New R&D Labs Established Worldwide

The 2017 spring edition of IBO’s report on new laboratories details the construction and groundbreaking of labs in numerous end-markets, such as pharmaceuticals, food testing and chemicals. The table below highlights new labs in the chemical, CRO and food industries, while new labs in the academic, government and pharmaceuticals sectors are detailed in the article.

new labs

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Along with the selected new labs mentioned in the above table, a new facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in California is in the works. The Integrative Genomics Building (IGB) will unite researchers from the DoE Joint Genome Institute with scientists from the Systems Biology Knowledgebase to create a biosciences presence at Berkeley Lab. Expected to cost $91.5 million, the four-story IGB will house approximately 300 staff and researchers, and cover an estimated 77,000 ft2 (7,153 m2). The facility will serve as a hub for R&D related to microbials, biofuels, renewable chemicals and genomics. The building is expected to be completed in 2019, with the groundbreaking having taken place at the end of January 2017.

Also focusing on biology and the life sciences is a new lab currently under construction at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The Biological and Physical Sciences Building broke ground October 2016 and is expected to open in June 2018. With a $111 million price tag, the seven-story, 128,000 ft2 (11,892 m2) building will be used for research in a variety of fields, including neurobiology and biochemistry. The basement will house state-of-the-art equipment, including an NMR resource from the NIH.

Another life sciences research center is opening at Yale, expected to be completed in 2019 at the University’s Gibbs Laboratory site in New Haven, Connecticut. The new Science Building will house the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology department, which is part of the larger Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry department of the University. Administrative, teaching and research will take place in the 238,000 ft2 (22,111 m2) building, and there will be specialized areas for research in plant biology and quantitative biology, as well as chemistry labs for organic synthesis and a cryo-electron microscopy facility in the basement for the study of biomolecules. The new center is estimated to cost $200 million, according to Yale News.


The US government is also putting an emphasis on chemistry research with the construction of three new centers, including a new chemistry lab, at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. The Tri-City Herald reports that, collectively, the new office, collaboration center and chemistry lab buildings will total 566,500 ft2 (52,630 m2) and will cost close to $30 million. The new chemistry lab is planned to cover 16,468 ft2 (1,530 m2) and will provide researchers with ample space for wet chemistry work, including radiation detection. At 24,000 ft2 (2,230 m2), the $9.8 million collaboration center will serve as a meeting hub for scientists and thought leaders. Construction began October 2016 and is estimated to finish by 2018.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is building a new epidemiology and genetic research lab at the John Hopkins Montgomery County Campus in Maryland. At 70,000 ft2 (6,503 m2), the new building will bring together scientists and researchers currently working at separate research centers 25 miles apart. The labs in the new building will provide space for genomics research in cancer, translational genomics, genomic susceptibility and genetic epidemiology. NCI plans to begin operations in the building in mid-2019. John Hopkins is the largest recipient of extramural NIH funding.

The British government is also making strides in cancer research, with the London Borough of Sutton making a £14 million ($17.4 million) investment in creating a new, world leading cancer research institute. Over 22,000 m2 (236,806 ft2) of land was purchased by the Sutton Council, and is backed by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Greater London Authority. Creating a London Cancer Hub is expected to be a £1 billion ($1.2 billion) endeavor and is forecast to cover 265,000 m2 (2,852,436 ft2), with the new cancer institute serving as the crucial first step in undertaking the project. Eventually, the Cancer Hub will serve as a central facility for scientists, doctors, researchers and life science companies focused on innovations in cancer research.

The Jackson Laboratory’s new Center for Biometric Analysis in Maine will focus on the research of cancer and other diseases, as well. The Bangor Daily News states that the 21,000 ft2 (1,951 m2) building is forecast to create between 150 and 200 new jobs, and is scheduled for completion in January 2018. Construction costs are approximately $14 million, with an additional $7 million budget for the purchase of analytical instruments and high-end imaging devices, totaling $21 million. Research in the new Center will include cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and addiction, with a “hospital for mice” in which researchers will conduct possible treatments and diagnose illnesses.


Disease research is an important topic of research in the pharmaceutical industry as well, as exemplified by Pfizer expanding its Missouri operations through the construction of a $200 million R&D building in Chesterfield. Expected to create 80 jobs, the new facility will zero in on R&D pertaining to biologic therapies, as well as developing vaccines for clinical trials. Covering 32 acres (129,499 m2), the new R&D site will be completed in 2020.

Researching and developing new medications is also a priority for Janssen Pharmaceutica, which received a €42.8 million ($46.1 million at €0.92= $1) investment from Johnson & Johnson to create a new lab on Janssen’s Beerse campus in Belgium. Forecast to be operational by 2020, the 10,400 m2 (111,945 ft2) new lab is entitled Project LION (Labs-In-One-Network) and is part of the Small Molecule Analytical Development and Pharmaceutical Sciences departments, which conduct QA and stability tests on new medications, as well as develop optimal methods of drug administration.

Canadian-owned Apotex is constructing an R&D and manufacturing center expected to be completed in early 2019 to expand operations in the US. The new $50 million center will also serve as the base for packaging operations for Aveve Drug Delivery Systems. Covering 302,000 ft2 (28,057 m2), the new facility is the largest US investment Apotex has made, and will be one of the largest manufacturing sites in South Florida. The establishment of the site is expected to result in 150 new jobs.

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