Oct. 2, 2006
UI Partners With NGI To Build New Facility In Oakdale Research Park
The University of Iowa and National Genecular Institute, Inc. (NGI(tm)), a California subsidiary of Dermacia Inc., announced plans today, Monday, Oct. 2, to develop a 73,000-square-foot research laboratory and business incubator facility on the UI Oakdale Research Campus in Coralville, Iowa.
Meredith Hay, UI vice president for research, said the joint project is in line with the UI's aspirations to expand its business incubator facilities and spur growth in its Oakdale Research Park (ORP).
"This is an exciting partnering opportunity for us," she said. "We are very happy to welcome NGI(tm) to our research park. This facility will become a prominent anchor of our park and will attract additional private companies, as well as incubate UI spin-off companies as they grow from academia to the private sector."
Matt Nicosia, Dermacia's chief executive officer and co-founder, said, "NGI(tm) is pleased to partner with the University of Iowa as it refines its mission for its Oakdale Research Park."
NGI(tm) is the research and development subsidiary of Dermacia Inc., a Nevada C -corporation specializing in pharmaceuticals and skin care for the anti-aging markets.
Added Nicosia, "The University of Iowa is recognized as one of the premiere scientific research universities in the nation. The expanded ORP development will enhance the UI's reputation, while NGI(tm) will benefit from attracting other biotech research companies as the collaboration between companies increases synergy. This synergistic approach to research is a centerpiece of our short- and long-term strategic and scientific goals."
With an estimated building cost of $16.1 million, the project consists of the design, development and construction of a state-of-the-art research facility on Lot 1 in the ORP, located at Oakdale Blvd. and Crosspark Road. Lot 1 is across the street from the future location of the new UI Hygienic Laboratory and will serve as the future gateway to the Oakdale campus.
NGI projects that 178 new jobs will be created during a three-year period as the project is completed. The jobs will be in scientific fields, with more than 80 percent of them meeting or exceeding the state's salary requirement for High Quality Job Creation.
NGI's portion of the new facility will be used to advance innovative research in customized medicine through its broad research in genetics (pharmacogenomics), molecular cell biology, laser optics, nanobiology and federally approved stem cell research.
"Our research efforts in this area will usher in the next generation of cosmeceuticals and skin care - where each person can get custom-made, individualized products targeted for their own skin's characteristics and susceptibilities, such as sun sensitivity, predisposition to skin cancers,
early aging and tendency to form wrinkles," Nicosia said.
The UI and NGI(tm) will be tenants in the new facility, which will be owned by Ryan Companies US Inc. Marc Gullickson, president of Ryan Iowa, will oversee project development. As with other ORP projects, the UI will retain ownership of the land. OPN Architects Inc. of Cedar Rapids will provide design services for the new facility.
NGI(tm) expects to occupy about 41,000 square feet of the facility. The UI will occupy 32,000 square feet of the facility for its new technology incubator facility for sublease to multiple start-up companies and will retain ownership of the land at the ORP.
In addition to the Coralville facility, NGI(tm) plans to purchase 3.86 acres with an option to acquire an additional 30-plus acres in the Northgate Corporate Park in Iowa City on which it plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility. Nicosia said the second facility will be used as a biobank, a repository for genetic and cellular materials, which will be one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world.
NGI's commitment to both projects exceeds $26 million.
The NGI(tm) biobank facility is subject to approval from the City of Iowa City. In October, the Iowa City Council is expected to consider NGI(tm)'s application for $1.2 million in Tax Increment Financing.
The Iowa Department of Economic Development has awarded NGI(tm) $655,000 in direct state assistance, grants and incentives. The City of Coralville pledged $800,000 in Tax Increment Financing. The company will also receive $1.1 million in 206E Job Training assistance.
NGI has also noted that the Iowa City Area Development Group and its President Joe Raso were instrumental in connecting NGI(tm) with local and state resources and governmental agencies to make the project a reality.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.MEDIA CONTACTS: Todd Smith, vice president, Corporate Compliance NGI/Dermacia Inc., 949-706-6400, firstname.lastname@example.org; George McCrory, 319-384-0012, email@example.com.