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Organogenesis, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, Nassau County, US Navy, TriVascular, Genzyme, Industrial Development Authority Ireland, Cushman & Wakefield, Aileron Therapeutics, Joule Biotechnologies,


Organogenesis Announces Expansion of HQ, R&D, Manufacturing in Canton, Mass.
Organogenesis said last week it will expand its headquarters, manufacturing, and research and development facilities in Canton, Mass., to a three-building campus of more than 250,000 square feet, after considering moving its operations from the state.
Geoff McKay, CEO of the regenerative medicine company, joined Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in announcing the expansion. McKay said the expansion would help Organogenesis double its workforce from the current 325 employees; the company plans to hire 50 additional staffers by the end of 2008.
McKay credited the $1 billion, 10-year Life Sciences Initiative bill introduced by Patrick last year for the company’s decision to grow in Massachusetts — though the company had committed itself to the state last year, soon after Patrick announced the legislation [BRN, June 4, 2007].
The state Senate and House of Representatives have approved separate versions of the legislation, which a conference committee is expected to soon fuse into a compromise bill for Patrick to sign [BRN, March 31].
In return for its job-creation promise, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development has crafted a $12.9 million package of economic development subsidies for Organogenesis. The company can also tap into $5 million in state low-interest loans for growth initiatives.
The new-look Organogenesis headquarters campus, a rendering of which is available here, will consist of:
  • The company’s existing headquarters of 150 Dan Road, a 79,000-square-foot building that would house the company’s main R&D labs and pilot manufacturing site for smaller product lines.
  • 85 Dan Road, a 78,000-square-foot building the company also occupies. The building includes 40,000 square feet of office space; the remainder is open-bay space set aside for future expansion. Organogenesis could expand the building’s footprint by another 10,500 square feet.
  • 275 Dan Road, a 95,000-square-foot building the company would lease and expand into for its main manufacturing facility, with 60,000 square feet of manufacturing and quality labs, as well as shipping/receiving and other support systems

NY’s Nassau County Eyes Biotech, Nanotech Uses for 105-Acre Former Grumman Site
New York’s Nassau County is preparing to seek formal proposals from developers interested in attracting employers specializing in biotechnology and nanotechnology, as well as alternative fuels and homeland security, to the former Northrop Grumman property in Bethpage, NY.
Nassau County accepted a transfer of 96 acres from the US Navy, in an April 3 ceremony led by County Executive Tom Suozzi and local officials. Another nine acres will be transferred after they are cleaned of contaminants. Suozzi has promised to work with business leaders, developers, venture capitalists, laboratories, colleges, and universities to develop and market the 105-acre property with the life sciences and other technologies in mind. The county has cited surveys and meetings with residents in officials, all of which indicated support for creating high-tech jobs on the campus.
“Since the county has just about stopped growing, we need to find new and creative ways to grow our tax base. And I am convinced that high-tech, high-skilled businesses will not only increase our revenues, but will attract and retain young, smart people to work in those businesses,” Suozzi said in a statement.
Nassau County officials are currently working with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, and the State University of New York’s Stony Brook University to develop a plan for the property. Much of it sits within a state economic-development “Empire” Zone created in 2006, offering tax breaks and other incentives in return for meeting job-creation goals.
The property is part of a 600-acre site that Northrop Grumman predecessor Grumman Corp. used as an assembly plant for Navy fighter planes and other aviation and space exploration products from World War II through the Cold War. Among the aircraft built there were the F-14 Tomcat, the A-6A Intruder, the EA-6B Prowler and the E-2C Hawkeye. The Navy transferred the land under a process launched a decade ago to compensate communities for the defense-industry downsizing after the end of the Cold War.

Redevelopment Agency to Acquire Ex-Naval Air Station in South Weymouth, Mass.
The quasi-public South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp. has agreed in principle to purchase for $43 million the remaining 892 acres of a former US Navy base that Miami developer LNR Property Corp. plans to transform into an industrial park for biotech manufacturers among a mix of commercial and residential uses, according to local news reports.
The price includes the estimated $32.3 million cost of cleaning the former South Weymouth (Mass.) Naval Air Station of contamination before it is redeveloped by LNR, which already owns 550 acres of the site closed by the Navy in 1997. The site includes solvents as well as an uncapped landfill. The Navy is expected to approve the deal and transfer portions of the land as early as this summer.
LNR would redevelop the 1,442-acre former base as SouthField, a project calling for up to 2,855 houses on the site, along with 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, a sports complex, athletic fields, golf course, and 2 million square feet of commercial space. The commercial space could include a hotel and movie studio space as well as the biotech park.

Facility, Workforce Draw Investors to Reopen Shuttered Santa Rosa, Calif., Biotech
Nearly two years after shutting its doors, TriVascular has resumed business after investors poured $65 million into the Santa Rosa, Calif., biotech company, convinced it has the right combination of technology and location to be viable despite its troubled past.
A group led by venture capital firms MPM Capital and New Enterprise Associates has bought TriVascular's technology for repairing abdominal aortic aneurysms from Boston Scientific for $30 million. The investors will spend another $35 million to reopen the business at its former headquarters — a vacant building on Brickway Boulevard, near Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport — then finish developing TriVascular's stent graft system over the next two to three years, using another $30 million, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported.
Jim Scopa, managing partner at MPM Capital, told the newspaper the deal was attractive because TriVascular's manufacturing site and equipment already are in place, and because the North Bay region's growing cluster of biotech companies has attracted a pool of available talent to fill positions.
Michael Chobotov, TriVascular’s president and CEO, told the Press Democrat he expects the company to have 80 employees by the end of 2008. TriVascular had about 270 employees — making it Sonoma County's second-largest biotech employer — when its then-parent company Boston Scientific shut it down in a cost-cutting move in June 2006.
While Boston Scientific sold the company to the investor group, it retains a minority stake in the business, to be renamed TriVascular2.

Boston Scientific paid $65 million to acquire TriVascular in 2005, three years after it shelled out $45 million for an option to purchase the company.  A year later it shut down the company in a cost-cutting move that followed its $27 billion acquisition of Guidant Corp.


Genzyme, Lancaster Labs Plan New Jobs in Expansions of Irish Manufacturing Plants
Two US companies, biotech giant Genzyme and contract testing/research provider Lancaster Laboratories, have announced expansion plans designed to create a combined 270 new jobs in Ireland.
Genzyme will expand its workforce at its Waterford, Ireland, manufacturing facility to more than 600 people through a €130 million ($203 million)expansion projected to generate 170 new jobs. Genzyme will expand the sterile fill/finish manufacturing operation, introduce the capacity for soft gel capsule manufacturing, and expand the laboratory and office space of the manufacturing plant, completed in 2001.
Outside the city in Clogherane, Dungarvan, County Waterford, Lancaster Labs will double its Irish workforce by creating 100 new positions over the next five years following an expansion of its 2500 square-meter (about 26,910-square-foot) facility whose cost was not disclosed. Last year Lancaster Labs acquired Microchem, a 100-person testing lab founded in 1986 in the home of its founder. The company will soon be renamed Lancaster Laboratories Europe.
In return for their job-creation pledges, Microchem and Genzyme will receive undisclosed sums from Industrial Development Agency Ireland, which announced the expansions separately on April 1.
Paul Shanahan, Human Resources Director for Genzyme Ireland, said in IDA Ireland’s announcement that his company would immediately begin recruiting for the first of the additional jobs to be created by the expansion of the plant, at Old Kilmeaden Road.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Genzyme employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Lancaster Labs, headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., has more than 900 employees globally and is part of the Fisher BioPharma Services business of Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Waltham, Mass.

Four Cambridge, Mass., Life Science Companies Sign Lease Deals Through C&W
Four early-stage life science companies represented by the Cushman & Wakefield team of Mark Winters, David Townsend, and Juliette Reiter have signed new leases in Cambridge, Mass.
Aileron Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapeutics for cancer and other diseases, has signed a relocation/expansion sublease for 10,132 square feet at Riverside Technology Center (840 Memorial Drive), located along the Charles River near Harvard Square and owned by the Abbey Group. The firm is relocating and expanding from a smaller space at One Broadway in Kendall Square.
Joule Biotechnologies, an industrial biotech focused on low-cost cell-based production, has taken 10,500 square feet at 83 Rogers Street within Life Science Square, a campus located just outside Kendall Square and owned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.
Ore Pharmaceuticals (formerly Gene Logic), a repositioner of clinical-stage drug candidates that have stalled in development for other-than-safety reasons, renewed its lease for 19,093 square feet at 38 Sidney Street within University Park at MIT, a life sciences campus owned by Forest City Enterprises.
IntelligentMD, a developer of diagnostic tests for critical infectious diseases, agreed to lease 10,751 square feet at Blackstone Square (19 Blackstone St.), a building located near Harvard Square and owned by Centremark Properties. IntelligentMD will relocate from 58 Charles Street in East Cambridge.

Wise Construction Completes Renovation Project for Biogen Idec in Cambridge, Mass.
Wise Construction Corp., a construction management firm specializing in healthcare, biotechnology, education, and corporate projects, has recently completed the renovation of 10,000 square feet of office space at Biogen Idec's 10 Cambridge Center, near its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
The construction project included structural upgrades to an office space for the biotech giant’s legal department, the creation of a secure high-density file storage area, conference rooms and improvements to food service areas. Wise Construction, headquartered in Winchester, Mass., worked with the project design team of Signer Harris Architects, a Boston architectural design firm. 

Israeli Bioscience Company Opens US Office at Virginia Biotech Commercialization Center
EnzySurge, an Israeli bioscience company focused on chronic wound management, has opened a US office as a member of the Virginia Biosciences Commercialization Center business assistance program at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond.
Based in Rosh Haayin, EnzySurge is one of eight Israeli companies within the research park. The eight are among more than 55 public and private bioscience companies at the research park, which also houses research institutes affiliated with the Virginia CU Medical Center and major state and national medical laboratories. More than 2,000 employees work at the park’s nine buildings totaling more than 1.1 million square feet.

Montgomery County, Md., Life Sciences Industry Reflected in Boutique Hotel Décor
The life sciences cluster of Montgomery County, Md., is reflected in part of the Legacy Hotel and Meeting Center, which re-opened earlier this year in Rockville, Md., in the former Ramada Inn Congressional Hotel. The hotel’s second floor displays a biotech motif, highlighted by a depiction of a magnified Petri dish — part of a broader design package by the Washington, DC, strategic marketing agency mbox communications.
The Legacy consists of a 162-room hotel at 1775 Rockville Pike with a 9,000-square-foot meeting center at 1701 Rockville Pike, developed by a partnership of Chicago-based Preferred Hotel Group and developer Cohen Cos. of Rockville.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.