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Indiana Enterprise Center, MDS Pharma Services, One North Carolina Research Fund, Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, Emisphere Technologies, Pennsylvania Strategic Development Areas, Amgen, Bilcare Global Clinical Supplies

Life Science Company PPM Relocates to Indiana Enterprise Center in Bloomington
Predictive Physiology and Medicine of Bloomington, Ind., has relocated to First Capital Group's Indiana Enterprise Center. The new laboratory occupied by PPM in the McDoel Building currently is the only wet-lab space for lease in Bloomington, but First Capital plans to build out additional lab space within the IEC in the near future.
IEC is located in a Community Revitalization and Enhancement District in Bloomington, which supports redevelopment efforts of the area formerly occupied by Thomson Consumer Electronics. IEC is operated by First Capital Group, an investment accelerator specializing in real estate and new business ventures, with a portfolio of more than $150 million in assets and over one million square feet of real estate.
PPM is an early-stage life science company focused on personalized medicine that was created at Indiana University.

Contract Research Organization MDS Pharma Expands Central Lab Operations in China
MDS Pharma Services, a King of Prussia, Pa., contract research organization, has announced its move to a new, larger facility in Beijing to meet growing demand from pharmaceutical and biotech companies conducting clinical trials in China.
With almost 25,000 square feet, the new laboratory offers a five-fold increase in testing capacity, four times the space to produce clinical trial kits, and a wider range of specialized clinical trial testing services. The new facility's proximity to the Beijing airport also facilitates faster transportation of clinical trial samples.
The new central lab specializes in molecular biology testing for infectious diseases, DNA banking, and pharmacogenomics. It also offers enhanced molecular biology techniques, a microbiology lab and flow cytometry capabilities. MDS Pharma Services continues to offer project and data management from this new facility. from this new facility.
MDS Pharma Services has managed more than 30,000 patients in clinical trials in the more than 10 years since becoming the first western CRO to own its facility in China and the first clinical lab in China to receive accreditation from the College of American Pathologists.

West Pharmaceutical Services Expands Facility and Donates Land in Kinston, NC
West Pharmaceutical Services, a manufacturer of components for injectable drug delivery, has joined the office of North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley in announcing an $18.7 million, three-year expansion of the company’s manufacturing facility in Kinston, NC.
The expansion will add 37,000 square feet to the existing 134,000-square-foot facility that will house a new process room, new space for the Westar product line, a laboratory and water-for-injection room, and 23 new pieces of machinery. West projects the expansion will create 154 new jobs.
The company also announced the donation of 29 acres near its facility to the North Carolina Global TransPark Authority.
The expansion in Lenoir County was made possible in part by a $300,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects expected to stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state.
The expansion was announced nearly four years after the plant was rebuilt following a Jan. 29, 2003, explosion that killed six workers and injured more than 40. Investigators later said the fire was caused by combustible dust that ignited inside the plant. The state Department of Labor fined West Pharmaceuticals $400,000 after the explosion, citing deficiencies in the plant design, two electrical systems, and employee training.

Emisphere Technologies Shifts Headquarters from Tarrytown, NY, to Cedar Knolls, NJ
Biopharmaceutical drug-delivery company Emisphere Technologies announced Oct. 31 it will move its corporate headquarters to Cedar Knolls, NJ, from Tarrytown, NY, but will retain its scientific staff and laboratory facilities in Tarrytown, where it leases 87,000 square feet at The Landmark at Eastview owned by BioMed Realty Trust.
Emisphere said it will begin its move into 240 Cedar Knolls Road this month, and will complete its relocation by the first quarter of 2008. The move is one of several real estate initiatives that the company said will yield a cumulative $1 million in long-term savings. Another will be subleasing 6,800 square feet at Landmark that Emisphere no longer needs there.
“This move allows us to better serve all of our customers and enhance collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies,” said Michael V. Novinski, President and CEO, in a press release announcing the move.
The move followed a pair of top managerial changes earlier this year. Novinski left his post as CEO of Organon USA in Roseland, NJ, to lead Emisphere in May, after the company’s board dismissed Michael Goldberg. Three months later Emisphere named a new CFO, Michael Garone, previously the CFO and interim chief executive of Astralis in Fairfield, NJ.
Company spokesman Bob Madison told the Journal News of White Plains, NY, Emisphere will shift 25 to 30 top managers to Cedar Knolls, while keeping 70 to 75 researchers and other staff in Tarrytown.

Contract Research Organization Locates Mideast/India Headquarters at DuBiotech
Ergomed Group, a contract research organization headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, has agreed to locate its Middle East and India headquarters at the 300-hectare (741.3 acre) Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, also known as DuBiotech.
“We see this expansion as a strategic move, with the Middle East and India now emerging as truly attractive regions for biotechnology,” Ergomed CEO Miroslav Reljanovic said in an Oct. 30 press release.
Ergomed specializes in oncology, neurology and immunology; and also offers consultancy and co-development approaches to biopharmaceutical drug development. The company is the first contract research organization to establish a base at DuBiotech.

Amgen Plans Warehouse-Distribution Center in Upper Macungie, Pa., Development Area
Amgen plans to build a warehouse and distribution center in Upper Macungie township, Pa., taking advantage of a tax incentive created specifically to lure it to the Lehigh Valley, the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., reported on Nov. 2.
Amgen would expand into one of four Strategic Development Areas signed into law last year by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell. A news release issued at the time mentioned Amgen as well as Westinghouse Electric as potential beneficiaries.
SDAs allow companies to receive incentives for bringing at least $45 million in facilities and jobs to undeveloped properties. The areas also require companies to create at least 500 jobs, but that rule will be waived for Amgen, which only plans 40 new jobs, according to the Morning Call.
The company has agreed to make payments in lieu of local taxes to Lehigh County, Parkland school district, and the township of Upper Macungie.
Amgen would develop 26 acres at the Mill Run Corporate Center on Tilghman Street for the warehouse-distribution facility, which would serve the mid-Atlantic region, company spokeswoman Anne McNickle told the newspaper.

Bilcare Completes Phase I in Expansion and Modernization Program
Bilcare Global Clinical Supplies has announced the completion and opening of five new primary packaging rooms at its Phoenixville, Pa., facility — the first step in the company’s expansion and modernization program.
Later during the fourth quarter, Bilcare will complete the next phase of upgrades with the release of five additional primary rooms, bringing Bilcare to a total of ten primary and sixteen secondary packaging rooms within its 153,000 square-foot US operation.

The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.