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North Carolina Research Campus, New York State Biotechnology Research Center, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Empire State Development Corp., Industrial Development Agency Ireland, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Texas Life-Scie

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Contract Research Organization PPD Expanding Into NC Research Campus
 
PPD will expand its global contract research operations within a 40,000-square-foot office it has agreed to lease within the $1.5 billion North Carolina Research Campus taking shape at the former Pillowtex mill site in Kannapolis, NC.
 
PPD will co-locate with Carolinas Healthcare System in the research campus’ Medical Office Building. The new office is set to focus on clinical research and create between 200 and 300 jobs over a 24-to-36-month period. To develop suitable candidates for the positions, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is developing a certificate and degree program for clinical research associates.
 
Headquartered in Wilmington, NC, PPD is a global contract research organization with offices in 30 countries and more than 10,200 professionals worldwide.
 
In addition to facilities of Duke University, the University of North Carolina system, and the NC Community College System, the 350-acre NC Research Campus houses companies that include Anatomics, Angiogen, Carolinas Healthcare System and open-source software developer Red Hat. The campus is projected to grow to 1 million square feet of research space and 35,000 jobs.
 

 
Research Center, SUNY Upstate Medical U. Included in Syracuse, NY, Redevelopment Plan
The shuttered Kennedy Square apartment complex in downtown Syracuse, NY, would be redeveloped into a life sciences and medical campus that would include a New York State Biotechnology Research Center and new medical research, office and classroom space for State University of New York Upstate Medical University, under plans announced last week by New York Gov. David Paterson.
The announcement followed an agreement between the Empire State Development Corp., New York state’s economic development agency, and SUNY Upstate Medical U., the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Metropolitan Development Association.

The $30 million biotechnology research center is a public-private effort promising to develop research-business alliances between biotech companies and local academic institutions; foster and invest in new regional biotech companies; and help create and support biotech educational and research programs with the two SUNY schools.

 
The center, which will occupy four of the site's 14 acres, hopes to develop alliances with several state-based life sciences companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pall Life Science, and Corning, plus smaller companies including Albany Molecular Research, Invitrogen, Prevalere Life Sciences, and Vybion.
As part of the redevelopment plan, SUNY Upstate — the Syracuse region’s largest employer — will spend $40 million for its new research, office, and classroom space. SUNY Upstate will seek proposals from private developers to build the expansion project, as well as commercial space and student housing on the site’s remaining 10 acres.
 
ESD, which owns the apartment complex property, will transfer the parcel to SUNY Upstate, which will subdivide the property, transfer portions of it to partners — and ensure repayment of part of the back taxes owed to the city and Onondaga County since Kennedy Square shut down in 1993.
 
ESD Upstate Chairman Daniel Gundersen told the Post-Standard of Syracuse the state expects the redevelopment to generate “a conservative estimate of $200 million of private sector investment” into Syracuse.
 

 
Foundation Stone Laid for Eli Lilly Biopharma Plant in Dunderrow, Kinsale, Ireland
 
Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Micheal Martin joined Eli Lilly’s new president and CEO John Lechleiter last week in laying a foundation stone for a planned new €400 million ($632.8 million) biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant at the company’s Dunderrow, Kinsale, County Cork site.
 
The 158,000-square-foot plant — to be built near an existing pharmaceutical manufacturing plant that employs 430 people — is set to open in 2011, and create up to 200 new jobs over the next five years. The plant is designed to support Lilly’s production of medicines to treat illnesses that include Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and diabetes.
 
The plant marks an expansion of biomanufacturing operations set to launch this year, when production begins on Teplizumab, a treatment for type-one diabetes developed with MacroGenics.
 
Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency in December 2006 approved an undisclosed sum in economic development subsidies for the expansion project. The Kinsale facility, which opened in 1981, has been a key bulk supplier for many Eli Lilly products, including components for the schizophrenia treatment Zyprexa and Evista for the prevention of osteoporosis.
 
At the stone-laying ceremony, Martin also announced a collaboration between Ireland’s National Institute for Bio-processing Research and Training and Eli Lilly’s Biologics Research and Development Organization at its world headquarters in Indianapolis. The project will involve co-development of analytical technologies to enable the monitoring of cell culture conditions.

Later that night at the Kinsale Town Council meeting, according to the Southern Star of Skibbereen, Cork County, Mayor Mary Evans praised Eli Lilly for fulfilling community and social responsibilities and added: “The fortunes of Eli Lilly and Kinsale are inextricably linked”

 

 
RPI Plans $75M Addition to Jonsson-Rowland Science Center
 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has begun a three-to-five-year planning process intended to hammer out details of an expansion-renovation of its Jonsson-Rowland Science Center.
 
The project, set to cost between $70 million and $75 million, will add 100,000 to 120,000 square feet intended for undergraduate education and research. New facilities would include wet laboratories for biology and physics courses, while existing space would be renovated for offices, academic programs, classrooms, dry labs, and conference space.
 
Completed in 1961, the science center is named for John Erik Jonsson, a 1922 graduate and one of RPI’s most generous benefactors; and Henry Rowland, an 1870 graduate and a physicist who served as the first president of the American Physical Society.
 

 
Texas Life-Sciences Commercialization Center Signs Fourth Tenant, an Engineering Firm
 
The Texas Life-Sciences Commercialization Center in Georgetown, Tex., has signed its fourth tenant, Deaton Engineering. The Georgetown-based product engineering firm works with clients in the medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
 
The nonprofit TLCC, located at 111 Cooperative Way, provides wet labs, a nanotechnology Class-100 clean room, basic infrastructure and plans for genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics product laboratories to tenant businesses as well as schools and universities. The center's other companies include Radix BioSolutions, Orthopeutics L.P. and Quantum Logic Devices.
 
Deaton’s president, James Deaton, will also serve as co-chair of the TLCC Advisory Council.
 

 
Citing Life Science Initiative, UK-Based Myconostica to Open US HQ in Charleston, SC
 
Myconostica, a British medical diagnostic company specializing in testing for life-threatening fungal infections, will establish its first offices outside the UK by opening a US headquarters in Charleston, SC, using part of the proceeds from a $7.7 million series C financing round led by Nexus Medical Partners.
 
Manchester-based Myconostica said its decision was a result of Charleston’s Digital Corridor’s Life Science Initiative, launched last summer to boost the city’s number of biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The state has also supported the diagnostics company; Nexus is one of the four venture capital firms to receive state-sponsored funding under the South Carolina Venture Capital Investment Act.

Joining Nexus, which has offices in Boston and Charleston, in the financing round were Innoven Partenaires of France, and a previous investor, Amphion Innovations.

 
Proceds from the financing round will also support the launch of Myconostica’s first two products: A fungal DNA extraction system, and what the company says is the world’s first real-time molecular diagnostic simultaneously testing for both Aspergillus and Pneumocystis. Myconostica hopes to tap into a market of people at risk for invasive fungal infections, believed to be more than 10 million people in the US and Europe.
 
Myconostica was formed in 2006 as a spin out from the University of Manchester.
 

 
Belgian Pharmaceutical Company Qualiphar-Gifrer Opening Office at DuBiotech
 
Qualiphar-Gifrer, a Belgian-based pharmaceutical company, will establish offices in the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, also called DuBiotech. Established in 1937, Qualiphar-Gifrer hopes to generate annual revenues of 114 million United Arab Emirates Dirhams ($31 million) from its DuBiotech operations within five years.
 
“This is a major feat that will enable us to meet the increasing demand for our pharmaceutical products in the Middle East,” Marc Verlinden, vice president and managing director for Qualiphar-Gifrer, said in a press release announcing the move. “Setting up operations in Dubai will allow us to provide the best possible service to our affiliates in the region, as well as to our future partners in the Middle-East, Asia and Africa.”
 

DuBiotech has grown to house more than 35 businesses since its launch in February 2005.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.