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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, October 2011
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Attending the recent incubator opening are from left, Jay Gonzalez, Massachusetts secretary of administration and finance; Prof. Stephen McCarthy, co-director of M2D2; UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan and David MacKenzie, executive director of the UMass Building Authority.

New Massachusetts Incubator Draws Startups

A new business incubator at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has attracted eight medical device startups to its laboratory and office space, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) announced at its recent opening. 

The incubator is the result of a $4-million renovation that has transformed 14,000 sq. ft. (1,300 sq. m.) of a former mill building into a state-of-the-art facility with wet laboratories and office and meeting space for emerging companies. Already, the incubator is nearly at capacity, with most of the labs and private offices leased. The startups are developing products to address such critical health issues as glaucoma, wound care and osteoporosis-related fractures. 

 "An innovative initiative in its own right, M2D2 is helping to grow the innovation economy," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. "Start-up medical device companies are eager for our support. Already, eight companies are moving in to the new incubator."

M2D2 is a UMass Lowell-UMass Worcester initiative charged with bridging the gap between the invention and production of new medical devices, a key segment of the Massachusetts economy. Over the past decade, Massachusetts' medical device exports have grown at more than twice the rate of the state's overall exports. The industry employs nearly 25,000 workers in the Commonwealth and is responsible for creating more than 80,000 jobs in related industries, according to recent study by Deloitte.

Boehringer Ingelheim Expanding in Connecticut

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals plans to invest $42.5 million over the next two years to build a new Safety Assessment Building on its 294-acre (119-hectare) campus in Ridgefield and Danbury, Conn. The building, when completed in 2013, will provide more than 63,000 sq. ft. (5,852 sq. m.) for non-clinical safety studies in development as well as studies for research.

"Boehringer Ingelheim has a bright future ahead as a leader in our highly competitive industry," said Greg Behar, president and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "This innovative $42.5-million facility has a singular purpose that is aligned with our corporate mission to bring new, innovative medicines to patients and families."

The company also hopes to gain approval this year for a $65-million Pilot Plant Replacement facility on its Connecticut campus. The pilot plant is where the New Chemical Entities make the transition from the lab bench to the chemical processing environment and the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are made in quantities sufficient to support development activities.

A new vaccine center will open at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012. Known as InterVac, the facility will significantly enhance Canada's capacity to develop vaccines for both humans and animals.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Plans South Carolina Plant

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. has announced plans to open a new facility in Lexington County, S.C., near Columbia. The $313-million investment is expected to generate 707 new jobs.

"We are excited to expand our company by locating our new manufacturing facility in Lexington County. This is a big step for our firm and will help us meet increased demand, expand our market share and develop our pipeline of products. South Carolina has an excellent business environment and we look forward to our expansion into the Palmetto State," said Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron.

The company is based in Orlando where it currently operates 250,000 sq. ft. (23,225 sq. m.) of manufacturing, distribution and packaging facilities. Additionally, the company has distribution centers in Kentucky and Arizona.

Sequenom, a company specializing in genetic analysis, plans a new facility in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. The company says it will create more than 240 jobs.

Roche has opened a new clinical supply manufacturing facility at its complex in Nutley, N.J. The facility houses specialized equipment to process potent compounds into medicines for clinical trials.

Jackson Laboratory's new facility in Connecticut received official incentives approval last week. Read the whole story of how the project came together in the November issue of Site Selection magazine.

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The Site Selection Life Sciences Report features exclusive and in-depth reporting and analysis on the most important life science projects and issues. Topics covered include pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing, biotechnology, medical device manufacturing, health-care services facility trends, clinical research and other key life science sectors.


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