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In Brief This Week: Roche; Life Technologies; Trovagene, Strand; Fluidigm; Wellington Partners; Proteros, UCB; Evotec

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche has selected the Alexandria Center for Life Science - New York City as the location for its Translational Clinical Research Center. The center will serve as the critical early development presence for Roche Pharma Research and Early Development in the US. Roche signed an 11-year lease on the property and anticipates moving staff to the new site at the end of 2013, following completion of the Alexandria Center’s West Tower.

Roche intends to transfer approximately 200 employees from Roche Pharma Research and Early Development and Product Development in Nutley, NJ to the Alexandria Center. The firm had announced in June that it would trim Research and Early Development's activities and close the Nutley site.

"We looked at several great properties in New York and New Jersey and selected the Alexandria Center for its unique location as well as the dynamic, vibrant, and thriving scientific atmosphere it offers," Mike Burgess, acting global head, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, said in a statement. "For Roche research, having the TCRC located in the Alexandria Center will be a critical element in helping us maintain the high caliber of scientific excellence within Roche pRED, carry out our long-term strategic research vision, tap into scientific expertise, and find new and innovative ways to move the drug development process forward.”

Life Technologies said this week that it has completed the creation of a new facility in Beijing to manufacture DNA testing kits, including its newly launched GlobalFiler, for forensic labs in China.

Trovagene and Strand Life Sciences this week said that they have completed their agreement to validate and commercialize Trovagene's urine-based human papillomavirus test for clinical diagnostic and carrier screening use. The firms had announced a memorandum of understanding in June to collaborate on the test. The alliance covers India and South Asia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fluidigm has joined AMDec's vendor partnership program, offering AMDec's members discounted pricing on Fluidigm's instruments, reagents, consumables, and assay design services.

Wellington Partners announced the first closing of its Wellington Partners IV Life Science Fund this week. The Munich, Germany-based venture capital firm said it has received commitments from investors totaling €70 million (US$90.9 million) and is targeting a total of €120 million for the new fund. Among the main investors in the new fund are the European Investment Fund, LfA Foerderbank Bayern, Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH, and several others.

Among the firms in which Wellington has invested are German cervical screening technologies firm mtm laboratories and TB diagnostics firm Oxford Immunotec.

Proteros biostructures and UCB said this week that they have expanded their structural biology collaboration beyond immunology and now will also collaborate on central nervous system disease drug research.

Hamburg, Germany-based Evotec has signed a multi-year contract with the National Institutes of Health to operate a small molecule repository. The 10-year contract is valued at around $75 million, said Evotec. The firm's repository will support high-throughput screening centers working on probe and drug discovery. The contract will be managed by Evotec's San Francisco subsidiary.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.