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BRIEFLY BIO
A Site Selection Web Exclusive, November 2012
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ifficulties procuring needed medicines and medical supplies continue in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. For information on where pharmacies are open in storm-affected areas, consult the Rx Response Pharmacy Status Reporting tool from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), now activated in 11 states and D.C.


Dr. Pearse Lyons (center) accepts the Irish-U.S. Council’s Outstanding Achievement Award Nov. 8 with Dennis D. Swanson, president of the Council and president of Fox Television Stations Group (left), and Noel Kilkennuy, Ireland’s Consul-General in New York (right).

Irish-born entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Kentucky-based animal nutrition firm Alltech, has received the Ireland-U.S. Council’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for strengthening economic ties between the United States and Ireland. A native of Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, Lyons has helped revolutionize the animal feed industry with Alltech’s natural solutions, which are safe and beneficial for the animal, consumer and environment. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University College Dublin, Ireland, and a master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Birmingham, England. He worked as a biochemist at Irish distilleries before establishing Alltech in 1980. In the past 32 years, Alltech has grown to employ 2,800 people and conduct business in 128 countries, with annual sales of approximately $750 million. On Friday, Nov. 16, Lyons followed up his own honor by announcing that the company would invest $40 million in its headquarters and another $40 million in its brewery and distillery complex in downtown Lexington.

In 1981, Alltech responded to a demand for products in the European agricultural market with the opening of its first international office in Dunboyne, County Meath, Ireland. Alltech Ireland is the location of the company’s second international Bioscience Centre, a 120-acre (48-hectare) facility that serves as the focal point of Alltech operations in Europe. Alltech Ireland continues to expand and will serve as a headquarters for operations leading up to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.


The new board chairman of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce is Lew Little, CEO of Austin-based Harden Healthcare Texas. In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, he voiced support for a new University of Texas medical school in the city — a project that received public support on Election Day via a new property tax increase. Leaders from the University of Texas system made these statements after the vote.


Doug Hinerfeld, associate director of molecular phenotyping at The Jackson Laboratory, is one of a growing number of Jackson employees and faculty in Maine, Connecticut and Sacramento, Calif.

Jackson Lab, the coastal Maine-based biomedical research institution that last year finalized a major agreement for a new complex in Connecticut and is growing in Sacramento as well, continues to grow in its home state too, where its hometown campus in Bar Harbor has more than two dozen posted positions. This month the company, which employs 1,400 overall, announced plans to locate still-to-be-determined functions in a 143,000-sq.-ft. former Lowe’s store in Ellsworth that has been closed for nearly five years. “Buying this building will enable us to expand our operations in a modular fashion more quickly, more sustainably, and more cost-effectively than constructing new facilities,” said John Fitzpatrick, the Laboratory’s senior facilities director, “and will provide jobs in the local construction industry in addition to those generated to operate the facility.” Helping make the sale happen was a June amendment to the city’s land use ordinance that permitted research facilities as an approve use of the site. The lab breeds 2.7 million lab mice annually for researchers around the world, and recently began breeding a new type that has no immune system, in order to test new cancer treatments.


What do a relocating NFL team training camp, a major healthcare system and the City of Richmond, Va., have to do with one another? More than one person is asking that question. A new deal features a $9-million summer training camp from the Washington Redskins and also includes expansion of multiple medical facilities and attractive lease rates for Bon Secours. But some question whether a complex package touted as positive economic development is really best in the long run. The Richmond Times-Dispatch sorts out all the details to this point.


Eli Lilly and Company on Nov. 1 announced a $140-million, 80,000-sq.-ft. expansion to the company's Indianapolis insulin manufacturing operations. The new facility will manufacture insulin cartridges for people with diabetes, and willl be a first-of-its-kind facility for Lilly in the U.S. Construction will begin immediately with completion expected in March 2014. During this period, construction trade staffing will average 250, with peak employment at approximately 350 workers at the site. “Once operational in 2015, more than 100 full-time, highly skilled, specialized technicians, scientists, and engineers will be needed to manage the operations,” said the company.

John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D. (pictured), Lilly's chairman, president, and CEO, said that Lilly's commitment to meeting the long-term needs of people with diabetes in the U.S., as well as its role as a biomedical leader in Indiana, drove the company's decision to build this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Indianapolis. “Lilly is committed to providing a full range of innovative treatment options for people with diabetes,” he said. “The need in our country is great — and it is growing. This investment will help us to better meet that need while expanding our advanced manufacturing footprint in our home state — helping to strengthen Indiana's bioscience industry.”


Fasken Martineau in October released its latest memo on the recent judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada v. GlaxoSmithKline Inc. on transfer pricing tax issues. “This decision is important to multi-national enterprises … because the Supreme Court makes it clear that Canadian courts have broad scope to determine whether prices used for the transfer of property or services between a Canadian resident taxpayer and non-arm's length non-residents are reasonable,” said the firm’s Christopher Steeves and Justine Connelly.


This photo of a genome sequencing machine in action was taken by Alice Young and Bob Blakesley at the National Institutes of Health Intramural Sequencing Center in Rockville, Md.
Photo courtesy of NIH National Human Genome Research Institute.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Oct. 31 that the world's largest, most detailed catalog of human genetic variation has more than doubled in size with the 1000 Genomes Project's latest publication in the Oct. 31 issue of Nature. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, helps fund and direct this international public-private consortium of researchers in the United States, Britain, China, Germany and Canada. The expanded catalog allows medical researchers to locate genetic differences contributing to rare and common diseases more precisely. Identifying the genetic underpinnings of disease will help lead to new diagnostic tests and, in some cases, treatments.

“I view this project as a Lewis and Clark expedition to the interior of the human genome,” said Stephen Sherry, Ph.D., chief of the Reference Collections Section, Information Engineering Branch at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), part of the National Library of Medicine. “We knew the outlines and contours [of the genome]. Now, we're trying to document all the fine details such as the rivers and tributaries."

So far, project researchers have sequenced the genomes of 1,092 people from 14 populations in Europe, East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas. Ultimately, they will study more than 2,500 individuals from 26 populations. Phase one of the 1000 Genomes Project has produced a massive amount of genomic data. Simply recording the raw information takes some 180 terabytes of hard-drive space, enough to fill more than 40,000 DVDs. All of the information is freely available on the Internet through public databases such as ones at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., and the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, England. The massive dataset became available in the cloud this year via Amazon Web Services (AWS). Planning for the $120-million project began in 2007. In 2010, researchers published data on three pilot studies. The 2012 data set will be followed by the last addition to the catalog in 2013.



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