$2.25 million grant to bio-pharmaceutical company for move to Branford

The state is anteing up $2.25 million in grants to bring the research and development, clinical and regulatory operations of a bio-pharmaceutical company to Branford, Gov. Dannel Malloy said Thursday.

Durata Therapuetucs’ move of most of its operations from New Jersey to Connecticut will create up to 80 new full-time jobs by 2016, Malloy said in a statement Thursday morning. Durata is developing drugs to treat infectious diseases and acute illnesses, with a focus on treating patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections.

Durata is moving into the former headquarters of Curagen at 322 E. Main Street in Branford and already has about a dozen people in place leading the transition, said Jim Watson, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

Durata is officially is located in Morristown, N.J., but some of its executives work out of office space on Wacker Drive in Chicago, said Jed Weiner, a spokesman for the company.

Curagen was once one of the leading companies in Connecticut last bio-tech renaissance in the late 1990s and early in the last decade, but the firm later floundered and was sold to Needham, Mass.-based Celldex Therapeutics in mid-2009.

Malloy said the agreement between the state and the company is the latest step in his administration’s efforts to make Connecticut a leading nation center for biosciences.

“The goal of Bioscience Connecticut is twofold – creating good paying jobs with good benefits for residents in an industry that is poised for growth,” Malloy said. “With the addition of Durata Therapeutics, we are further cementing the state as a destination for health and life science companies. Connecticut will continue to cultivate new investment, attract new talent, and work with our entrepreneurs to develop our workforce and strengthen our state’s position as a global leader in this rapidly expanding field.”

Malloy launched his Bioscience Connecticut initiative last year.

The DECD will provide $2 million is assistance to the company for improvements to the facility it is leasing, as well as for relocation costs along with research and development. The money will be doled out to the company as it reaches certain job creation levels, according to DECD officials.

The other $250,000 in state grant money will be provided for training.

©2012 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.)

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