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BioRegion Real Estate: Apr 6, 2009


Shire to Shut Owings Mills, Md., Plant, Idling 260; Shifting Work to CRO in NC

Shire confirmed last week it will shut its Owings Mills plant in phases over three years, laying off the plant's 260 workers, and shift the manufacturing of drugs produced there to a contract research manufacturer in North Carolina.

Shire told employees April 1 that it would begin the 36-month process of shutting the Owings Mills plant, in which the company will phase out manufacturing one drug at a time. Those products include: Adderall XR and Vyvanse, which are both used to treat ADHD; Carbatrol, which is used to treat epilepsy; and Pentasa, which is used to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

"Our strategy at Shire, in short, does not include in-house manufacturing," Shire spokesman Matt Cabrey told the Baltimore Sun. Cabrey said the decision "is in no way related to the economic downturn in the US or the global economy. It is strictly related to the strategy that Shire has in place for ... growth."

Shire purchased the 100,000-square-foot plant and warehouse, on Gundry Lane, in 2002 from Atlantic Pharmaceutical Services, a contract manufacturer that had been making some of Shire's products. Shire invested about $65 million in buying the facility, purchasing additional land, and building a new pharmaceutical technology center, which opened in 2006, to do small-batch testing.

The company will continue to produce enzyme replacement therapies for rare genetic diseases from a manufacturing site in Massachusetts.

Cabrey told the Sun that Shire tried to sell the Owings Mills facility but could not find a buyer. He said the company plans to market the space to pharmaceutical companies, and will work with the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development to find prospects.

"It will be a priority of the department to try to retain this facility as an operating pharmaceutical" plant, David Iannucci, executive director of economic development, told the newspaper.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Raises $256M in Follow-On Offering; Cites Solid 1Q'09

Alexandria Real Estate Equities announced last week that it completed a follow-on offering that raised net proceeds of about $256 million. The company said in a statement it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to reduce its debt.

The publicly traded real estate investment trust also said in the statement that its leasing activity remained solid in the first quarter of 2009 with new leases signed in Massachusetts, Maryland, and San Francisco, as well as Alexandria's other cluster markets.

Takeda Moves Global Development HQ from Osaka, Japan to Deerfield, Ill.

Takeda Pharmaceutical announced it would move its global development headquarters to Deerfield, Ill., a move it anticipated completing by July 1. Until now, Takeda, Japan's largest drug manufacturer, has based its development effort in Osaka, Japan, and maintained regional hubs in Japan, the US, Europe, and a recently established Asian subsidiary.

Takeda said the shift was part of its mid-term plan of stepping up activity and introducing new products ahead of the 2011 patent expiration of its hit diabetes drug Actos. The Japanese drug maker stands to lose substantial revenue after Actos expires and has been working to develop new drugs to fill the expected revenue gap.

Wareham Development Breaking Ground on Three East Bay Projects totaling 380,000 Sq. Ft.

Wareham Development will launch at least one new big office and research complex in the San Francisco Bay area's East Bay region this year — even if the project has to be built on a speculative basis, without a signed tenant, the Oakland Tribune reported.

Wareham, which is based in San Rafael, Calif., is planning to build:

• A 200,000-square-foot project near the Amtrak train station in Emeryville, Calif.
• A 95,000-square-foot building near 7th and Potter streets in Berkeley, Calif.
• An 85,000-square-foot complex near Hollis and Powell streets in Emeryville

"We have to grow our laboratory space in the market by a quarter-million square feet every two to three years," Richard Robbins, Wareham's principal executive and founder, told the Tribune. "Otherwise we will lose our ability to keep our part of the life sciences sector strong."

Wareham succeeded with a spec project two years ago, when it developed the 245,000-square-foot EmeryStation East building in Emeryville. Amyris Biotechnologies and Novartis later signed leases for space there. Weeks later, the Joint BioEnergy Institute, or JBEI, agreed to move its headquarters to the project. The developer also accommodated significant expansions by Bionovo and Origin Therapeutics. EmeryStation East is 90 percent leased, Robbins told the newspaper.

Path Commits in Writing to Future 111,000 Sq. Ft. Lease at Seattle's 2201 Westlake Project

Health research organization Path said last week that it had signed a letter expressing its intent to relocate and expand its current 75,000-square-foot, 300-person headquarters in the Ballard section of Seattle to three floors totaling 111,000 square feet in Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's new 2201 Westlake development, in the South Lake Union section of downtown Seattle.

Earlier this year Microsoft signed a letter of intent to take the entire roughly 300,000-square-foot, 12-story office building, but did not follow through on that commitment by signing a lease.

Path said it is tentatively planning to move into 2201 Westlake in January 2010.

Founded as the Program for the Introduction and Adaptation of Contraceptive Technology in 1977, Path began searching for space for a year after doubling its staff over the past decade, maxing out its available space. In addition, according to, the HRO wanted to locate to an energy-efficient "green" building; 2201 Westlake has been designed to qualify for the second-highest "Gold" certification of the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

Path said in a statement that the tentative agreement with Allen's development entity Vulcan provides "affordability in the short and long term, flexible space that can accommodate … growth, [and an] environmentally friendly building with easy access to green transportation options."

Path also noted that the location will put it closer to partners in the Washington Global Health Alliance and the region's leaders in research, health, and technology — including Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle Children's Research Institute, the University of Washington's biotechnology and medical research hub, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The office building at 2201 Westlake is part of a 450,000-square-foot mixed-use project over half a city block, set to open in May on Seattle's new streetcar line. The project includes a 19-story office and residential tower with 135 condominiums; 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space, and a six-level underground parking garage.

Sellen Construction is the contractor for 2201 Westlake, and Callison the architect. CB Richard Ellis' Roy Mann and Tom Pehl represented PATH as advisors/consultants, while CBRE's Ray Attisha served as an advisor to Allen's Vulcan.

Fall River (Mass.) Executive Park Wins $17M in State Grants; First Tenant Will Be UMass Bioprocessing Facility

Massachusetts will award a total $17 million in state grants toward the development of Fall River Executive Park, whose first anchor tenant will be a University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth bio-processing facility.

The funding consists of a $15 million grant through the Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion job program for design and construction of the bio-processing pilot facility, as well as a $2 million grant from the state Growth Districts program being awarded to Fall River to expand Riggenbach Road and build an access road to the executive park.

The facility will be designed assist life sciences companies in testing their biomanufacturing processes at production scale, training current and future workers, and locating outside of the Boston/Cambridge region. The core facility will include construction of two large-scale suites, a purification suite, a quality control lab, an education classroom and teaching laboratory, a small research incubator laboratory, and basic office capabilities. The idea was initially developed with seed funding provided by President Jack Wilson from the UMass Science and Technology Fund.

The executive park, also called the SouthCoast BioPark, will rise on 300 acres off the planned Route 24 interchange, a $60 million project that will include a ramp between exits 8 and 9.

"This exciting project builds on our investment in the life sciences supercluster and creates long-term regional prosperity in an environmentally responsible manner," said Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts' secretary of housing and economic development, in a statement.

To develop the project, the city of Fall River will receive 300 acres of state land for the executive park for $2.45 million. In return, the commonwealth will receive conservation restrictions on 4,200 acres of city-owned property within the 14,000-acre Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, intended to permanently preserve a habitat deemed by the state as environmentally sensitive. Created in 2001, the bioreserve is managed by the city, the nonprofit group Trustees of Reservations, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the state Department of Fish and Game's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Mexico's Silicon Border Sci-Tech Park Completes First Phase of Infrastructure Development.

Silicon Border, the $150 million, 10,000-acre science and technology park planned for Mexicali, within Mexico's Baja California region, has completed infrastructure designed to support the 500-acre first phase of its manufacturing development, targeted for alternative-energy "green" technology companies.

As a result, phase one "is ready for current and future tenants to begin construction of their manufacturing facilities," developer Silicon Border Development and contractor Grupo Maiz said in a statement.

The infrastructure, financed by ING Clarion, consisted of potable water plant and distribution, fiber optic telephone and data cable, power substations, and waste treatment facilities. The water treatment plant has been designed to recycle up to 90 percent of the water used within the park. The remainder will be set aside for irrigation and other uses within the park.

By 2011, the developers anticipate completing construction of additional infrastructure to support the 900-acre phase two of Silicon Borders. Work will include installation of redundant sources of power and water for all park tenants.

Silicon Border said its project is the world's first science park to make exclusive use of LED lighting for all of its roadways and parking lots. Silicon Border conforms to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design energy-efficiency standards developed by the US Green Building Council.

Component Maker Sapphire Engineering Eyes End-of-Year Move to $9M Middleboro, Mass., Plant

Sapphire Engineering, a manufacturer of precision components used by biotechnology companies as well as telecom and semiconductor businesses, will move by year's end into a $9 million, 80,000-square-foot office and manufacturing building now under construction within Campanelli Business Park in Middleboro, Mass.

Contractors hired by business park owner Campanelli Cos. of Braintree, Mass. began construction after Sapphire's parent company Idex of Northbrook, Ill., signed a 10-year lease for the build-to-suit building. Idex was represented in lease talks by CB Richard Ellis partners Steven Clancy and Christopher Tosti.

Sapphire will consolidate its Bourne and Hopedale operations at the Middleboro facility, which is set to be completed in December and employ 170 people. About two-thirds of the building will be used for manufacturing, with office space occupying most of the remainder.

Campanelli announced in a statement that it broke ground on the building in March after receiving final permits the previous month. Middleboro officials last year granted a tax-increment-financing agreement as an incentive for Sapphire to select the town over neighboring Taunton, Mass. Sapphire will pay $1.3 million in property taxes over the course of the 20-year tax agreement.

"This is a very good company that's very solid and the type of business we want in town," Anna Nalevanko, Middleboro's director of economic and community development, told the Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Mass.

Idex solicited proposals from several industrial park owners in Southeastern Massachusetts before signing with Campanelli, the newspaper reported. Sapphire will be the 12th business and ninth building in the 220-acre Campanelli Business Park, and has rights to expand within the business park by an additional 25 percent.

UC Davis' MIND Institute Maps Out $40M Expansion of Sacramento Complex

The University of California, Davis' Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, or MIND, Institute has made preliminary plans to add a three-story, 30,000-square-foot building on its 11-acre site, within the UC Davis Medical Center's Sacramento campus, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

MIND now occupies a 100,000-square-foot complex that opened in July 2003 and is at capacity. The institute has grown with recognition of the neurodevelopmental disorders it studies – especially the spectrum of child development disorders that comprises autism.

The cost of the expansion is almost $40 million. MIND supporters have raised $500,000 toward the $27 million they need for construction costs and an endowment fund to cover operations, the newspaper reported.

Doe & Ingalls of North Carolina Celebrates Grand Opening of Riverside, Calif., Facility

Durham-based Doe & Ingalls of North Carolina, an East Coast provider of chemical services, has opened its newest chemical services center in Riverside, Calif., with the goal of supplying West Coast customers, in part by offering next-day delivery in California. The company began shipping orders from the new location on April 1.

Customized to serve biotech and microelectronic customers, the 43,000-square-foot facility has more than 1,500 pallet locations and 39,000 square feet of H3/H4 hazmat storage.

Doe & Ingalls said its Riverside chemical services center was designed to meet regulations for secure handling and storage of hazardous materials; meet the standards for raw material control and compliance that apply to biotechnology and microelectronics customers and suppliers, and deliver a variety of supply chain services ranging from distribution and logistics, to custom inventory management programs, and on-site sampling.

The facility employs GMP storage and handling guidelines, and features redundant power systems, coated flooring, temperature-control and humidity monitoring. The facility has space for chemical management and logistics, as well as reserved areas for future onsite sampling and cold storage, based on customer demand.

Covaris Extends Lease, Expands to 14K+ Sq. Ft. at Woburn, Mass., Life-Sci Cluster

Life science instrument company Covaris has extended its lease with Cummings Properties for space at 14 Gill St., within its Gill Street Life Sciences Cluster, and expanded its space there by 50 percent to more than 14,000 square feet.

Privately held Covaris, established in 1999, makes instrumentation for biological and chemical applications used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide.

Tony Spencer, Cummings Properties' leasing/property manager, represented Covaris in the lease expansion and extension; the instrument company was represented by in-house professionals. In a statement, he said Covaris looked elsewhere, but stayed where it was because of its below-market lease rates, a guarantee of expansion space, and proximity to amenities and other life science firms.

"Woburn continues to be an invaluable location for our company as it is both near our key suppliers and is readily accessible to one of our major customer market segments, namely the pharmaceutical and biotechnology community of the greater metropolitan Boston area," Covaris President James Laugharn said in a statement.

Located 11 miles northeast of Boston, Gill Street Life Sciences Cluster is home to more than two dozen established and start-up life-sci firms.

With $250K from Maryland, Life Technologies Eyes Adding 50 Workers to Frederick R&D Center, Stem Cell Office

Life Technologies plans to add 50 workers to its workforce of 250 employees at the Frederick, Md., facility that houses its R&D center and stem cell marketing department, in return for a $250,000 grant from the state of Maryland. The grant is part of the $1.3 billion Maryland plans to spend on life sciences initiatives under Gov. Martin O'Malley's 10-year BIO 2020 program, which the state has projected will generate a total $6.3 billion in private and federal investments by 2020.

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson announced the state grant last week at the facility, 7305 Executive Way, where he and Life Technologies CEO Greg Lucier toured the $900,000, 6,600-square-foot space.

Uplaksh Kumar, Life Technologies' director of Frederick operations, told the News-Post of Frederick that the region's educated and experience workers were key to the company maintaining R&D, manufacturing, information technology, and distribution jobs in Maryland's second-largest city.

Headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., Life Technologies was formed last November after Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems completed a merger. The company's biggest customer is the National Institutes of Health.

BioMed Realty's Center for Life Science | Boston Achieves LEED Gold Certification

BioMed Realty Trust's Center for Life Science | Boston has achieved Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental design, or LEED, certification for the 700,000-square-foot lab building's core and shell from the US Green Building Council. The designation is based on the center's attaining standards for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Located in Boston's pricey Longwood Medical Area, the Center for Life Sciences is 91 percent leased to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Immune Disease Institute, and Japanese-owned Kowa Company.

BioMed has previously attained LEED certification for:

• 500 Kendall Street in Cambridge, Mass. achieved the highest-available Platinum LEED certification. The building is entirely leased to Genzyme.

• The 84,000 square foot built-to-suit laboratory and office facility at 9865 Towne Centre Drive in San Diego, which was completed in July, 2008 and received Silver LEED certification. The property is entirely leased to Illumina.

• 650 East Kendall Street in Cambridge, a 280,000-square-foot joint development of BioMed and Prudential Real Estate Investors set to be completed later this year. The project has received LEED Gold pre-certification.

BioMed said it is also in the process of obtaining LEED certification for its 302,919-square-foot 675 West Kendall Street building in Cambridge, which is 100 percent leased to Vertex Pharmaceuticals. BioMed is seeking a Gold LEED certification.

Shasun Chemicals Shuts Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plant in Scotland

Indian-owned Shasun Chemicals shut down its Shasun Pharma Solutions pharmaceutical manufacturing plant near Annan, Scotland, last week, almost six months after saying that the facility was "underused" and could not be sustained, according to

The plant's 86 employees lost their jobs following the shutdown of the plant in Newbie. The facility offered custom development and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers, and was one of two facilities operated by Shasun in the UK. The other facility, in Dudley, Northumberland, continues to provide pilot- to commercial-scale production of APIs and intermediates.

Shasun conducted research in India, and built up its capacity for development and manufacturing — at kilo laboratory and pilot plant scale — that could be conducted either in the UK or India. The company's UK operation suffered a setback last year, when Shasun announced plans to invest in a process development facility in Piscataway, NJ, following operational problems at the Annan facility that impacted Shasun's 2007 financial results.

A team of 30 staff will stay on at Newbie until June to dismantle the facility. Shasun Pharma Solutions President Kevin Cook has said the company is speaking to a potential buyer interested in maintaining pharmaceutical manufacturing at the plant.