Triangle Business Journal: The Hamner May Add 400 Jobs, Labs with China Pact

The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences could add 400 research workers to occupy a new 100,000-square-foot building on its Research Triangle Park campus if a tentative drug development agreement is finalized with China's leading medical research park, according to an exclusive report in Triangle Business Journal.

A story today by the publication's biotech reporter Frank Vinluan reports that William Greenlee, CEO of The Hamner, has confirmed that he is working with China Medical City to formalize details of the relationship. He said leaders in the China park, an area about the size of Research Triangle Park, are interested in routing Chinese drug discoveries to the Triangle for development so they meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for commercialization in the huge U.S. marketplace.

The story said The Hamner's relationship with China Medical City was sparked by Frank Wang, CEO of BioMedomics, a medical device company that last year was the first company to join The Hamner's accelerator for startups. Wang travels to China for business, and he told Greenlee about the Chinese government's China Medical City initiative.

Wang often credits loan support from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center as crucial to the success of his 3-year-old company. The Hamner Institutes is named for Charles Hamner, longtime president of the Biotechnology Center.

Following up on Wang's international connection, leaders at The Hamner and China Medical City held a teleconference and agreed to meet at the Biotechnology Industry Association's international convention in San Diego last June. Greenlee and The Hamner Chief Business Officer Rick Williams have subsequently made trips to China to further develop the memorandum of understanding, most recently in December.

Barring unforeseen problems in formalizing the agreement, an official announcement is expected within the next few weeks.

Read the full Triangle Business Journal story

Fri, 03/06/2009 - 05:00