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University of Iowa News Release


March 1, 2007

National Genecular Institute, Inc. Opens In Oakdale, Begins Hiring Process

National Genecular Institute (NGI) (tm) has begun the process of hiring what will eventually be 178 new employees while taking up temporary residence on the University of Iowa Oakdale campus in Coralville.

Dr. Tannin Fuja, chief scientific officer of the Iowa City facility, said the company is pleased the University of Iowa provided space in conjunction with the UI Center for Advanced Drug Development until its new facility is completed. "We're very grateful the University of Iowa allowed us to lease space while our facility is constructed. This will give us a solid foundation in Iowa before moving into the new facility."

Fuja said the company is beginning to hire across a wide range of levels and disciplines including engineers, IT specialists, biologists and chemists as well as research assistants, lab technicians and office staff. "Employees are being recruited from across the country and relocating to Iowa, but we hope to draw significantly from the Iowa labor pool."

NGI's temporary facility is located in the Myriad Technology Plaza at 2656 Crosspark Road, Suite 100, on the Oakdale Campus.

The research and development affiliate of Dermacia Inc., headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., plans to locate portions of its photonics/laser devices, nanobiology, regenerative medicine and proteomics divisions to Iowa in the next 18 months. NGI plans to hire 35 people in the next year to get its lab up and running to begin operations in the Corridor. During a three-year period, the company expects to hire 178 new employees.

Fuja said the design process for the new building located at Oakdale Blvd. and Crosspark Road is nearly complete. A groundbreaking is expected this spring.

OPN Architects, Inc. of Cedar Rapids is designing the new facility. The building will be built and owned by Ryan Companies US, and the UI will retain ownership of the land.

Last fall, the company announced a plan to build two facilities, one in the UI Oakdale Research Park with the UI and a second in Northgate Corporate Park in Iowa City.

The combined projects exceed $26 million in investment.

The UI/NGI facility will house a 90,000-square-foot research laboratory and business incubator. The company will lease approximately 60 percent of new facility to advance research in customized medicine.

In addition to the Coralville facility, the company is purchasing 3.86 acres and has an option to acquire an additional 35-plus acres from Southgate Development in northeast Iowa City to build a BioTrust facility to store genetic and cellular materials.

STORY SOURCE: Linda Schreiber, Iowa City Area Development Group, 325 E. Washington Street, Iowa City.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr. Tannin Fuja, adjunct assistant professor at University of Iowa and chief scientific officer, National Genecular Institute, 319-335-6591; Joe Raso, president, Iowa City Area Development Group, 319-354-3939.