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California biotech company expanding in Grand Rapids


DetroitMan

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Got an answer to my own question. Sequenom is going to purchase the Center for Molecular Medicine initially and partner with Spectrum Health and the VARI, according to Spectrum Health.

The CMM is currently on the top floor of the GVSU Cook-Devos Center. According to the initial article (first post), Sequenom will also be receiving tax assistance from the city of Grand Rapids. Wonder where they'll end up permanently.

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Is this the same place that was supposed to have a new lab up and running in the near-downtown area, but it's way behind schedule and budget? There was an article about a place of this sort in the Press not too long ago...sorry for the ambiguity, but my memory is failing me on this one!
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I'm surprised there's not more excitement and hubbub about this. It's the FIRST commercial biotech venture to join what is going on on the hill. :thumbsup: It seems like not too long ago people were wondering what spinoffs were going to come out of Medical Mile.

It's made news in Germany, Ann Arbor, Chicago, New York and Southern California:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&um=1...tnG=Search+News

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I'm surprised there's not more excitement and hubbub about this. It's the FIRST commercial biotech venture to join what is going on on the hill. :thumbsup: It seems like not too long ago people were wondering what spinoffs were going to come out of Medical Mile.

It's made news in Germany, Ann Arbor, Chicago, New York and Southern California:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&um=1...tnG=Search+News

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I'm surprised there's not more excitement and hubbub about this. It's the FIRST commercial biotech venture to join what is going on on the hill. :thumbsup: It seems like not too long ago people were wondering what spinoffs were going to come out of Medical Mile.

It's made news in Germany, Ann Arbor, Chicago, New York and Southern California:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&um=1...tnG=Search+News

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This, obviously, is fantastic news. I have always looked at the medical mile with a little bit of skepticism, but I think this is the first validation of the enormous philanthropy on the hill. Hopefully many more announcements like this are on the way…

I would like to see some more in depth reporting on this announcement. 500 jobs, but on what time frame? What are going to be the titles and responsibilities of the new employees? Where are 500 qualified people going to come from? Sequenom apparently chose Grand Rapids, were we competing with other cities? Hopefully this is big enough news for some follow up.

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Hard to tell how this all went down based on the articles. But it would be interesting to hear some more details. I would imagine that VAI and Sequenom were partnered up on a different project at some time, since VAI seems to be forging international partnerships all the time now.

Sounds like it will be 500 jobs by 2013, with an average weekly wage of $1700. If they go up on the hill, that will be over 1000 lab workers in a very dense area.

Ah, here ya go GaryP:

http://www.mlive.com/grpress/business/inde...ients_part.html

Haha! Now that's the spirit!

Actually, I was in 3 meetings today and this biotech company came up in two of them, so it's the talk of the town right now.

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I think it is doubtful the current financial woes had anything to do with it. In an article I just read, it sounds like we have abundant "natural resources" (pregnancies) that the lab can tap into through Spectrum. Maybe this is commonplace with other major hospitals and Spectrum showed up on their radar as an untapped resource?

Good news though. I hope the city gives them an incentive to stay on the hill, adding more density to the research community.

Joe

I was thinking about this a little bit today, and I wonder if one of the reasons they brought this here wasn't the credit crunch making it harder to get the capital to build a new laboratory. That might narrow down the choices to space that's already built, which gave the Center for Molecular Technology (or whatever it was called) an edge as a location. Obviously there are many other factors as well.
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  • 4 months later...

Sequenom's on a buying spree, and moving jobs to GR:

http://www.mlive.com/business/ann-arbor/in...acquired_b.html

This after an unsuccessful hostile takeover of a company called Exact Sciences last week:

http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/exact-s...-bid/2009-01-28

Apparently growth through acquisition is how they (partly) hope to ramp up the lab to 500 people.

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  • 1 month later...

Sequenom is growing again, taking ground floor and 3rd floor space in Arena Station.

http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/ArticleArchive/20...ore+growth+.htm

They're also looking strategically at future space needs as well, but will continue a presence in the CMM labs on Michigan St. I've also heard rumors that they might look at new construction a few years down the road.

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This is good news indeed and should give Arena Station a nice shot in the arm.

Joe

Sequenom is growing again, taking ground floor and 3rd floor space in Arena Station.

http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/ArticleArchive/20...ore+growth+.htm

They're also looking strategically at future space needs as well, but will continue a presence in the CMM labs on Michigan St. I've also heard rumors that they might look at new construction a few years down the road.

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  • 3 months later...

MLive just posted the latest on Sequenom - despite the federal investigation and lower stock, they're still planning on expanding in GR, but aren't keen on elaborating beyond that (understandable, given that the investigation isn't done yet). I noticed they're no longer estimating how many jobs the future expansion will create, so it may be less than the 500 originally planned.

Sequenom still plans expansion of GR lab while awaiting SEC probe - MLive

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