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Seattle Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, University of North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina Research Campus, LAB Research, CellCyte

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Seattle Children's Hospital Buys Block for $43.6M, with Research in Mind
 
Seattle's Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center closed May 16 on its acquisition of an additional city block adjacent to the two contiguous downtown research buildings it purchased last year.
 
Children's purchased the downtown city block unofficially known as "Stewart Place," bordered by Stewart, Terry, Virginia, and Boren streets. The property is currently a large parking lot divided by an alley, located directly across the street to the east of the 1915 Terry Avenue building, which is next to the 1900 9th Avenue building, both acquired by Children's in October 2006.
 
The hospital envisions transforming the properties into a unified campus filling nearly two entire adjacent city blocks. Situated at the south end of the Fairview biotech corridor, Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute is intended to connect Seattle's growing research community, including its partners, the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Children's physicians and scientists are faculty members at the University of Washington.
 
The Stewart Place property sold for a reported value of $43.6 million. Aboveground development capacity is just over 900,000 square feet. The property was acquired through a series of related transactions with Touchstone Stewart Place, the Ebright Trust, Murray Hill Developments, and Marathon Investment Corp. A ground lease termination also was negotiated with Touchstone, which expressed particular interest in working with Children's, in appreciation of the mission and plans for dedicating the space to future pediatric biotech research.
 
The Stewart Place lot will be developed over the next several years, in addition to improvements and development of the two previously acquired buildings. Formerly occupied by Corixa prior to acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline, the 1900 9th Avenue building has 11 floors and 216,088 building square feet. The building earned a Silver award last year and certification from the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
 
The former Qwest building at 1915 Terry Avenue has 251,095 building square feet and seven floors. Children's holds this property with a lease and option to buy, with an expected closing this fall.
 
The purchase fulfills part of a strategic plan adopted last year that includes nine Research Centers that will address complex biomedical problems across multiple disciplines, departments, and divisions, including immunity and vaccines, childhood infections and prematurity, tissue and cell biology, translational and clinical science, childhood cancer, genetics and development, health services and behavioral research, neurosciences, and developmental therapeutics.
 
Children's has been leasing 50,000 square feet of laboratory space in the 307 Westlake building in South Lake Union and 40,000 square feet of office space at Metropolitan Park West, both nearby. Clinical research and administrative functions will remain at Metropolitan Park for now. Later this summer it is anticipated those currently located at 307 Westlake will move to the 1900 9th Avenue facility.
 
The acquisition was made possible by hospital reserve funds and private donations contributed through the Campaign for Children's, the hospital's seven-year comprehensive fundraising effort to raise $300 million for facilities, uncompensated care and research.
 
Kinzer Real Estate Services represented the hospital in the analysis and acquisition of the Stewart Place lot, which closed May 16.
 
“Well ahead of schedule we have already surpassed our goal to acquire all the research space outlined in our strategic plan,” said Thomas Hansen, Children's Hospital's CEO, in a statement announcing the acquisition.
 

 
Biopharmaceutical Pays $3M for Former NeoRx Manufacturing Facility
 
Cambridge, Mass.,-based Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals has entered into an agreement to purchase for $3 million a commercial-scale radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Denton, Tex., from NeoRx Manufacturing Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Poniard Pharmaceuticals.
 
David S. Barlow, chairman and CEO of Molecular Insight, said in a statement announcing the purchase that the acquisition was in line with the biopharmaceutical company’s strategy of expanding its manufacturing options of product candidates ranging from molecular imaging pharmaceuticals like Zemiva and Trofex, to targeted radiotherapeutic products such as Azedra, Onalta, and Solazed.
 
The manufacturing facility contains more than 80,000 square feet of pharmaceutical manufacturing, warehouse, clean room, and administrative office space. The closing of the transaction is subject in part to a 45-day feasibility review period during which Molecular Insight said it will conduct a due diligence inspection of the facility.
 

 
UNC Greensboro Announces Plans for Kannapolis Research Campus
 
The University of North Carolina Greensboro announced May 17 details of its plans to carry out research within the 350-acre North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC.
 
Two as-yet-unidentified senior research professors from UNCG and their staffs will use about 5,000 square feet of lab and office space on the fourth floor of the planned UNC Nutrition Research Building.
 
The professors will be part of the new UNCG Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components, which will include research technicians, research associates, and as many as six doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. They will conduct independent research and collaborate with scientists from the other participating universities — Duke, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Agricultural and Technical State University, NC Central, and UNC-Charlotte.
 
The UNCG personnel in Kannapolis will operate its labs and offices as a satellite of the university’s Department of Nutrition, complementing the work of the department’s faculty.
 
The research campus will consist of a million square feet of office and laboratory space envisioned to house more than 100 biotech companies. Plans also call for 350,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 700 residential units, a 1,000-seat conference center, a government center for the city of Kannapolis, a 120-room hotel and wellness center, a 40,000-square-foot job training and education center run by the NC Community College System, and a girls’ school for junior and senior high school students from across the country who excel in math and science.
 
UNCG has received $600,000 in state money this year to support its participation in the research campus and is slated to receive $1.8 million next year, much of which will be spent on equipment and other start-up costs. In future years, recurring state funding is expected to be about $1.5 million, which will be supplemented by external grants and contracts.
 

 
CRO Closes on $23 Million Purchase of Laval, Canada, Facility
 
LAB Research, a non-clinical contract research organization with operations in North America and Europe, has closed on a $23 million purchase of its facility in Laval, Canada, from former landlord Laval Armand Properties Ltd., an affiliate of Woodcliffe Corp. two years after entering a sale-leaseback deal for the site.
 
Of the purchase price, $10.3 million was deducted for amounts owed to LAB Research by the Woodcliffe entity, mainly reflecting construction costs LAB funded toward a $12 million expansion of the property completed last December. LAB expanded its facility from 38,000 to 87,000 square feet, bringing Canadian operations under one roof. The company has projected the facility will employ 200 people and generate revenues of over $25 million when it reaches full capacity later this year.
 
The rest of the purchase will be covered through a $17 million mortgage loan from the National Bank of Canada’s Health Group.
 
The deal was part of a lease-buyback transaction announced by LAB Research in 2005, when the company was owned by LAB International. At the time, LAB sold the property to Woodcliffe and entered into a lease set to expire in July 2027. Last summer, LAB International spun off LAB Research through an initial public offering.
 

 
CellCyte Relocating its Headquarters, Research Space to Bothell, Wash.
 
CellCyte Genetics later this year will move its corporate headquarters from Kirkland, Wash., to a 25,000-square-foot facility the company has agreed to lease in the Seattle suburb of Bothell, Wash.
 
The new facility, within the Canyon Park biotechnology complex, will allow CellCyte to coordinate worldwide operations and will serve as its main research facility for carrying out preclinical studies in support of planned clinical trials, as well as development of its research pipeline.
 
CellCyte’s facility will consist of corporate offices, a 12,000 square foot laboratory with a nuclear imaging facility, manufacturing space for the company’s first biomedical device, and a high resolution SPECT/CT imaging system.
 
“This new facility in Bothell will allow our research teams to complete preclinical investigations on our lead indication — delivering stem cells to heal the heart — as well as move immediately into new research related to new products and patents,” said Gary Reys, president and chairman of CellCyte, in a May 17 statement announcing the move.
CellCyte's lead product is the experimental compound CCG-TH30, which can deliver and retain stem cells in the heart.
 
CellCyte expects its new corporate headquarters and laboratory will be ready in September. The facilities will be fully operational immediately following.
 
Earlier this year CellCyte became a public company, then raised almost $6 million in a private placement of shares, after merging with a Canadian mining company, Shepard.
 
CellCyte is one of two life sciences companies announcing plans for new facilities in Bothell in recent weeks. On April 30, BioLife Solutions, a developer and manufacturer of proprietary liquid preservation media for cells, tissues, and organs, announced it completed the relocation of its corporate office and operations, except production, from Oswego, NY.

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