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Oregon Health & Science University, Acceleron Pharma, Boston LifeTech Finance Committee, Boston Connects, Broomfield Economic Development Corp., SouthField Corporate Center, Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires — Université Louis Pasteur

OHSU Joins Three Universities in $250M Request for New Life Sciences Building
Cash-strapped Oregon Health & Science University is joining with three other state universities to request $250 million in public and private money for a collaborative life sciences building on vacant land below the Marquam Bridge in Portland, the Oregonian reported.
The 300,000-square-foot building would house shared classroom and research space for OHSU's medical school, Portland State University's science departments, Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy and health-related programs at the Oregon Institute of Technology. The building would rise on the southwest corner of a 20-acre parcel that the Schnitzer family donated to OHSU in 2004. The vacant land has since served as surface parking for the university and the annual home for the Cirque du Soleil big top.
According to the Oregonian, the proposal would allow OHSU to increase the capacity of its medical school from 120 to 160 students, a goal stymied by the university’s financial situation, as well as serve as a milestone for collaboration among institutions in the Oregon University System.
The schools submitted a joint capital request at the July 11 meeting of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. Once approved, that request will advance toward inclusion in Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s 2009 budget. The building is slated for completion in 2012.
Proposed funding sources include $125 million in general-obligation and lottery-backed bonds that the state would repay. Another $75 million would come from private gifts and grants. A final $50 million in bonds would be repaid through building rents and other fees.

Acceleron Pharma Inks Two Cambridge, Mass., Leases Totaling 74,816 Square Feet
Acceleron Pharma will double its administrative, laboratory and manufacturing space in Cambridge, Mass., after signing a pair of leases.
The developer of drugs intended to modulate the growth of bone, muscle, and other tissue has agreed to lease the entire 37,700-square-foot 128 Sidney St., and signed a long-term lease extension on its existing home base, the 37,116-square-foot 149 Sidney St.
Acceleron will lease both buildings from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which was represented in lease talks in-house by John McQuaid; senior real estate officer for marketing and leasing; and Patrick Rowe, senior investment associate, real estate. Representing Acceleron were Joe Flaherty and Tucker Hansen of Colliers Meredith & Grew, which announced the new leases last week.

Nancy Sullivan, Acceleron’s senior director of operations, said in a statement that the company’s new building “enables Acceleron to take advantage of the building’s existing high quality laboratory spaces, while the building’s flexible footprint and configuration allows us to economically and efficiently construct our second GMP manufacturing facility to support the company’s rapid growth.”


Boston Announces Relocation of Two Life Sciences Companies, Expansion of a Third
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino last week announced plans by two life sciences companies to relocate to his city, as well as a third company’s decision to expand there.
Cogito Health, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinout, plans to relocate from Kendall Square in neighboring Cambridge, Mass., into 3,000 square feet at an unspecified Boston site, following the approval of a loan of an unspecified amount by Boston’s LifeTech Finance Committee.
Cogito is a bioanalytics company that focuses on screening and treatment management for depression. Cogito would share its new space with Dimagi, a Cambridge software consultant group co-founded by two of Cogito’s directors. Cogito plans to hire an additional 10 people over the next 12 months, up from its current handful of staffers, according to news reports.
Andorra-based Soadco, a manufacturer of dental implants, will base its US headquarters within a 3,500-square-foot space the company purchased at 160 Commonwealth Ave. The company plans to employ 10 people there, and up to 140 additional workers over the next three years at a second Boston site the company would use for manufacturing but has yet to find.
Paratek Pharmaceuticals, which is already in Boston, will relocate into 63,000 square feet at One Harbor Street, in the Marine Industrial Park, from a smaller site at 75 Kneeland St. Boston officials have agreed to assist the company through a $14 million tax-exempt empowerment zone bond from Boston Connects, the nonprofit group charged with implementing the city’s Strategic Plan.
Paratek would add 50 people to its current work force of 65 people over the next two years. The company was co-founded by Stuart Levy, a professor at Tufts University, and Harvard University’s Walter Gilbert, a Nobel Prize laureate.

Biotechnology Company Moving Headquarters from Denver to Broomfield, Colo.
Arca biopharma will relocate its headquarters from Denver to Broomfield, Colo., where it will occupy a new building next to the Broomfield Event Center on US 36, the company announced last week.
Arca, the developer of Gencaro, a drug candidate designed to fight heart failure, has agreed to lease 15,000 square foot at 8001 Arista Place, a 90,449-square-foot building within the two-building, 210,000-square-foot Arista Place office-retail complex. The company will move into its new space this summer, the Broomfield Economic Development Corp. said on its web site.
The company changed its name earlier this year from Arca Discovery, a move intended to reflect its transition from an organization focused on research to one focused on drug commercialization.

Corporate Park Planned for Weymouth, Mass., Names Exclusive Leasing Agent
Boston-based commercial real estate brokerage DTZ FHO Partners has been selected by LNR Commercial Property Corp. as the exclusive leasing agent for SouthField Corporate Center, part of the mixed-use development planned for the former South Weymouth (Mass.) Naval Air Station.
“SouthField Corporate Center plans to offer first-class office, manufacturing, and R&D space for companies that wish to expand or relocate in Massachusetts” — including life sciences manufacturing space, Sean Teague, a partner with DTZ FHO Partners, said in a press release. Teague will market the space with Tom Kent, another partner at DTZ FHO, and Leeanne Rizzo, an associate at the firm.
The former naval air station, now known as SouthField, is the 1,442-acre site where Miami developer LNR Property plans to build 2,855 residences and 2 million square feet of commercial space — including an industrial park for biotech manufacturers — by 2017. The first 500 residences are under construction, with the first SouthField residents expected to move in next year. The project also includes retail space, a sports complex, and athletic fields, and could accommodate a hotel and movie studio.

RainDance Technologies Forms French Subsidiary Based at ISIS
RainDance Technologies, a provider of droplet-based solutions for human health and disease research, will expand to Strasbourg, France, by forming RainDance Technologies France SARL, a wholly owned subsidiary focused on securing research partnerships in Europe. The subsidiary will begin operations by Sept. 1.
“The creation of RainDance Technologies France SARL enhances our company’s ability to collaborate with leading European institutions engaged in drug discovery, genomics, and molecular biology research,” said Chris McNary, President and Chief Executive Officer, RainDance Technologies, in a statement. “In addition, it will position our proven droplet-based technology for new business opportunities as we expand our presence in the growing European market.”
To house its new subsidiary, RainDance has leased facilities at the Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS), Université Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg.
McNary also said in the statement the new offices at ISIS will allow RainDance to continue a “close” relationship with a company founder, Andrew Griffiths, who is also director of the ISIS Chemical Biology Laboratory.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.