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Piedmont Triad Research Park, Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Prince William County Economic Development Department, Australian Technology Park, Indiana Enterprise Center, inVenture, Western Michigan University Business Technology and Research Par

Struever Bros. in Talks to Develop 60 Acres Within Piedmont Triad Research Park
Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse is in talks with Winston-Salem, NC, officials to develop about 60 acres of the Piedmont Triad Research Park in the city’s downtown, in part by reusing the Bailey power plant and several long-vacant buildings once occupied by RJ Reynolds Tobacco.
The Baltimore-based developer would renovate a total 1.28 million square feet of space, divided about equally between biomedical, residential, and retail uses. In the project’s first phase 16 acres would be redeveloped, including buildings north of Vine Street.
PTRP and Struever could sign an agreement as early as January 2008, the PTRP’s new president Douglas Edgeton told the Winston-Salem Journal, with City Council review starting soon afterward.

Two Frederick [Md.] Innovative Technology Center Graduates Open New Facilities
Two companies have graduated from the Frederick [Md.] Innovative Technology Center at Hood College into their own new facilities.
Akonni Biosystems, developer of a biosensor-based personal diagnostic device for several diseases, on Nov. 17 formally opened a manufacturing center and product development laboratory in Frederick. The new 11,000-square-foot facility on Sagner Avenue is a building that once housed a clothing manufacturer, also named Sagner.

Akonni Chairman Michael Farmer told the News-Post of Frederick his company received offers from five states, many dangling larger incentives than Maryland could present. Akonni chose to stay in Frederick because of proximity to other biotech companies with nearby customers from the business and federal government spheres.

In September, Akonni received a $450,000 grant from the US Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice to develop faster and cheaper DNA tests.
Another incubator graduate, Veracity Biotechnology, moved Nov. 1. into 1,000 square feet at a South Wisner Street building. Veracity is a contract research organization focusing on testing hepatitis C drug treatments. The company also produces kits allowing for the isolation of viral RNA and DNA for high throughput and drug discovery applications, as well as a kit to detect telomerase activity from cancer cells.

NJ Drug Development Services Company to Build New Lab on Manassas, Va., Ex-Lilly Site
Covance, a drug development services company based in Princeton, NJ, will build a $175 million, 410,000-square-foot laboratory in Manassas, Va., following $2.5 million in incentives by the state and Prince William County.
Covance will shift 450 employees to its new site, 47 acres of a 120-acre property that Eli Lilly vacated in January, citing market conditions. Eli Lilly previously planned to build a 300,000-square-foot insulin manufacturing plant there and once expected to base 700 employees there, a projection that never materialized.
Covance would consolidate in Manassas operations now scattered between a 24,000-square-foot leased site on Concorde Parkway in Chantilly, Va., and a 112,000-square-foot space it owns on Leesburg Pike in Vienna, Va. Both facilities would be shut down by January 2011. By 2014, Covance plans to add 100 more employees. Worldwide, Covance has more than 8,700 employees in 20 countries worldwide, and $1.5 billion in annual revenue.
The Prince William County Economic Development Department crafted a $2.5 million incentive package for Covance — a $1.5 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership and a $1 million subsidy from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund approved by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. The state will also provide job training to Covance workers.
The package — and the greater projected expense of an out-of-state relocation — persuaded Covance to choose Manassas over sites it had considered in Arizona and Maryland’s Montgomery County, the Washington [DC] Business Journal reported.
Eli Lilly is marketing the rest of its former Manassas campus through CB Richard Ellis.

Bioline Opens New Research Laboratory at Australian Technology Park
Bioline has opened a research facility at Australian Technology Park in New South Wales, Australia, in a Nov. 19 ceremony attended by Verity Firth, the nation’s minister for science and medical research, as well as representatives of the company’s business and academic partners.
Bioline was originally set up in Sydney as a sales and distribution company of molecular biology reagents but has expanded since then to include a research and development facility, taking advantage of market opportunities and tax incentives in New South Wales.

From a single employee in 2003, Bioline has grown its annual sales to AU $1 million ($880,000) and built a team of six staff including an R&D team that is already producing new product lines for markets in South East Asia, New Zealand, and the US.

Personalized Medicine Company Relocates to Indiana Enterprise Center
Predictive Physiology and Medicine, a Bloomington, Ind., personalized medicine company, has relocated within the city to the Indiana Enterprise Center, the commerce and technology park of investment accelerator First Capital Group. The new laboratory occupied by PPM in the McDoel Building (409 West Patterson Drive) currently is the only wet-lab space for lease in Bloomington, though First Capital said it plans to build out additional lab space within the IEC “in the near future.”
PPM is an early-stage life science company focused on personalized medicine and wellness. Established in 2005 from technology developed at Indiana University, PPM was previously based within inVenture, the business incubator for the city of Bloomington’s Certified Technology Park. First Capital Group directs a portfolio of more than $150 million in assets and over one million square feet of real estate occupied by tenants in the life sciences and several other industries, such as real estate, health care, technology, manufacturing, and retail.

WMU’s BTR Park Opens New 20,000-Square-Foot Facility for Startup CRO
Executives of Kalexsyn joined with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and officials of Western Michigan University and local economic development agencies Nov. 16 to celebrate the completion of a new home for the startup contract research organization at WMU’s Business Technology and Research Park.
Kalexsyn was started in 2003 by long-time Pharmacia/Pfizer scientists David Zimmermann and Robert Gadwood, using laboratory space in the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, within the BTR Park. Kalexsyn is one of 18 life science businesses that were started in and around Kalamazoo, Mich., in the nearly five years since Pfizer moved some research operations out of the city.
Kalexsyn is the third company to graduate from the innovation center, which is operated by economic development agency Southwest Michigan First, and is the first graduate to build its own new facility at the BTR Park. Rockford Development of Grand Rapids built the 20,000-square-foot building, which will allow the firm to increase its staff to 32 scientists among a total workforce of about 40. At present, Kalexsyn has 15 research scientists among a total workforce of 24.
BTR Park is occupied by more than two dozen private sector companies focused on the life sciences, information technology, and advanced engineering. The 137-acre park, developed by the university in partnership with the city of Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan First, was designated by the state in 2001 as the Kalamazoo SmartZone, a high-tech economic development site.

Report: Florida Biotech with Vanderbilt U. Link Eyes Relocation to Nashville, Tenn.
TyraTech, a pesticide developer based in Melbourne, Fla., is pondering whether to keep its headquarters there or relocate to Florida’s Palm Beach County, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, or Nashville, Tenn., Robert Nagro, the company’s head of special projects, confirmed to the Tennessean of Nashville.
Nagro told the newspaper a Florida decision would save money and minimize disruption to employees, while a move to RTP would bring Tyratech closer to several partners, and Palm Beach County, Fla., would have a ready-made home for the company within a 4 million-square-foot biotech center.
TyraTech has 50 employees, mostly in Melbourne, though the company’s chief scientific officer is Essam Enan, a research professor in biochemistry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. TyraTech traces its roots to Enan's research on how insects can be killed or repelled through plant oils such as wintergreen oil and lilac flower oil. In June, TyraTech went public on the London Stock Exchange, becoming the first publicly traded company based solely on a Vanderbilt University technology.

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.