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NC Research Campus, Fusionopolis, Merck, New Haven Science Park, Affymetrix, MedImmune, Charles River Labs, Meridian, Idexx

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NC Research Campus at Kannapolis Opens Doors
 
The NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC, this week held a grand opening and dedication to mark the official opening of three buildings.
 
On Oct. 20, officials dedicated three buildings on the $1.5 billion, 350-acre campus developed by Dole Food owner David Murdock and Castle & Cooke North Carolina.
 
The campus is expected to have up to 50 buildings when finished, including a medical office building, a branch of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, a biorepository to store blood samples for a Duke University study, and a greenhouse for NC State University.
 

 
Singapore Opens Fusionopolis R&D Hub
 
Singapore last week opened Fusionopolis, a 30-hectare R&D center focused on research in the physical sciences, engineering, and technology.
 
Fusionopolis joins the country’s first R&D hub, Biopolis, which opened five years ago. 
 
Fusionopolis has been “specially designed” to encourage multidisciplinary research, according to a statement from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research, or A*STAR.
 
Two of A*STAR’s science and engineering research institutes have moved into phase 1 of the development, and another four will move into Fusionopolis by 2011. These groups will be joined by at least 13 corporate laboratories located in phase 1 of the development, including wind turbine company Vestas; game publisher Ubisoft; Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life; and Nitto Denko, an electronics and advanced materials company.
 
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will also open a research center at Fusionopolis called the Advanced Digital Sciences Centre.
 
In total, 800 scientists, engineers, and game developers will join phase 1 of Fusionopolis, and this number will increase to 2,400 by 2012 when phase 2 of the development is ready, A*STAR said.
 
Researchers at Fusionopolis are expected to “draw on the biomedical research expertise” at Biopolis, which is located half a mile away and is home to A*STAR’s 13 biomedical research institutes, consortia, and centers.
 
A*STAR said it has been “actively encouraging collaborations between its 1,500 physical sciences researchers and engineers, and 1,000 biomedical researchers.”
 

 
Merck Hints at Further Growth for Durham, NC, Vaccine Plant
 
Merck officials last week told reporters at a dedication ceremony for a new vaccine-manufacturing plant in Durham, NC, that the firm may expand the facility beyond its current commitment of $750 million and 400 jobs by 2011.
 
"I'm not about to make an announcement," CEO Richard Clark told Raleigh, NC’s News & Observer. "But I have a suspicion that we haven't stopped at $750 million [in Durham]."
 
The paper reported that Merck has yet to decide where to manufacture two new vaccines it is still testing: a combination pediatric vaccine and a vaccine to protect against staph infections. The Durham plant, called the Maurice R. Hilleman Center for Vaccine Manufacturing, will compete with Merck vaccine production plants in Elkton, Va., and West Point, Penn., for that work.
 
Further expansions would be required if the Durham plant is chosen as the production site for additional vaccines, Willie Deese, the head of Merck's manufacturing division, told the paper.
 
Merck is slated to receive up to $45 million in state and local tax breaks and other incentives to build the vaccine facility.
 
Merck began building the facility on a 262-acre site in 2004. It currently employs 150 people who make childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, and chickenpox, and a shingles vaccine for adults.
 

 
Yale Begins Move to Science Park
 
Yale University has begun moving employees into the 165,000 square feet it is leasing at 25 Science Park, the Yale Daily News reported last week.
 
The moving process will last until the first week of December, Janet Linder, associate vice president for administration at Yale, told the paper.
About 650 staffers from Yale’s information technology services, finance, budget, business services, and other departments will move from their current offices in 155 and 175 Whitney Ave. to the space at Science Park.
 
The four-acre plot of land between 155 and 175 Whitney Ave., meantime, will become the new campus of the Yale School of Management.
 

 
Affymetrix Opts to Keep USB Subsidiary in Ohio
 
Microarray manufacturer Affymetrix has decided to expand and renovate the Warrensfille Heights, Ohio, facility for its subsidiary USB rather than move those operations to California.
 
Market research firm Industrial Info Resources reported last week that Affymetrix, based in Santa Clara, Calif., decided not to move USB to California.
 
Affymetrix acquired USB, which develops molecular and biochemical reagents, in January.
 

 
MedImmune Opens Cambridge, UK, R&D Facility
 
MedImmune last week opened a new biologics R&D facility in Cambridge, UK.
 
The Aaron Klug building, named after the 1982 Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, is a 92,000-square-foot facility that offers the firm the capacity to “significantly increase the number of candidate drugs that it can develop each year,” MedImmune said in a statement.
 
MedImmune, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., was acquired by AstraZeneca in June 2007 and now serves as the pharma firm’s global biologics unit.
 
The opening of the Aaron Klug Building follows the recent renovation and expansion of MedImmune’s production site in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where it makes products such as Synagis (palivizumab) and Ethyol (amifostine).
 

 
Charles River Opens Preclinical Facility in Shanghai
 
Charles River Laboratories last week said that it has opened a 60,000-square-foot preclinical services facility in Shanghai.
 
"As our clients make their initial forays into China, we are creating a center of excellence that embodies global best practices alongside them," said James Foster, president, chairman, and CEO of Charles River. "Expanding into this arena is a marathon — not a sprint — and this facility marks the first step in our journey,” he said.
 
The new facility is expected to provide Good Laboratory Practice-compliant services in the first quarter of 2009.
 
The China facility will also provide a range of services that are compliant with regulatory agencies such as the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, the Canadian Council on Animal Care, China's State Food and Drug Administration, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the US Food and Drug Administration.
 

 
Meridian Life Sciences Expands Building to Meet Antibody Production Growth
 
Meridian Life Science said last week that it has completed a building expansion at its Saco, Maine, location in order to meet the rapid growth in its antibody production business. 
 
The company broke ground on the 13,000-square-foot expansion in late 2007. The addition “more than doubles” Meridian’s current footprint.
 
Meridian said in a statement that its staff has doubled in size since 1999 and production volumes of goat anti-human immunoglobulin G, mouse IgG, and sheep IgG have doubled in the past 12 months.
 
The new space will allow the company to expand shipping and receiving, customer service, sales, technical service, data entry, R&D, production, and administration. 
 

 
Lancaster, Pa., Developer Says Biotech Firm Interested in Proposed Business Park
 
An undisclosed biotech firm has expressed interest in being the anchor tenant for a business park proposed for a former stockyards property in Lancaster, Pa., according to the site’s developer.
 
Lancaster’s Intelligencer Journal reported last week that developer Tim Harrison is seeking to begin construction on the site by January because the biotech firm needs to be operational by mid-2009.
 
The proposed 40,000-square-foot structure would create about 100 jobs over the next five years, Harrison told the Lancaster city planning commission.
 
The single-story biotech building would be the first phase of a project that would also include several smaller professional buildings, a plaza with a fountain, and two commercial sites that Harrison said could house a bank and a microbrewery.
 
City planners granted Harrison a waiver permitting him to file a combined preliminary/final land development plan in order to accelerate the first phase of the project, the paper reported.
 
Planning commission members supported the plans but had “concerns about the proposed layout of the site,” according to the paper, which noted that some felt the design had too much of a “suburban feel.”
 

 
Pharma Manufacturer to Hire 150 in Indiana
 
A subsidiary of German drugmaker Schwarz Pharma Manufacturing plans to upgrade its manufacturing and distribution facility in Seymour, Ind., and add 150 jobs over the next three years, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said last week.
 
The Schwarz subsidiary, Kremers Urban, currently employs 366 workers at the site.
 
The company will spend more than $12 million on the upgrades and will begin hiring managers, business associates, and production staff later this month.
 
IEDC has offered Schwarz and Kremers up to $1.25 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $310,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans, according to a news release.
 

 
Niagara U. Lands $10M Donation to Construct Science, Bioinformatics Center
 
Niagara University has received a pledge for $10 million to support construction of a new science building that, when built, will house a research and interdisciplinary biology center that will focus on bioinformatics and computational biology.
 
The $10 million from businessman and philanthropist B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of payroll services firm Paychex and owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, will be part of the university’s $80 million capital campaign, called “The Promise of Niagara.” The gift to the university will be presented in five installments of $2 million.
 
The funds from Golisano will help support construction of the 44,000-square-foot center, which will house academic and clinical partnerships with the Buffalo Medical Complex, the State University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and the Heart Center of Niagara.

The current capital campaign is seeking to raise $16.5 million toward the total cost of the $25 million science center, the university said in a statement.

 

 
Idexx to Expand Memphis Distribution Facility
 
Idexx Laboratories plans to expand its distribution facility in Memphis, Tenn., according to a report in the Memphis Business Journal last week.
 
The Westbrook, Maine-based veterinary health company is building an 8,000-square-foot lab next to its existing Memphis distribution facility that is expected to create 50 new jobs.
 
Idexx currently employs 42 at the 100,000-square-foot Memphis distribution facility.
 
The new lab should be completed by January 2009, the paper reported.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.