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Xceleron, Aradigm, Mendel Biotechnology, Mission West Properties, Rendina Companies, Dyadic International

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Xceleron Inks Lease on New Germantown, Md., Facility
 
Drug developer Xceleron announced July 23 it had signed a lease for a “multi-million dollar” facility set to open in November in Germantown, Md., within Montgomery County. The facility will house a new accelerator mass spectrometer and associated equipment to analyze potential drug candidates, set to cost $7.5 million.
 
The new facility will employ “at least 20 people in scientific, commercial and administrative roles,” the company said. The lease comes two years after British-owned Xceleron expanded into North America, doubling its business each year.
 
“Our new facility will allow us to substantially increase our development capacity to better serve our customers worldwide,” Colin Garner, CEO of Xceleron, said in a company press release announcing the lease.
 

 
Aradigm Enters Into Sublease Agreement with Mendel Biotechnology
 
Aradigm of Hayward, Calif., a developer of drugs for severe respiratory diseases, has signed a multi-year, renewable agreement to sublease approximately 54,000 square feet in its headquarters facility to plant genomics company Mendel Biotechnology beginning July 18.
 
Aradigm will continue to occupy a portion of the facility, which houses all of its staff, R&D laboratories and operations. Aradigm said the sublease agreement is expected to reduce its operating costs by approximately $1.5 million per year.
 

 
Mission West Announces Two Acquisitions Totaling $17.3M
 
Mission West Properties — a Cupertino, Calif., real estate investment trust that is in talks to be acquired [See feature this issue] — announced July 18 a pair of acquisitions completed in April.
 
Mission West said that it acquired three office/R&D buildings comprised of approximately 149,000 rentable square feet at Montague Expressway in Milpitas, Calif., from an undisclosed seller. Mission West paid about $15.4 million for the buildings, in a sale that took place April 20.
 
Seven days later, the company said, it acquired for almost $2.3 million about 5 acres of vacant land in Morgan Hill, Calif., that can be developed with up to 73,000 rentable square feet. The site is zoned for industrial use.
 

 
Rendina Reacquires Site at Abacoa Town Center from Dyadic for $1.2M
 
Rendina Companies has re-acquired a 2-acre biotech research site at Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter, Fla., from Dyadic International for $1.2 million, the Palm Beach Post reported on July 21.
 
The site was where Jupiter-based Dyadic announced plans in 2004 to build a 40,000-square-foot headquarters and research center, with an incubator for startups spun out of the Scripps Florida research facility. A Dyadic vice president, Sasha Bondar, told the Post the company has been expanding in Davis, Calif., its research into the conversion of cellulosic material into alternative fuel and other uses, but would remain in Florida.
 
The change of plans came three months after Dyadic’s CEO and chairman, Mark Emalfarb, went on a leave of absence in April, following what the company said in a press release was "potentially material operational and financial improprieties at its Hong Kong and mainland China operations." The company stopped trading on the American Stock Exchange after May 22, and faces delisting unless it files its quarterly financial statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by Nov. 16.
 
A Rendina executive told the Post the site will continue to be marketed for biotech research. The company also plans to build another 800,000 square feet of lab space on a nearby 30-acre parcel.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.