British Drug Microdosing Company Xceleron Opens Lab-HQ in Germantown, Md.
British life sciences company Xceleron has opened a $7.5 million laboratory headquarters in Germantown, Md.
The outpost employs 15 people, and staffers from Xceleron's headquarters in York, UK, will fly in to train the new lab employees. The facility features two $1.5 million accelerator mass spectrometers, designed to analyze the effectiveness of potential drugs in human blood samples.
Xceleron CEO Colin Garner told the Washington Post the company’s Germantown facility is designed to bring to US biotech and pharma companies its “microdosing” drug-delivery platform during clinical testing of new drugs. The platform involves administering microscopic doses of a drug candidate to human test patients. If successful, the candidates proceed to full clinical tests.
The new lab-HQ is located down the street from two drug developers, MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals and Avalon Pharmaceuticals. It is Xceleron’s second facility in Maryland’s Montgomery County: In 2005, the company opened a marketing office in Gaithersburg.
Last year Garner and Xceleron’s other co-founder — his wife, June, — moved to Bethesda from the UK.
Xceleron has received a $100,000 grant from Montgomery County and is in the final stages of securing a $100,000 state grant. In exchange, Xceleron promises to hire 100 local employees by 2012.
Xceleron was spun out of the University of York in 1997.
Proteon Therapeutics Grows With Kansas City Biotechnology Center
The Kansas City Biotechnology Center has completed an expansion that added 800 square feet to its original 3,700-square-foot facility. The new space will enable the center’s sole tenant, Proteon Therapeutics, to expand its operations, according to a statement by the center’s operator, the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City.
Proteon, a developer of pharmaceuticals focused on renal and vascular diseases, uses the KC biotech center as its research site. Proteon maintains its headquarters in Waltham, Mass. The firm opened its doors with the biotech center, at 4420 Madison Ave., in 2006.
Financing for the expansion came through charitable donations by Bank Midwest and CRB Engineers and Builders. They used tax credits obtained through the Missouri Development Finance Boardand the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Proteon’s founder and now chief scientific officer, F. Nicholas Franano, was named by Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt to the board of the Missouri Technology Corp. in April. He was appointed to a term that will end on Oct. 1, 2009.
German Medical Device Firm Mesotec Opens Headquarters in Pittsburgh
German medical device maker Medical Sensors Technologies, or Mesotec, has moved its US operations from Pittsburgh to the city’s suburb of Green Tree Borough, within Alleghany County.
Mesotec CEO Max Ostermeier said in a statement the company selected Pittsburgh “based on already established partnerships with the biotech community here” as well as the city’s “great infrastructure, local universities, and the reasonable cost of living.”
Mesotec has relocated three people from Hannover, Germany, to the Pittsburgh area, and said it plans to add up to six by year’s end. Within two years the company hopes to double in size to 12 staffers as clinical trials progress.
In his statement, Ostermeier credited the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance with helping to recruit the company during its 2006 and 2008 trips to Europe with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Mesotec has developed products designed to revolutionize the diagnosis of intraocular pressure, and the treatment of glaucoma. The products include a micro-eye implant, placed in the eye during a 10-minute outpatient procedure, and a handheld device that patients use at home to take their own pressure readings once daily. The company said it is working with clinical partners to test the device and hopes to begin human trials in the fall, then enter the market in 2010.