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Stowers Institute, PRA International, Gen-Probe, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, Brock University, Canada Centers of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Invitrogen, Lentigen, Univer

Stowers Announces New Support Facility; Second Campus Remains on Hold
The Stowers Institute in Kansas City, Mo., will locate severalsupport functions and storage facilities within a 280,000-square-foot commercial/industrial complex at 8333 Hickman Mills Road in the city — a 15-acre property purchased by Jim and Virginia Stowers and donated to the institute that bears their name.
The site will also serve as the headquarters of a for-profit translational R&D offshoot of the institute, BioMed Valley Discoveries.
“By locating these important functions in this satellite location, we can more efficiently conduct scientific research operations at the institute's world-class campus near the Plaza,” said William Neaves, the institute’s president and CEO, in a press release.
The purchase price was $5 million, the Kansas City Star reported.
Stowers’ Feb. 14 announcement came eight months after the institute said it would hold off on plans to build a larger second campus because of recent efforts in Missouri to outlaw stem cell research unless researchers preclude obtaining stem cells from human embryos. While state voters in 2006 enacted Amendment 2, a measure barring restrictions on stem-cell research, the controversy over embryonic research lingered, prompting Neale in a release last year to complain: “Unfortunately, the persistent negative political climate in Jefferson City is preventing us from recruiting the embryonic stem cell scientists we wish to attract."
The institute opened its current home base — a 10-acre, 600,000-square-foot campus in Kansas City — in 2000.
“Before the Institute undertakes major expansion in this region, we need to be confident that the political environment in Missouri is science-friendly,” Neaves added in the Feb. 14 press release.
The property was previously owned and operated by Aventis/Sanofi. Initially, Stowers-related activities will occupy only a fraction of the facility’s total square footage. Renovation is scheduled to begin within 60 days and to be completed in early 2009. Total construction costs are projected at more than $20 million.

PRA International Completes Expanded Clinical Pharmacology Center
PRA International, a Raleigh, NC-based clinical research organization, has completed an expanded Clinical Pharmacology Center in the Kansas City suburb of Lenexa, Kans., on the entire first floor of the Ridge Drive building, and will mark the facility’s grand opening on Feb. 27.
Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Kerr will lead about 200 invited area civic leaders, scientists, investigators, and PRA top executives and clinic staff members for the official ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies. The new facility doubles, to 80 beds, its volunteer capacity for Phase I clinical trials.
PRA International employs more than 3,500 people on six continents.

Gen-Probe Buys Blood Screening Manufacturing Plant in Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
Gen-Probe has purchased a blood screening manufacturing facility in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., for $15.7 million, the company disclosed in its fourth-quarter filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company had leased the 94,000-square-feet facility since late 1997.
Gen-Probe said in its filing the deal is expected to have an “immaterial” effect on its 2008 income, “but is expected to be accretive to earnings over the long term, based on rent increases that would have been associated with renewing the company's lease.”

Miami-Dade OKs $150,000 Biotech Incentive Request by Becton Dickinson
The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners agreed Feb. 7 to ask Florida for an additional $150,000 toward the creation of a Miami facility for a Franklin Lakes, NJ, biotech that has already secured $1.36 million in incentives, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
Becton Dickinson and Company would create 75 jobs and spend $21.1 million in capital improvements toward conversion of the former Ivax Corp. site under the state’s redevelopment program for former industrial sites or brownfields. The commission added the Ivax site, at 50 N.W. 176th St., to its brownfield map even though the property wasn't contaminated.
Becton Dickinson purchased the 253,066-square-foot old Ivax manufacturing site in Miami in August, then granted Ivax a 10-year lease for 112,000 square feet of that property on Aug. 31.
The Beacon Council, the region’s public-private economic development agency, told commissioners in May that the company — whose name it did not disclose — plans to renovate 90,000 square feet of the site and buy equipment to manufacture cell culture products that are used to make cell-based therapeutics and vaccines for other biotech companies. Construction would begin in July.
The leftover space is to be reserved for possible future expansion.

Ontario OKs $33.5M for New Research Complex at Brock University
Ontario, Canada, officials have approved spending $33.5 million for the new Niagara Health and Biosciences Research Complex planned for Brock University in St. Catharines.
The complex will house the animal care facilities, greenhouse and growth chambers, a plant transformation facility, particle gun room and a range of specialized research laboratories. The complex will also provide additional meeting, office and common spaces for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research scientists. The research center is projected to create 335 jobs.
Brock has received $49.9 million from the Ontario Government to support capital projects since 2003.

Canada Names 11 New Centers of Excellence for Commercialization and Research
Canada’s national government will spend $163 million to establish 11 new Centers of
Excellence for Commercialization and Research nationwide, intended to bring new technologies, therapies, services and products to market faster through public-private collaborations.
The 11 CECRs and their funding amounts, in Canadian dollars, are:
  • Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Vancouver, BC, $14.95 million.
  • Bioindustrial Innovation Center, Sarnia, Ont., $14.95 million.
  • Center for the Commercialization of Research, Ottawa, Ont., $14.95 million.
  • Center for Drug Research and Development, Vancouver, $14.95 million.
  • Center of Excellence in Personalized Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, $13.8 million.
  • Center for Probe Development and Commercialization, Hamilton, Ont., $14.95 million.
  • Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer/CECR in Therapeutics Discovery, Montreal, $14.95 million.
  • MaRS Innovation, Toronto, $14.95 million.
  • The Prostate Center's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development, Vancouver, $14.95 million.
  • Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise, Saskatoon, Sask., $14.95 million.
  • CECR in the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure, Vancouver, $14.95 million.
Canada’s 2007 budget set aside $195 million over the next two years to create new
Centers of Excellence for Commercialization and Research in health and the life sciences, and three other priority areas: Environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, and information and communication technologies.
The CECR program is a cornerstone of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, launched in May 2007 to encourage more private sector R&D investment.

Florida Torrey Pines Contractor Eyes Dec. 2008 Finish as Work 65 Percent Complete
The general contractor overseeing construction of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in Port St. Lucie, Fla., said the 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art biomedical research facility is 65 percent complete after breaking ground 11 months ago, and that completion is slated for December 2008, one month ahead of schedule.
Suffolk Construction said that over the last month, it has completed the mechanical piping on the first and second floor; the drywall hanging, finishing and prime painting on the first floor; the mechanical penthouse structure; and the fume hoods in the first and second floor labs. Drywall finishing on second floor close to 80 percent complete, Suffolk said, while connections to ductwork are in progress.
Suffolk also announced that TPIMS has been approved as a registered Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, project by the United States Green Building Council. Additional updates and information about the TPIMS project can be found by visiting

Invitrogen Renews Lease on 75,000-Square-Foot Building, With Conversion in Mind
Invitrogen has renewed and restructured its lease on 75,160 square feet of space at 5791 Van Allen, one of two buildings at its 405,000-square-foot campus in Carlsbad, Calif., reported. The deal will enable the life sciences technologies provider to convert the building from warehouse space to administrative offices over the next six months.
Invitrogen was represented by a team of brokers from Studley that included managing director Tim Schramm, executive vice president Kelly Givens, and corporate managing director Jeff Cannon, all from the brokerage’s Orange County office; and Brian French, senior vice president and branch manager of Studley’s San Diego office. The building's landlord, Mararick LLC, was represented by Matt Strockis of Burnham Real Estate Services.

Lentigen Exiting UMBC TechCenter for Gaithersburg HQ-Manufacturing Facility
Lentigen, a developer and manufacturer of lentiviral vectors and proteins for therapeutic and research applications, will move its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities within Maryland, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County TechCenter to a new 26,000 square-foot facility in Gaithersburg.
Located along Maryland's Interstate 270 technology corridor, the expanded facility is designed to accommodate future growth in research and clinical operations. The facility will include two self-contained suites allowing simultaneous multi-product manufacture in compliance with FDA-regulated current good manufacturing practices and EMEA regulatory standards.

Incubator Operator to Aid Early-Stage Companies in Baltimore’s UMB BioPark
The developer of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, BioPark campus and a technology incubator operator have signed an agreement intended to accelerate the growth of Baltimore's life sciences industry by coordinating incubation and leasing activities for early-stage bioscience companies.
Under the agreement, the Emerging Technology Center will provide business mentoring and incubation service assistance to early-stage life science and bioscience companies located at the UMB BioPark.
The BioPark consists of 360,000 square feet in two multi-tenant buildings developed by Wexford Science + Technology. This spring, Wexford will break ground on a third building. BioPark has created 200 jobs and drawn $128 million in capital investment.
In return, the BioPark will promote the ETC services to tenants and prospects and offer laboratory space to ETC tenant companies. While the ETC traditionally has provided physical office space and needed business equipment for software and information technology companies, it lacks the wet labs and other facilities required by life science companies.
That life science space will be available at ETC’s new BioInnovation Center, within the BioPark. Startups can avail themselves to short-term leasing arrangements, rapid move-in with pre-built wet lab and office space, and rental rates that include utilities, shared room for equipment and conference facilities, and phone/internet telecom service.
Last year, current and graduate ETC companies raised nearly $520 million in outside funding. Since 1999 ETC has provided assistance to 142 companies and 80 percent of its graduate clients are still in business. Those companies have received nearly $800 million in funding and have been issued over 200 patents.

C&W Report: Biotech Poised to Generate $5B, Occupy 140M Sq. Ft. by 2010
India’s biotech industry will grow large enough to generate $5 billion revenues, creating employment for a million people, and occupy 140 million square feet by 2010, the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield projected in a new report, Bio Reality in India Report 2008.
"Even though the country presently holds a minimal market share of 2 percent of the global biotech market, it has immense potential to develop as a key player by 2010,” said the international real estate consultants.
The report places five cities in the top tier for biotech growth given their better infrastructure and talent pool — Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai.
Bangalore alone will see approximately 6.5 million square feet of life sciences demand between 2007-2010, as companies seek to locate near the city’s existing biotech employers, which include Novo Nordisk, Syngene, Aurigene, Wipro Life Sciences and Novozymes, C&W projected.
Yet Hyderabad has witnessed development in recent years of the Knowledge Park, the Biotech Park, and Genome Valley, which has attracted 53 international biotech companies over the past year. Hyderabad’s life sciences sector will grow since the city will see development of two biotech Special Economic Zones and three biotech parks, according to C&W.
Chennai is home to TICEL Bio Park, which has been in operation since November 2004, and will witness development of three more biotech parks and a biotech SEZ in the near future, including a bioinformatics and a genomics center at Tidel Park.

The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.