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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, May 2013
WEB Exclusive story
GlaxoSmithKline has steadily invested in expansions at its Sainte Foy vaccine production facility in Québec City.
Photo courtesy of GSK

laxoSmithKline announced May 14 a new $36-million investment at the Parc technologique de Québec in Québec City. According to a news release, the investment will enable GSK to add two new production lines, one for filling and packaging pandemic vaccines and another for packaging influenza vaccines. GSK holds an exclusive 10-year contract signed in 2011 with Health Canada for manufacturing influenza vaccines. The value of the contract is estimated to be $425 million.

GSK's $36-million investment project received the support of Québec City via a non-refundable financial contribution of nearly $8 million, which will help consolidate at least 400 jobs at the GSK plant in Québec City until 2021. The upgrades should be completed in 2015.

A new study of studies reveals that the Deep South might not be as obese as everyone always says it is. Instead, as journalist Brenda Goodman puts it, "the dubious honor of being the fattest region in the U.S. should go to the nation's breadbasket, not to the buckle of its BBQ belt."

Boston-based tenant rep firm T3 Advisors offer this point-by-point sample incentives comparisonbetween life sciences leaders California and Massachusetts.

Left to right: Peter Staecker, president, IEEE; Alexander Verl, awards committee; Robert Horst, AlterG, IERA Award winner; Martin Bühler, awards committee; Raj Madhavan, Awards chair.

The 9th annual Invention and Entrepreneurship Award in Robotics and Automation (IERA) was presented May 8 to Robert Horst, AlterG Inc. (former Tibion Corp.) for the Tibion Bionic Leg, at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

"In the end, we picked the Tibion Bionic Leg for the following reason as noted in the citation for the award — 'A breakthrough product for rehabilitation of stroke patients at an affordable price, and offering a compelling story of an entrepreneurial journey with typical ups-and-downs culminating in a successful business,' " said Raj Madhavan, vice president of IEEE-RAS Industrial Activities Board and chairman of the Awards Committee.

The Tibion Bionic Leg (TBL) is a wearable, battery-powered, robotic mobility assistance device. Activated by the patient's intent to move, the TBL is used by physical therapists for patients with impaired mobility and is designed to strengthen stance, improve gait and enhance active motor learning while protecting its users. Tibion Inc. was founded in 2002 in Sunnyvale, Calif., after Horst started researching the topic following his own knee surgery. After developing the hard- and software of the product, Tibion sold the first Bionic Leg in 2009, and the company now has sold more than 100 units. Tibion is now part of AlterG, Inc., a company also known for its Anti-Gravity Treadmill®, based on technology originally developed for NASA.

Purdue University and The Jackson Laboratory announced May 20 that they have created a new bioengineering facility, and will hold the first Purdue-Jackson Laboratory Symposium May 29-31 at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, to discuss the latest research in areas from implantable medical devices to the genetics behind human diseases. The two institutions last fall established a new laboratory, the Bioengineering Lab at JAX, and have several collaborations, including research related to prosthetics and glaucoma. "Jackson Lab has the expertise in genetics and we provide the engineering expertise," said Pedro Irazoqui, director of Purdue's and an associate professor of Center for Implantable Devices biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering. "The new bioengineering lab provides all the tools visiting engineers would need to do their work."

"@4240 will provide St. Louis with multi-tenant lab and research space that rivals any other center of research in the United States," said Dan Cramer, executive vice president – Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, of the 183,000-sq.-ft. (17,000-sq.-m.) building being designed by HOK. "The property will have the capabilities and infrastructure to support a variety of types of research from small start-ups to established corporate users from around the country looking to relocate to or expand in St. Louis."

Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, a private real estate development and investment company, is transforming the historic Heritage Building in the CORTEX District in St. Louis' popular Central West End into a multi-tenant laboratory and research facility. Construction of the new facility, to be complete by late 2013 and renamed @4240, kicks off Phase II development in the CORTEX District. "This $73 million building at the corner of Duncan and Boyle will attract national research organizations and will be home to approximately 457 full-time research, technology and related jobs," says Wexford in a release, starting with jobs associated with Washington University anchor lease of 69,000 sq. ft. (6,410 sq. m.).

"@4240 puts the CORTEX District on a competitive playing field with other research districts across the country. It makes St. Louis even more attractive to national companies," said Dennis Lower, president and CEO of CORTEX. "It's amazing to look out my CORTEX I window and see an old Southwestern Bell telephone factory transform into a high-tech research facility — and know it will house nearly 500 high-tech jobs in the heart of our city."

Biocitech showed pronounced growth in new agreements with companies and with regional partners in 2012.
Photo courtesy of Biocitech

Biocitech, the life sciences technology park based in Paris, earlier this month announced as part of its annual review of 2012 that its resident companies recorded the completion of seven preclinical studies during last year and set up three Phase I and two Phase II clinical trials. In addition, "almost 60 partnership agreements were signed in 2012, compared with 13 in 2011, demonstrating Biocitech's vitality and the growth of the business activity taking place there." In conjunction with IRD (the French development research institute), the University of Paris 13 and a number of regional and local authorities, Biocitech also helped to found the Bondy Innovation association and Bond'Innov, the association's incubator for innovative projects. This incubator is the only one of its kind in a sensitive urban zone. It provides business founders, particularly in the field of biotechnology, with the opportunity to set up in the Seine-Saint-Denis area; giving them access to skills and resources to launch and start developing their business.

Located 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle airport, the park is the only site in the Ile de France region of France to comply with ICPE regulations (industrial, commercial and agricultural operations subject to particular regulation and environmental protection measures). Along with other organizations in the Paris area, Biocitech is a key element in the Medicen Paris Region network, the Greater Paris region's world-class competitiveness hub for health and new therapies.

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On May 8, David H. Murdock, founder of the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, chairman of Dole Food Company, Inc. and president of Castle & Cooke, Inc., announced a gift of $50 million to support the ongoing operational expenses of the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI).

"I am committed to doing all I can to advance scientific research that will vastly improve the quality of life for mankind," he said. "My gift of $50 million to support the day-to-day operations of the David H. Murdock Research Institute over the next eight years will maintain the DHMRI as a critical engine for science, and that science will improve health in North Carolina and globally."

As first documented by Site Selection eight years ago in an interview with Murdock, the billionaire's global business experience made him sensitive to the loss of jobs including those experienced in Kannapolis in 2003 after the closing of Pillowtex, a home furnishings manufacturer previously known as Fieldcrest Cannon and Cannon Mills. The closing of the textile mills led to the largest mass lay-off in North Carolina history. "For Murdock, the massive job losses combined with his personal commitment to health and wellness fueled his desire to advance science and create jobs through the NCRC and DHMRI," says NCRC. "At least 600 jobs are associated with the NC Research Campus through its 16 corporate and academic partners." Murdock has invested over $600 million in the development of the NCRC, including $131 million in the DHMRI, since 2007.

The 311,000-sq.-ft. (28,892-sq.-m.) David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building is the centerpiece of the NCRC campus. The core lab is home to DHMRI, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, the UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Research Center, Monsanto, General Mills and Carl Zeiss MicroImaging, Inc.
Photo courtesy of NCRC

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) has negotiated a new lease and expansion on behalf of Spectra Laboratories at Rockleigh Corporate Center, 8 King Road in Rockleigh, N.J. Under the terms of the 15-year lease, Spectra will expand its U.S. headquarters space by nearly 80 percent to total 191,000 sq. ft. (17,744 sq. m.).

The NGKF team of Frank Recine, executive managing director, and Blake Goodman, managing director, assisted by David Simson, COO and vice chairman of New Jersey operations, spearheaded the project, which followed the recent sale of 8 King Road by GHP Office Realty to Boston-based Marcus Partners. The new owner, a landlord to Spectra at another one of its locations, plans to expand and retrofit the property to accommodate its tenant's long-term vision.

"We worked on this requirement for more than three years, with a site search that included New Jersey, New York and North Carolina," said Recine. "Spectra was close to moving to another location after our team's careful analysis of the various markets and the potential incentives, but opted to expand at its existing location and retrofit the headquarters facility. Marcus Partners' acquisition of the building and commitment to Spectra ultimately influenced the firm's decision."

Spectra Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care North America, is a leading provider of clinical laboratory services for kidney dialysis. "The expanded requirement was necessitated by its new business lines and functions," said Mr. Goodman. "Of the total space, 60 percent is office space and 40 percent is laboratory space."

Think bioscience companies don't have enough say in the laws of the land that govern their business? Think again. Here's MapLight's open-records analysis of contributions to campaigns for and against California's failed 2012 Proposition 37, which would have aligned with Whole Foods Market's recent example and required products containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled as such.

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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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