With the strategic alliance between Alexandria and The Hamner, the RTP Collaboration Consortium is poised to become an international platform for the broad and diverse life science community to come together to translate innovative discoveries into safe and effective products that address the most critical international healthcare challenges and help relieve the economic burden of disease on society.
Bob Ingram, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Research Triangle Foundation and Former Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline plc, said, "I am extremely pleased that Alexandria, the world leader in life science cluster development, has chosen to form a strategic alliance with The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, one of RTP's preeminent research institutions, to launch a new and unrivaled translational life sciences hub that will advance and accelerate the development of new and safer medicines. Building on the strengths and established collaborations of the Triangle region's outstanding universities, businesses, and government organizations, this strategic life sciences hub will be a major hot bed for life sciences innovation and economic growth. The Alexandria-Hamner alliance is perfectly timed and aligned with the new RTP Master Plan."
The RTP Collaboration Consortium is the first installation of Alexandria's core university strategy, which is intended to create a network of institutionally anchored life science hubs with best-in-class strategic collaborators from top-tier universities, innovative public and private companies, and leading international institutions in several of Alexandria's key adjacency cluster markets. This strategic initiative, designed to align with Alexandria's safe growth strategy through its investment grade balance sheet, will capitalize on Alexandria's proven track record as the world's leading developer of unique and collaborative environments that enable the broad and diverse life science industry to advance biopharmaceutical innovation and accelerate the development of new and safer medicines for the benefit of patients worldwide.
"We are proud to announce Alexandria's first Collaboration Consortium in RTP. Based on our new strategic alliance with The Hamner, this Collaboration Consortium will bring together North Carolina's leading research institutions with the commercial sector in a highly novel platform designed to enhance international life science collaboration, thus furthering our strategy of developing first-in-class life science clusters in key locations immediately proximate to the world's most innovative academic centers," said Joel S. Marcus, Chief Executive Officer, Founder, and Chairman of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
"As the leader in life science cluster development, with an unrivaled track record of attracting world-class life science tenants, Alexandria is the perfect strategic partner for us as we move forward with our aggressive plans," said Dr. William F. Greenlee, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hamner. "This alliance will allow us to further expand our position as a preeminent research facility focused on public health and environmental sciences, and a recognized voice with regard to public policy in the U.S. We intend to leverage our significant relationships with academia and the commercial sector, in addition to utilizing Alexandria's broad and deep industry ties in the U.S. and abroad, to dramatically expand the global reach of the campus and foster groundbreaking collaborations and life science discoveries for years to come."
In addition to the formation of this Collaboration Consortium, Alexandria also announced today an affiliate's purchase and leaseback of 6 Davis Drive, an approximately 140,000 square foot improved office and laboratory building currently home to The Hamner, for approximately $20 million. The acquisition also includes adjacent land ideally located in the epicenter of RTP, immediately adjacent to the Research Triangle Foundation headquarters, I-40, Davis Drive, RTI International, and Cornwallis Road, and within a short drive to Duke University, The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. The campus is currently home to The Hamner's two flagship institutes, The Hamner-UNC Institute for Drug Safety Sciences and the Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences, as well as The Hamner's four Centers for Excellence in preclinical safety and efficacy, genomic biology and bioinformatics, computational and dose response modeling, and human health assessment.
Alexandria is the largest and preeminent life science real estate owner, operator, and developer in the RTP cluster, which is a world-leading intellectual hub of innovation. In RTP, Alexandria currently owns and operates approximately 840,000 square feet of laboratory and office space with world-class client tenants including Duke University, The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Bayer AG, Eisai Inc., Medicago Inc., and Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
Founded in 1974, The Hamner is a world-renowned non-profit research organization focused on preeminent research in toxicology and human health to develop predictive tools and technologies to aid in chemical toxicology, drug discovery, and drug development. The Hamner seeks to provide a cross-disciplinary approach to translational biomedical research through a number of partnerships and outreach programs. Their clients and partners include chemical and pharmaceutical companies as well as academic and other research institutions, such as ongoing collaborations with Duke University, The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. The two flagship institutes at The Hamner, the Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences and The Hamner-UNC Institute for Drug Safety Sciences, have rapidly gained support from major pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen Inc., AstraZeneca PLC, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Eli Lilly and Company, and Novartis AG, on a cutting-edge program to develop predictive computational models for drug-induced liver injury in humans.
Holden Thorp, Chancellor of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said, "The Hamner and UNC-Chapel Hill have established strong collaborations that include The Hamner-UNC Institute for Drug Safety Sciences. The new partnership between The Hamner and Alexandria will build on existing ties and create new opportunities in life science research innovation and technology development for the region and its outstanding universities."
Victor Dzau, Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and Chief Executive Officer of Duke University Health System, commented, "We value our current collaborations with The Hamner and believe this new Collaboration Consortium should lead to increased public and private research and development in biotechnology and health care in general. The partnership between The Hamner and Alexandria will benefit everybody in the area, including the universities."
The Collaboration Consortium will also leverage both The Hamner's and Alexandria's relationships with leading Chinese universities, companies, and organizations. The North Carolina-China Global Gateway Platform will accelerate scientific, economic, and job creation opportunities between North Carolina and China. The Hamner campus has been designated by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce as one of five global hubs that serve as an investment platform to economically link common development interests of China and the U.S. The Hamner has also established The Hamner-Shanghai CDC International Institute for Health and Safety Sciences and partnered with the Oslo Cancer Cluster and other European universities to expand their international reach.
Mr. Yu Hua, Deputy Director General, Investment Promotion Agency of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said, "The Hamner Global Gateway model is an innovative win-win platform that will bring significant new life sciences research, training, and business development opportunities for China, The Hamner-Alexandria alliance, and their university and business partners in North Carolina."
The Hamner is also home to its Biosciences Accelerator, which provides emerging companies access to a research facility and scientific and business development support. Current Hamner Accelerator companies include b3bio inc., Biomedomics, Inc., Chaperone Therapeutics, Inc., and Triangle Research Labs, LLC. Triangle Research Labs, LLC, announced in October 2011, is a joint venture between The Hamner and PBM Capital group, which moved the contract research service operation of its PBM's subsidiary, GigaCyte, to North Carolina. Triangle Research Labs, LLC will focus on screening drug compounds before they enter the clinic.
The strategic alliance between Alexandria, The Hamner, and the RTP Collaboration Consortium will also complement RTP's concentration of key academic centers by linking leading researchers from academia with government and industry collaborators, as well as provide technical and business development expertise in a highly unique campus setting proximate to Duke University, The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. This integrative model will guide innovation in the development of predictive tools and technologies to aid in chemical toxicology and drug discovery and commercialization.