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Illumina, BioMed Realty Trust, SensiGen, Hatfield Legal Group, Harnett County Biotechnology Campus

BioMed Realty Trust Breaks Ground on New HQ for Illumina in San Diego
Illumina and BioMed Realty Trust broke ground May 18 on a new corporate headquarters in San Diego, representing an expansion of the company’s space at the Towne Centre Drive campus.
Illumina will lease all of the new 83,866-square-foot building, which will include office, industrial, and R&D facilities for the growing personalized medicine product developer, as well as retain its existing 109,270-square-foot lab-office space — giving the company a total of 193,136 square feet in San Diego’s University Towne Centre submarket.
In addition to signing a lease on its new build-to-suit space, Illumina signed a 15-year lease extension on its existing building. The combined value of both transactions was $97 million.
BioMed expects to complete construction in the third quarter of 2008.
“The commitment that Illumina has made here is a testament to the health and vitality of the life science industry in our community,” San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said in a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony. “All of the work that Illumina will be doing here is a critical part of what makes our community so strong.”
Illumina employs 525 people in its current San Diego headquarters and about 800 people companywide. The new HQ will allow Illumina to create more than 1,200 new jobs, said Jay Flatley, Illumina’s president and CEO, in a written statement announcing the groundbreaking.
Last year the company’s revenues jumped by more than 150 percent, to about $185 million.
At the close of the groundbreaking, BioMed and its leasing agent CB Richard Ellis presented the Burnham Institute for Medical Research with a check for $5,000 to help advance cancer research. Doug Lozier of CB Richard Ellis handled lease negotiations for BioMed.
Illumina’s new headquarters was designed by the architectural firm of Ferguson Pape Baldwin of San Diego, and is being constructed by Reno Contracting of San Diego.

SensiGen Receives Investment from Ann Arbor SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK, a nonprofit economic development organization, has approved a $250,000 pre-seed investment in SensiGen, a biotechnology company focused on developing proprietary gene-based molecular diagnostics.
The money, from Michigan’s Pre-Seed Capital Fund, is intended to help SensiGen establish a new research laboratory in Ann Arbor and to accelerate development of the company’s AttoSense molecular diagnostic technology.
SensiGen’s technology was developed by David Kurnit at the University of Michigan. Since its founding in 2002, SensiGen has raised more than $3.25 million in pre-seed investment from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and numerous angel investors in addition to Ann Arbor SPARK.
Founded in 2002, SensiGen develops advanced technologies toward early detection of diseases. The company’s current products in development include advanced tests for early detection of human papillomavirus, the primary cause of cervical cancer, chronic kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, and lupus.

Couple Opens New Law Firm to Serve Connecticut and New England
Thomas Hatfield and Anne Hatfield have opened Hatfield Legal Group, a new law firm in Mystic, Conn., intended to serve clients in biotech and other industries throughout Connecticut and New England.
Thomas Hatfield is a licensed attorney in California and Connecticut; a registered patent attorney with the US Patent and Trademark Office; and a former Connecticut state trooper. He earned a JD from Pepperdine University, a BS in Microbiology from Texas A&M and an AS In Marine Science from Mitchell College. Thomas has also completed graduate level course work in the areas of pathobiology and oceanography.
He previously worked for several years at Pfizer in the area of liquid dosage formulations for both humans and animals. Additionally, he has completed legal studies in the area of international contracts, international biotechnology law, international environmental law and European Union law at Universtat de Barcelona and Oxford University.
Anne Hatfield, the elected First Selectman of Griswold, Conn., is a licensed attorney in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She earned an LLM in Taxation from Georgetown Law Center, a JD, cum laude, from Oklahoma City University, a BA in Geography from University of Kentucky and an AA in Liberal Arts from Mitchell College. Anne’s areas of focus are real estate; wills & estate planning; environmental; municipal law; employment law and torts.
She has worked on various public policy issues in the office of former Speaker of the US House of Representative J. Dennis Hastert’s office of public policy. In addition, Anne has held numerous municipal elected offices, including offices in charge of town government management.

Hartnett County, NC, Hires Marketing Firm to Promote New Biotech Campus
Kelly MarCom, an integrated marketing communications firm based in Sanford, NC, has been hired to provide market planning and brand development for the Harnett County Biotechnology Campus in Lillington, NC. The firm is leading efforts to name the new campus and develop a logo and brand for the project, as well as future public relations initiatives.
The campus is planned for US Route 401, on 130 acres purchased from members of the Salmon family for $5.7 million last July by Harnett Forward Together Committee, a nonprofit public-private group that promotes economic development in the county. Campus plans include a new 50-bed Lillington Hospital, intended to serve the county. The committee has established partnerships with Campbell University, which operates a pharmacy school. and Central Carolina Community College.
Harnett County officials are promoting the campus by citing the area’s lower cost of doing business compared with other parts of the state, its highly educated workforce, and proximity to Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park, both an hour’s drive north.
Established in 1996, Kelly MarCom specializes in consulting, marketing communications, public relations, event marketing, multi-media, web development and hosting. The firm maintains an additional office in Charlotte.

The Scan

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.