Geesh, I just realized that I haven’t posted in nearly a month. So much news to catch up on I don’t know where to start.
The reason I haven’t posted is that I have been working a contract at MedImmune, aiding in the commissioning of their new Frederick facility where they will be scaling up Synagis. It’s a wonderful product, a monoclonal antibody called palivizumab, which protects preemies and high risk babies from lung infections. It’s very busy here and I expect it to continue to be busy through the end of the year (at least that’s how long I think my contract will be running). I really don’t know how much of what I see here is considered “confidential” so I’ll keep quiet. Suffice to say, big bioreactors and 4-5 contractors for every MedImmune employee on site.
It’s kind of fun running into the other contractors all over town in different bars and restaurants. Especially now that MedImmune has already received $453 million in contracts since May, but Frederick doesn’t have much to do with making the H1N1 vaccine. A lot of the people here do travel to Philadelphia where that product is packaged, though.
Speaking of swine flu, I gave a talk tat the NIH last week on the Commercial uses of Stem Cells. My focus was on the “commerce” created specifically by Stem Cell research, staying away from the Therapeutic elements.
Check it out:
Enough shameless self promotion.
Frank from SAIC-Frederick sent me this press release, which I have not seen covered elsewhere:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amplimmune Enters Into Broad Alliance with NCI
Collaboration Will Focus on
Potential New Therapies for Cancer and Autoimmune Disease
FREDERICK, Md., Oct. 13, 2009 — Amplimmune, Inc., has entered into a broad agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for further advancement of two Amplimmune product candidates into therapies for cancer and autoimmune disease.
Under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Amplimmune will collaborate on multiple projects with NCI and its contractor, SAIC-Frederick Inc., under the umbrella of the NCI’s Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative (ATPI). The goal of ATPI is to accelerate the translation of cancer and AIDS research into clinical therapies, diagnostics, and treatments. NCI-Frederick’s prime contractor, SAIC-Frederick is facilitating these partnerships for NCI.
The collaborations will focus on furthering development of Amplimmune’s AMP-110 and AMP-224 therapeutic biologic candidates. AMP-224 blocks activation of the PD-1 receptor and inhibits immune evasion typically induced by tumors or infectious disease pathogens. AMP-110 is being developed as a biologic to treat autoimmune/inflammatory disease and has been demonstrated to attenuate key inflammatory pathways that contribute to a wide range of different autoimmune diseases.
“We are very pleased to establish this broad CRADA with the National Cancer Institute,” said Michael Richman, Amplimmune’s President and CEO. “We look forward to collaborating with investigators at NCI and feel that these collaborations will have a significant impact on accelerating development and advancing AMP-224 and AMP-110 into the clinic,” he added.
“We value the opportunity to collaborate with Amplimmune on development of their leading therapeutic biologic candidates to treat cancer and immune disorders. This partnership reflects the true potential of NCI’s ATPI—to accelerate leading innovations into clinical application in the fight against cancer, through strategic partnerships. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at Amplimmune on our shared goals under the CRADA,” said David Hoekzema, SAIC-Frederick’s Vice President of Business Development.
About Amplimmune Inc.
Headquartered in Rockville, Md., Amplimmune is focused on developing novel biologics targeting key co-stimulatory/co-inhibitory molecules that rebalance the immune system and are intended for treating cancer, autoimmune disease, infectious disease, and transplantation. With its strong development focus, Amplimmune is rapidly advancing two lead molecules toward clinical development: one in the area of cancer and the other in the autoimmune disease setting. AMP-224 will be advancing into a phase 1 clinical trial for cancer in 2010. Working closely with its founders at Johns Hopkins University and other collaborators, Amplimmune is expanding its technology base in the area of immune co-stimulatory/co-inhibitory molecules and has assembled a large foundation of reagents, models, know-how, and intellectual property to further develop its product pipeline as well as to discover novel biomarkers, ligands, and receptors. For more information: www.amplimmune.com.
SAIC-Frederick, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500® company, is the operations and technical support contractor for the National Cancer Institute’s research and development center in Frederick, Md. This is a national laboratory dedicated to rapidly translating basic research into new technologies for diagnosing, treating, and preventing cancer and AIDS. SAIC-Frederick maintains a full suite of advanced technologies in areas such as nanotechnology, genomics and imaging; operates the federal government’s drug and vaccine manufacturing facilities; operates the high-performance Advanced Biomedical Computing Center; and supports more than 300 clinical trials for patients in the United States and around the world.
Information about the NCI’s Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative can be found at ATPIhome.com
Contacts: Frank Blanchard, SAIC-Frederick, Inc. (301) 846-1893 email@example.com
Gary Fanger, Amplimmune Inc. (301) 309-9800 firstname.lastname@example.org
They’ve also been awarded (SAIC-Frederick that is) $300MM in ARRA funding (the Stimulus hits Frederick County) and have heard rumors through my contacts in SAIC_Fred purchasing that the money is going to be released soon, in the form of several new hires and loads of contracts. Stay tuned and I will try to give FredCoBio companies and inside edge.
And speaking about big money and Big SAIC-Frederick Projects, Matan recently announced they’ve secured $300MM in financing for the Riverside Park project:
Contact : Noelle Schilling
Tel (301) 815-9980 Cell (301) 471-7552
Matan Companies Teams with Federal Capital Partners to Finance The National Cancer Institute At Riverside Research Park in Frederick Maryland
(September 30, 2009-Frederick, MD) The Matan Companies has teamed up with Federal Capital Partners (FCP) to complete the financing for the development of the National Cancer Institute’s 330,000 square foot Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) at Riverside Research Park in Frederick Maryland. The state-of-the art 200 million dollar office and laboratory facility will commence construction immediately and is slated for delivery in mid 2011. As part of the larger 177 acre Riverside Research Park, the National Cancer Institute’s 62 acre campus will have expansion capacity for another 570,000 square feet, reserved for life-science and advanced technology partner organizations. “This site will be the center of an intensive new effort to bring together government, industry, academic, and nonprofit partners, working side-by-side, utilizing technological resources second to none, to more rapidly translate our latest genetic and molecular discoveries about cancer into effective new treatments that benefit patients,” said John E. Niederhuber, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute. With SAIC-Frederick, Inc. as its prime contractor, the new facility will be the only Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) in the country focused exclusively on biomedical research and development, and concerted technology and R&D partnership efforts toward reducing the burden of cancer.
Matan and FCP partnered to secure the 52 million dollar construction financing from Wells Fargo Bank and US Bank. “Today’s financing environment demands creative approaches to bring large, high profile projects like this to the market. The ATRF is one of the largest private biotech developments in the country to secure construction financing and it is a credit to everyone involved,” stated Mark Matan, Principal of the Matan Companies. Matan Companies will develop and manage the project.
“We are incredibly excited to have formed this partnership with the Matan Companies to bring this very important project to fruition,” said Esko Korhonen, Managing Partner of FCP. “The diligent work by our teams resulted in consummating a great financing package and we appreciated the opportunity to work with Wells Fargo, US Bank, Jones Lang LaSalle and Cassidy & Pinkard to get this deal completed.”
Cassidy and Pinkard helped to secure the equity and debt for this transaction and Jones Lang LaSalle represented the Tenant.
About Riverside Research Park
Riverside Research Park is the first biomedical research and development park of its kind in Frederick Maryland. The 177 acre site has all necessary infrastructure and utilities in place and is ready to build. Riverside delivered its first tenant in the Spring of 2008, a 54,000 sf facility for Charles River Labs. Riverside can accommodate up to 1.8 million square feet of lab, R &D, and office space. “Frederick has a vibrant biotech community servicing NIH, the National Cancer Institute and Fort Detrick, but until now there hasn’t been a destination for these companies to come together in a collaborative campus type environment in this market. Riverside Research Park provides just that and there has been a very high level of interest from companies looking to co-locate with the National Cancer Institute” said J.P. Matan, Director of Leasing for Matan Companies. Located within the city limits of Frederick and less than three miles from the main gates of Fort Detrick, Riverside is uniquely positioned to provide private sector companies, government agencies, and universities a secure and collaborative work environment. Abundant green space, water features, walk/jogging trails, courtyards, and chance meeting spaces will all add to the collaborative work environment and campus like feel of Riverside Research Park. For more information please visit: www.riversideresearchpark.com
About Federal Capital Partners
Founded in 1999 by partners Esko L. Korhonen and Lacy I. Rice, Federal Capital Partners (FCP) is a real estate investment and development company headquartered in Washington DC. Other partners include Alex Marshall and Tom Carr, former Chairman and CEO of CarrAmerica Realty Corp. who joined FCP as a partner in early 2007. Since its inception, FCP has acquired more than $1.2 billion of real estate assets consisting of multi-family, office, retail and industrial assets. In 2008 FCP raised a 240 million dollar co-mingled, private equity fund which it is currently investing in multiple product sectors in the Mid Atlantic region. FCP has established a strong reputation in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area real estate markets as an investor with a keen eye for indentifying unexploited markets and product sectors.
About Matan Companies
Headquartered in Frederick Maryland for over 30 years, Matan Companies is one of the regions premier commercial real estate and development firms. Founded on the principle of providing a comprehensive, full-service approach to all disciplines involved in commercial real estate, Matan has assembled an in-house professional staff with a proven track record in the disciplines of asset management, investment sales, debt placement, property management, leasing, development and construction. Matan’s knowledge of the local market and established history, including certainty of closing, expeditious due diligence and timely settlement dates, sets the company apart from the competition. This full service approach gives Matan the ability to control every phase of the real estate investment process. Matan’s primary geographic focus is Frederick, Maryland and the I-270 Corridor. Matan’s current portfolio consists of over 3.2 million square feet in 30 buildings with an additional 3 million square feet in the development pipeline.
About NCI-Frederick and SAIC-F
With SAIC-Frederick (SAIC-F) as its prime contractor, NCI-Frederick, is home to a cadre of researchers studying cancer and HIV/AIDS and is host to NCI’s Advanced Technology Program, which encompasses nanotechnology, high-performance computing, genomics, and biomedical imaging, among other areas. SAIC-F, a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500® company (NYSE: SAI) – is the operations and technical support contractor for the National Cancer Institute’s research and development center in Frederick, Md. This is a national laboratory dedicated to rapidly translating basic research into new technologies for diagnosing, treating, and preventing cancer and AIDS. SAIC-Frederick maintains a full suite of advanced technologies in areas such as nanotechnology, genomics and imaging; operates the federal government’s only drug and vaccine manufacturing facilities; operates the high-performance Advanced Biomedical Computing Center; and supports more than 300 clinical trials for patients in the United States and around the world. “The NCI has identified an urgent need to convert basic research findings into effective cancer treatments that can be delivered to patients right away,” said Larry O. Arthur, Ph.D., president of SAIC-Frederick. “The consolidation of our operations into modern facilities will enable us to do just that, with the specific goal of shortening timelines, reducing costs, and increasing productivity—all of which will benefit cancer patients and people at risk for cancer.” More information about the NCI’s Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative (ATPI) can be found at www.atpihome.com.
NCI at Riverside Research Park Building Rendering:
Esko Korhonen Frank Blanchard Joe Carter
Federal Capital Partners SAIC-F Wells Fargo
202-386-7160 301-846-1893 202-303-3016
email@example.com Blanchard@mail.nih.gov firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Jacobson Paul Collins Pete Briskman
US Bank Cassidy & Pinkard Jones Lang LaSalle
703-442-5482 202-463-2100 301-214-1144
Jeffrey.email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Pete.Briskman@am.jll.com
I actually could’ve broken this story before the press release, but I was busy and didn’t want to annoy one of my bestest BioBeers sponsors. But do check out the new Riverside Park web site. It’s awesome.
And speaking about more rumors, sadly, this one is NOT a rumor. Marilgen, in my home town of Ijamsville (just a mile or so north of the MoCo line), was acquired by Origene. My sources tell me that the few employees left at Marilgen have been offered positions at OriGene and will be relocated to Rockville (boo, hiss). Marilgen has been struggling for a year or so since one of their primary investors decided to pull their cash out. I have a lot of personal ties to Marligen, since most of the people there, in their hayday, were former LTI colleagues of mine and half of the Vialing depertment I used to run at LTI. Sherry Challberg hired me in 1988 and moved me to Maryland, for which I am eternally grateful.
This makes me think that it’s already time to schedule the next BioBeers. I think I’ll make a new post with a poll on which day of the week to have the next one. I’ve been trying to rotate it around because everyone has different schedules.