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Final Agreement Reached Between Jackson Lab and the State

The new billion-dollar personalized medicine laboratory is expected to create more than 6,800 jobs and be located on the University of Conneticut Health Center’s lower campus in Farmington

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A final agreement has been reached to bring a global leader in genetics research to Connecticut. During a news conference at the University of Conneticut Health Center Jan. 5, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and the state have garnered the necessary approvals and held a ceremonial bill signing to commemorate the event.

The new billion-dollar personalized medicine laboratory is expected to create more than 6,800 jobs and be located on the Health Center’s lower campus in Farmington. UConn President Susan Herbst, Jackson Lab CEO Dr. Edison Liu, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith and legislative leaders attended the news conference.

“When we invested in bioscience, we knew we were investing in an industry that would pay dividends in the future,” said Malloy. “But the pace at which we were able to generate interest from a world-renowned research institute – which is what JAX is — speaks volumes about the potential that exists in our research triangle. Reinventing Connecticut is a broad idea that revolves around one central principle – creating jobs and spurring our economy. The agreement we reached today will do just that.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Creation of at least 300 positions within 10 years, of which 90, or 30 percent of the total number of employees, whichever is higher, will be senior scientist positions.
  • Average annual wage of employees will be equal to 125 percent of the Connecticut average wage.
  • Loans will not be forgivable until 300 employees are in place at the required average annual wage for at least six months.
  • Preference to Connecticut residents when hiring if they meet all job qualifications.
  • Connecticut vendors will be given preference when cost-effective and scientifically sound.
  • JAX will enter into a Community Workforce Agreement for construction of the facility.
  • Unique intellectual property (IP) sharing agreement will give Connecticut Innovations (CI) 10 percent of any net royalty proceeds from IP up to $3 million, and 50 percent of any net royalty proceeds above $3 million starting in the 10th year and running for 15 years. During the first 10 years, if JAX monetizes IP through transfer of the IP, CI will have the same sharing arrangement described above.

Also as part of the project, JAX will enter into a collaborative research agreement with the UConn Health Center providing for the pursuit of research related to system genomics and personalized medicine and the sharing of the faculty resources. The agreement provides for collaboration in supporting 10 principal investigators and allows UConn and JAX to share in any royalty proceeds derived through their collaborative IP efforts.

“Collaborating with Jackson Lab is an incredible opportunity for our state, the University of Connecticut, and other institutes of higher education in Connecticut,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “It elevates the entire region, including all of our clinical and teaching partners.”

The Health Center will provide a long-term land lease to JAX to allow for the construction of the facility. When 600 jobs are created, the land will be conveyed to JAX.

Once JAX Genomic Medicine is fully developed over 20 years, the institute is projected to employ 600 scientists and technicians in 250,000 square feet of state-of-the-art lab space. The total 20-year capital and research budget for the institute is projected to be $1.1 billion, of which the state of Connecticut has approved $291 million: $192 million in a secured, forgivable construction loan and $99 million in grants for research and related activities. The Jackson Laboratory will raise the balance of $860 million through federal research grants, philanthropy and service income. The facility is expected to support 6,800 permanent jobs.

“With this agreement in place, and with great partners across Connecticut, we’re looking forward to building the bioscience industry here and doing great science that will improve medicine and health care,” said Liu, Jackson’s President and CEO.

Connecticut Innovations (CI) will lend $145 million construction loan and a $46.7 million loan for fit-out in the new facility, both of which will be forgivable if certain hurdles are met. In addition, CI will provide $99 million in grants over a 10-year period to support research and other related activities.

According to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study, the personalized medicine industry currently is worth $284 billion in sales per year in the United States, and it is growing by 11 percent annually. “Connecticut is ready to claim our share of this important industry,” Malloy said. “With JAX Genomic Medicine and other Connecticut institutes, our state can become a major U.S. hub for personalized medicine.”