NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The Jackson Laboratory has opened a $10 million building at its headquarter campus in Bar Harbor, Maine, that will house a new importation and isolation facility, including a receiving center for mouse models from other research institutions.
The three-story, 22,500-square-foot research building will replace an existing facility that will be converted into additional R&D space. Nearly half the project cost, $4.7 million, came as a grant from the Maine Technology Asset Fund, a $50 million fund approved by state voters in 2007 and overseen by the non-profit Maine Technology Institute.
“This project was more about providing adequate space for the growing Reproductive Sciences area, and for creating new opportunities for commercialization, which is what made it especially attractive to the Maine Technology Institute,” Joyce Peterson, a spokeswoman for the Jackson Lab, told GenomeWeb Daily News.
“While mice and equipment are still being moved in, the new building is already up and running,” Peterson said. “The cryopreservation tanks have been installed and some mice are already in the importation area.”
One commercialization opportunity, she said, came after Jackson Lab scientists in 2008 developed a simple, cost-effective process to freeze mouse sperm and enable it to achieve high fertilization and recovery rates with mouse eggs. The breakthrough in developing mouse sperm cryopreservation led to Jackson Lab partnering with Maine Manufacturing in Sanford to create kits allowing other laboratories to use the technology.
Joining Maine Manufacturing in collaborating with the laboratory in the project are the University of Maine Advance Manufacturing Center in Orono, as well as Maine firms Masters Machine in Round Pond; Clear H2O in Portland; and Lane Conveyors & Drivers in Brewer.