular imaging company, will more than double its space when it moves in August to the 23,000 square feet for which it recently signed a lease at 45-47 Wiggins Ave. in Bedford, Mass. VisEn will relocate from the 11,000 square feet it now occupies at 12 Cabot Road in Woburn, Mass.
45-47 Wiggins Ave. is a 38,000-square-foot, single-story flex building that has been renovated by owner Alexandria Real Estate Equities into a biotech laboratory facility. Dan Cordeau of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Alexandria, while Joe Flaherty and Tucker Hansen of the commercial real estate brokerage Colliers Meredith and Grew represented VisEn Medical in the transaction, specifics of which were not disclosed.

“VisEn was attracted to 45-47 Wiggins Avenue by the opportunity to design and move into new state-of-the-art laboratory space in a building owned and operated by Alexandria,” Flaherty said in a Colliers Meredith and Grew press release trumpeting the lease deal.


Signature Genomic Laboratories Relocates HQ, Lab Within Spokane, Wash.
Signature Genomic Laboratories has relocated its headquarters and laboratory within Spokane, Wash., to a new building in the city’s north side. Signature moved June 2 into the new headquarters at 2820 N. Astor St., an 18,500-square-foot former Sears Roebuck and Company distribution center.
Designed by Matthew Collins at Spokane architectural firm Nystrom Olson Collins, the new headquarters features 9,000 square feet of wet lab space, compared to 5,000 square feet of wet lab space in its current location. Spokane-based Doric carried out remodeling work to remodel the building.
Lisa Shaffer, president and CEO of Signature, said in a press release that Signature needed more space since the company had doubled in size in the 18 months since it moved into its current home base, in the Sirti Technology Center at 120 N. Pine St. in downtown Spokane. The center is operated by Sirti, a state-funded economic development organization founded as the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute.
“With the increasing diagnostic use of our oligonucleotide microarray and our expanding Genoglyphix service, we anticipate even more growth in the next few years," Shaffer added.
Founded in 2003, Signature provides microarray-based chromosome analysis to clients that include clinical geneticists, neurologists, pediatricians, neonatologists, obstetricians, and the research community.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.