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Joslin Diabetes Center, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, National Development, and Charles River Realty Investors, IDA Ireland, Silicon Border Development, Grupo Maiz, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, Gateway at Torrey Hills, University of Color

Joint Venture Buys LMA Land, Development Rights from Joslin Diabetes Center
A joint venture of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, National Development, and Charles River Realty Investors has completed its purchase of a prime development parcel at the intersection of Longwood and Brookline Avenues in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area from Joslin Diabetes Center.
The joint venture plans to build an approximately 350,000-square-foot life science research building on the parcel, an approximately 1.1 acre site for which development rights were approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in 2003. Joslin said it will secure expansion research space in a portion of the new building, with the remainder of the building expected to be leased to other institutions and life sciences companies. Construction on the new building is expected to begin in 2008.
"This sale allows us to plan for expansion of our world-class research programs," said Ranch Kimball, Joslin’s president and CEO and a former Massachusetts secretary of economic development, in a press release announcing the deal.
Alexandria is a publicly traded real estate investment trust headquartered in Pasadena, Calif. National is based in Newton, Mass., and has built more than 14 million square feet of space since it was established in 1983. Charles River is a private equity real estate investment firm.

Merck Buys IDA Ireland Business and Technology Park, With Vaccine Facility in Mind
Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency has sold its 65-acre Business and Technology Park to Merck, which plans to build there a €200 million ($293.4 million) vaccine plant set to employ 170 people when it opens in 2011.
The 170 staffers will work in management, quality control, production, engineering, R&D and administration positions in the facility, set to include a formulation and sterile-filling operation and an R&D team. Merck said it would design the facility to support its human vaccines business, and would seek collaborations with Irish universities.
Merck already employs 460 people at its Irish operations, in Tipperary and Dublin. In Tipperary, Merck plans a 2010 opening for a new 70,000-square-foot Merck vaccine formulation, R&D, and manufacturing facility set to cost €85 million ($124.7 million). The Tipperary plant is one of two existing Merck operations in Ireland.
For Carlow, the news was welcome after a year that has seen significant job losses — such as the 97 permanent and 60 temporary jobs cut at the town’s largest manufacturer, personal-care products maker Braun Oral B Ireland.

Partners Sign Agreements to Design, Construct Science Park in Mexicali, Mexico
Silicon Border Development and Mexican-based contractor Grupo Maiz have formed a partnership to design and construct Silicon Border Science Park, a 10,000-acre research campus intended to house manufacturing operations of biotech companies as well as semiconductor, flat-panel display, and solar panels businesses.
Silicon Border will be located in Mexicali, within Mexico’s Baja California region, and be modeled after science parks in Asia. By developing in Mexico, the partners said in a statement, they aim to keep costs competitive with those of China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Grupo Maiz will oversee the science park’s $150 million in infrastructure, including electrical power distribution, water treatment, waste treatment, streets, sidewalks and storm drainage systems. Silicon Border Development has also agreed to recommend Grupo Maiz as its preferred contractor for tenants.
Grupo Maiz is based in Monterrey, Nueva Leon, Mexico. Silicon Border Development is based in San Diego and has ING Clarion, a New York investment firm, as its financial and development partner.

Mintz Levin Eyes San Diego Growth With 40,000-Square-Foot Torrey Hills Lease
Law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo has signed an 11-year lease for 40,000 square feet at the recently constructed Gateway at Torrey Hills, owned by San Diego-based Cisterra Partners.
The law firm will serve as anchor tenant in one of the complex’s two four-story buildings, occupying the top two floors. Mintz Levin plans to move in April 2008 from its current offices at La Jolla Centre.
The new space will accommodate up to 60 lawyers when completed, compared with Mintz Levin’s current 23 attorneys based in the San Diego region. The firm’s number of San Diego-area attorneys has more than tripled since Mintz Levin expanded into the region in June 2006.
San Diego-based Howard-Sneed Architecture and Design is designing the law firm’s new space, to be built by TSA Contracting.
Gateway at Torrey Hills is located just north of the I-5 merge on Carmel Mountain Road. The office campus offers ocean views, advanced technology infrastructure and a fitness center.

Contract Research Library Moves Within Boulder, Colo., from CU to Flatiron Park
Bolder BioPATH, a contract research laboratory in Boulder, Colo., has signed a lease for 8,307 square feet at 5541 Central Ave., within the 2.1 million-square-foot Flatiron Park business park. The company relocated from leased space at the University of Colorado after the university needed the space, chief operations officer Phillip Bendele told the Boulder County Business Report.
Founded in 1998, Bolder BioPATH has a staff of six people and specializes in diagnosing inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis.

New England Peptide Expands Facility with Large-Scale Production Suite
New England Peptide of Gardner, Mass., has opened a new addition to its facility that houses a large-scale production suite. NEP built the 1,000-square-foot facility in response to rising demand for its custom peptide and antibody services, CEO Dave Robinson said in a press release. The expansion, he added, would allow NEP to offer expanded services and expand its staff of scientists.
Founded in 1988, New England Peptide designs and produces custom peptides and polyclonal antibodies for drug and vaccine discovery organizations worldwide.

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.