Politics Published: Jan 5, 2012 - 3:12 PM

Rep. Perone joins Governor in announcing Jackson Laboratory plans approved

By Rep. Perone's office

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State Representative Chris Perone (D-Norwalk) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy today at the UConn Health Center (UCHC) in Farmington where it was announced that a final agreement between the state and Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has been fully negotiated and approved by the relevant boards. The new billion-dollar, personalized medicine laboratory that will create more than 6,800 permanent jobs will be located at UCHC.

“This is a huge boon for our economy and exactly what we need to be doing as a state. Growing our bioscience industry—an industry growing at over ten percent annually--means more good-paying jobs in Connecticut,” said Perone. “Over the last 20 years, our state has paid a real opportunity cost by not getting behind these types of initiatives. I look forward to working with Governor Malloy in making Connecticut a destination for bioscience firms and helping our exiting firms expand and remain job-creators.”

As a member of the Majority Leaders' Job Growth Roundtable, Perone has long been a champion at the statehouse for legislation making it easier for businesses to invest and create jobs in the state. He has sponsored a number of bills over the past few years to jump-start job creation and lay a foundation for long-term economic growth including legislation passed during October’s special jobs’ session that allowed the JAX deal to happen.

Perone added, “This is about more than jobs. The state will reap the benefits of successful research through the agreement with JAX that which entitles the state to royalty proceeds on patents.”

“When we invested in bioscience, we knew we were investing in an industry that would pay dividends in the future,” said Governor 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.”

The highlights of the agreement include:

· A commitment from JAX to create at least 300 positions within 10 years, of which 90 or 30% of the total number of employees, whichever is higher, will be senior scientist positions. The average annual wage of employees will be equal to 125% 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.

· JAX will give 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.

· JAX and the state have entered into a unique intellectual property (IP) sharing agreement that will give Connecticut Innovations (CI) 10% of any net royalty proceeds from IP up to $3 million and 50% 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.

Once JAX Genomic Medicine is fully developed over 20 years, the institute will 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.

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.

As part of the project, JAX will enter into a collaborative research agreement with UCHC 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.

When 600 jobs are created, the land will be conveyed to JAX.

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.

Also attending today’s event were Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith, JAX President and CEO Edison Liu, University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst, and other lawmakers.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center whose mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.

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