University of Iowa/ Iowa City Area Development Group News Release
Jan. 30, 2006
Pharmaceutical Company Approves Move To UI's Oakdale Research Park
The University of Iowa Oakdale Research Park is one step closer to signing a new tenant. The board of directors for Dermacia approved the motion to locate its research and development subsidiary, National Genecular Institute (NGI), to Iowa, specifically to the Myriad Technology Plaza at the UI Oakdale Research Park in Coralville.
National Genecular Institute, Inc., a fully-owned, research subsidiary of Dermacia, plans to expand its California-based operation to 2658 Crosspark Road, Suite 200.
The global pharmaceutical company, specializing in cosmoceuticals, will locate its pharmacogenomic research and development operation to the Coralville facility. Both parties are finalizing leasing details.
Dr. Tannin J. Fuja, chief scientific officer with NGI and a UI adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, said NGI is eager to relocate operations to the area. "The company was very impressed with its reception and the potential in the Iowa City/Coralville area. The region's talented workforce is certainly a draw."
"Once the lease agreement is executed and the space is renovated, NGI, which represents our research and development operation, will relocate to the Oakdale Research Park."
The space will include a wet-laboratory, production and manufacturing space, a loading dock and offices. A mid-April start-up is planned.
The Newport Beach, Calif., business plans a $7.8 million project. The company estimates 10-13 employees will staff the operation and grow to 20-23 jobs. Fuja said the company will fill positions through transfers and new hires.
NGI is charged with identifying genetic markers that relate to specific skin conditions. Fuja said the facility will identify SNPS (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that are linked to specific skin conditions. "The ability to customize product and to compensate for genetic mutations early on is our future."
Joe Raso, president of the Iowa City Area Development Group, said the project represents a true collaboration between the UI and the Oakdale Research Park, private development and city and state officials. "The potential for important collaborations between NGI, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Department of Dermatology, College of Pharmacy and the UI Chemistry Department is so great."
The Iowa Department of Economic Development Board of Directors awarded $60,000 in CEBA funds and High Quality Job Creation Program tax benefits to locate a facility in Iowa. The company also received a $200,000 forgivable loan from the City of Coralville. If targeted jobs and investments are met during a 10-year period, the loan will be released.
Founded in 2000, Dermacia Inc. manufactures and distributes skin care products that aid in the healing of wounds, treatments for skin conditions and anti-aging products. Dermacia employs 150 people in the U.S. During the next five years, their U.S. employment is expected to grow to 1,000, and international employment will grow to 2,000 as the company expands manufacturing. Currently, Dermacia has manufacturing plants in the U.S., Mexico and China.
NGI was formed in November 2004 as a Nevada C-Corporation.
STORY SOURCES: University News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500; Iowa City Area Development Group, 325 East Washington Street Suite 100, Iowa City, Iowa 52240
CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, firstname.lastname@example.org; Program: Tom Bauer, Oakdale Research Park, 319-335-4067; Joe Raso, president, Iowa City Area Development Group, 319-354-3939; Tannin J. Fuja, Ph.D., Chief Research Scientist, National Genecular Institute, Inc., 319-335-6591; Matt Nicosia, CEO National Genecular Institute, Inc./Dermacia, 949-706-6400.