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Scripps Research Institute, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute, Roche-Ventana Medical Systems, North Carolina Research Campus, Bayer HealthCare, European Medici

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Scripps Research Institute Begins Move to Permanent Home on FAU Campus in Jupiter, Fla.
 
The Scripps Research Institute has begun moving the first of its 290 employees into its new permanent home in Florida, a three-building, 364,000-square-foot campus within the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
 
The chemistry and molecular biology labs will be the first to relocate, Scripps spokesman Keith McKeown told the newspaper.
The first group of scientists and researchers, and their equipment, last week began relocating out of the institute’s temporary quarters at the university. Several such groups are expected to move into the new space each week through mid-December — a series of arrivals made possible with more than $600 million in tax breaks and other subsidies by the state and Palm Beach County.
 
County officials later this month plan to unveil a development proposal for 4 million square feet of additional space to accommodate biotech-related businesses that they hope will be drawn to the area by the presence of Scripps.
Scripps is one of two research institutes headed for Palm Beach County. Earlier this year, the state and county finalized a $194 million package of economic incentives for Germany’s Max Planck Society to open a new $60 million, 100,000-square-foot permanent facility within six acres at FAU’s MacArthur campus in Jupiter [BRN, Oct. 13].
 

 
Mass. Life Sciences Center Board OKs $5.2M Grant for Genzyme Expansion in Framingham, Mass.
 
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors last week approved a $5.2 million grant to the town of Framingham allowing it to begin upgrading its wastewater collection system in conjunction with a large-scale manufacturing expansion project by Genzyme.
 
The first phase of the project includes the replacement of a wastewater pump station along with ancillary pipe work. Genzyme had sought the infrastructure work as part of the expansion, which it projects will create 300 new manufacturing jobs within the next year. The project is designed to improve Framingham’s overall water and sewer systems, as well as benefit other employers in the area.

The grant is part of a $12.9 million funding earmark contained within the $1 billion, 10-year Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, signed into law in June by Gov. Deval Patrick [BRN, June 16].

 
Framingham’s new wastewater pumping station must be completed and accepting wastewater no later than September 2009 for Genzyme to meet its schedule for expansion.
 
"This is the sort of targeted investment we must continue making even during challenging economic times, as we work to foster economic growth in Massachusetts,” Patrick said in a press release.
 

 
Univ. of Rochester Medical Center Breaks Ground for $76.4M Translational Research Institute
 
The University of Rochester [NY] Medical Center broke ground last week on a $76.4 million Clinical and Translational Science Building, a facility designed to help accelerate scientific discoveries into new treatments for diseases.
 
The 200,000-square-foot, four-story building will be home to more than 600 scientists, physicians, nurses, statisticians, research administrators, and support staff. The building will contain several clinical research programs and resources that are currently scattered throughout the medical center.
 
LeChase Construction of Rochester is the construction manager for the building, “which — depending access to credit markets — is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2010,” UR said in a press release. Donald Blair & Partners Architects provided preliminary space programming and site planning, along with Mark Chen Architect, who has served as a consultant for the medical center.
 
"This building will not only help transform medical science and improve health in Rochester and beyond, but it also represents an important community investment in the type of research enterprise that can be a catalyst for regional economic growth,” University of Rochester President Joel Seligman said in the release.
 
The building will be connected to the adjacent School of Nursing's Helen Wood Hall. The two buildings will share an atrium designed to form both a physical and symbolic connection between the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Nursing.
 
The building includes conference rooms on the ground floor for meetings, education programs, and community events. One room will allow the arrangement of chairs in a circle — a configuration which, coupled with a wall color that provides contrast, is designed to accommodate people with hearing disabilities, allowing all participants to see each other in order to read sign language. The CTSB is home to the University's National Center for Deaf Health Research.
 
The ground floor will also contain a clinical research suite that is a satellite of a larger Clinical Research Center located across the street from the CTSB. This suite of exam rooms will enable researchers to see study participants on site.
 
The upper floors will contain a number of research programs, including neurological disorders, cancer, pediatrics, biostatistics and bioinformatics, and cardiovascular disease. The building will also house the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine and the Clinical Trials Coordination Center — a division of the Department of Neurology that oversees an international network of clinical research sites.
 
New York state officials agreed earlier this year to provide $50 million toward the construction of the building, part of a $300 million, multi-year effort by the medical center to upgrade its research, educational, and clinical care facilities.
 
The building will also serve as a hub for the Upstate New York Translational Research Network — a consortium of nine institutions that have promised to develop and share clinical research resources — as well as a home for the institute's education programs, including several training and graduate degree programs in clinical and translational research.
 
The CTSB was designed by Philadelphia-based architect Francis Cauffman along with local engineer Bergmann Associates and BR&A Engineers from Boston. LeChase Construction of Rochester is the construction manager for the building. Donald Blair & Partners Architects provided preliminary space programming and site planning, along with Mark Chen Architect who has served as a consultant for the med center.
 
The medical center said it will seek to be the first building on UR’s campus that will be certified as adhering to standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.
 
UR has projected the new CTSB project will generate $30 million in economic activity annually, as well as create 830 construction-related jobs, to be supported during the multi-year construction phase.
 

 
University of South Alabama Opens Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, Ala.
 
The University of South Alabama has opened its Mitchell Cancer Institute. The new 125,000-square-foot facility will house labs for cancer research intended to be translated into clinical care, as well as for research into cancer metastasis and stem cells. The center will focus on breast, ovarian, and melanoma cancers.
 
The center is pursuing a Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute, a designation held now by 40 research centers nationwide. The nearest such center to the Mitchell facility is about 250 miles northeast of Mobile, at University of Alabama Birmingham.
 
Among design features of the new facility is a “window of hope,” or glass wall in the main lobby that allows patients to peek into the research area. CLA Architecture of Birmingham, Ala., served as architects of record, while RMJM Hillier was the project’s design architect.
 

 
Roche Reveals Plan to Add 250 Jobs at Ventana Medical Systems in Arizona’s Oro Valley
 
Roche Holding CEO Severin Schwan told an audience of Arizona life-sciences and other business leaders its Ventana Medical Systems, based in Arizona’s Oro Valley, plans to add 250 employees and expand its research-and-development facilities over the next year, as part of a $100 million expansion tied to the pharma giant’s focus on personalized medicine, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
 
Addressing a luncheon hosted by the Stone Canyon Club during his fourth visit to Tucson, Schwan said Roche plans to expand its workforce at Ventana from about 750 to more than 1,000.
 
Eager to tap into its leadership in tissue diagnostics, Swiss-based Roche bought Ventana in a $3.4 billion deal completed in February. Since then, Ventana has purchased 17.1 acres for $8.9 million to expand its campus.
 
Schwan also announced at the luncheon that Ventana’s current president and CEO Chris Gleeson will retire at the end of the year. Succeeding Gleeson will be chief operating officer Hany Massarany, who has worked for Ventana for 10 years.
 
The luncheon drew attendees from the life sciences industries, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, as well as university and elected officials.
 

 
Duke University to Open Biomarker Factory at NC Research Campus
 
Duke University will open a business incubator called the Biomarker Factory at the North Carolina Research Campus., the $1.5 billion campus being developed by David Murdock — the billionaire real estate and food magnate who owns Dole Food Company — in Kannapolis, NC, the Salisbury Post reported.
 
The biomarker center — set to occupy some 30,000 square feet of a 100,000-square-foot future multi-tenant building in Kannapolis — will raise funds for the Measurement to Understand Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis Study — also known as MURDOCK. Launched with $35 million from its namesake benefactor, the study is designed to develop new, and more effective, ways to fight cancer, liver disease, aging/arthritis, brain disorders, and heart disease.
 
The center will also do fee-for-service work for outside firms, and will break ground soon, Victoria Christian, the chief operating officer for the study and the Duke Translational Research Institute, told attendees at the Charlotte Biotechnology Conference.
 
"It's a big, bodacious idea that we think is very executable," Christian said at the conference, according to the Post. “We will generate our own intellectual property,” Christian said.
 
The Biomarker Factory will include a nonprofit institute, a for-profit contract research organization and several commercial partners, according to Christian, who said LabCorp was a potential partner. LabCorp is already collaborating with Duke to operate a 45,000-square-foot biorepository capable of holding more than 10 million specimens to be brought in by pharmaceutical companies [BRN, Aug. 4].
 

 
European Medicines Agency OKs Bayer Facility in Berkeley, Calif.
 
The European Medicines Agency has granted license approval to Bayer HealthCare for a new $100 million, 44,000-square-foot sterile filling facility on its Berkeley, Calif., campus.
 
The facility — which won authorization in August by the US Food and Drug Administration — will be used by Bayer for late-stage filling and freeze drying of its hemophilia treatment Kogenate FS in the US and European Union.
 
Bayer said in a statement the facility will “significantly” increase its capacity and support larger lot sizes. It also features an automated loading and unloading system, reducing the risk of external contamination and requiring fewer employees.
 
Regulatory agencies from Canada and other countries are in the final stages of inspections and application reviews. Pending those approvals Kogenate products will continue to be made at the existing approved filling and freeze-drying facility on Bayer’s Berkeley campus, Bayer said.
 

 
DuPont and Delaware Unveil $80M Innovation Center Partnership
 
DuPont and Delaware state officials have announced an $80 million Innovation Center partnership. The collaboration includes opening the DuPont Innovation Center business incubator within the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del., at the company's global research and development facility; as well as donating 250 DuPont patents to the Delaware Economic Development Office; and delivering 24 biotechnology seminars for Delaware high school teachers and students.
 
Since the partnership was launched in 2005, more than 800 teachers and students have undergone training and education in new biotechnology developments. Two of the patents donated to the DEDO Intellectual Property Business Creation Program have been used to create Streamline Industries, a new Delaware company that plans to produce environmentally friendly automotive coatings and finishes. And DuPont has added 250 employees at the Experimental Station, the company's largest global R&D site.
 
The Innovation Center, a new business incubator building, will be a home base for DuPont Applied Biosciences staffers working with scientists that are creating DuPont’s new pipeline of biomaterials, biofuels, and other renewables. The state provided a $6 million grant that was matched by a commitment from DuPont to invest $80 million in capital projects at the Experimental Station by 2010.
 
DuPont has teamed up with the Delaware Department of Education to conduct 24 biotechnology seminars for high school students, providing six programs per year, beginning in 2006 at the Experimental Station or other “appropriate” sites throughout Delaware.
 

 
Mississauga, Ont., Officials Welcome Therapure Biopharma
 
Officials in Mississauga, Ont., last week welcomed Therapure Biopharma as it celebrated completion of its 130,000-square-foot Canadian biopharmaceutical facility, at 2585 Meadowpine Blvd. The facility specializes in developing, manufacturing, purifying, and packaging biological protein therapeutics.
"Therapure Biopharma is paving the way for Canadian innovators to continue developing protein-based therapies that make a difference in the lives of those affected by conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, lupus, asthma, and cancer," the company’s president and CEO Thomas Wellner told the Mississauga News.
Therapure acquired its Canadian-built and -conceived facility in 2007 from Hemosol Corp., which used the site to manufacture a blood-substitute product called hemolink. Therapure is privately owned by Catalyst Capital Group, a Toronto-based private equity group that specializes in asset turnarounds.
 

 
Orissa, India, Joins Bharat Biotech International in Partnership to Build $20M Tech Park
 
The government of Orissa, India, has joined the biotechnology company Bharat Biotech International in a public-private partnership formed to construct a Rs 100 crores ($20 million) technology park. The venture is the first of its kind for Orissa, which is attempting to attract pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as information technology businesses sectors.
 
The 55-acre park will be located at Mouza-Andharua, Bhubaneswar, and is projected to take eight years to construct. A 10-acre section of the site has been earmarked for the Biotechnology Incubation Centre, to be funded by the Department of Biotechnology of India’s national government.
 
Our task is to focus on rapid development of this park by developing core infrastructure and technology to enable establishment of new companies whereby new local entrepreneurs in the biotechnology field will be created,” Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of BBI, said in a press release.
 
BBI specializes in the R&D and manufacture of vaccines and biotherapeutics, but has also helped develop technology parks in India.
 

 
Bolder BioTechnology Moves Headquarters, R&D Operations, to Boulder, Colo., Business Park
 
Bolder BioTechnology, a biopharmaceutical company, has relocated its research operations and corporate headquarters to 2425 55th St., Suite 210, in the Flatiron Park West Business Park in Boulder, Colo., according to several published reports.
 
The new facility includes about 8,600 square feet of laboratory and office space. Paul Keilt and Michael Deatly of Jones Lang LaSalle's tenant-representation group represented Bolder BioTechnology, while Hunter Barto of Dean Callan & Co. and Joe Heath of Frederick Ross Co. represented the landlord TIAA-CREF.
 

 
Mass. Medical Device Concept Manufacturer Opens Sales/Support Office in Boulder, Colo.
 
TDC Medical, a medical device concept manufacturer based in Marlborough, Mass., has opened a new sales and support office in Boulder, Colo., where it has signed a lease for 1,915 square feet of space at 5446 Conestoga Court. The office is intended to support TDC clients in Colorado and the central United States.
 
TDC Medical provides concept brainstorming, design development, manufacturing and quality and regulatory control services to help companies create and produce innovative disposable and reusable therapeutic medical devices.

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.