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Pfizer transfers building to bioscience 'incubator hub'

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Note: A photograph originally attached to this story has been removed.

Groton - Pfizer Inc. has officially transferred an unused building on its campus here to Connecticut United for Research Excellence for use as a bioscience incubator hub, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday.

The 24,000-square-foot Building 286 will become CURE Innovation Commons, which is expected to be fully operational by July 1, 2015.

The nonprofit group will use the building, which is on 2 acres easily separable from the Pfizer campus, to attract entrepreneurs and scientists involved in both start-up and growth-oriented enterprises.

"We invested in CURE Innovation Commons because of the economic boost it will provide to southeastern Connecticut in terms of attracting new business and creating good jobs with good benefits for residents while also strengthening our state's standing as a world leader in the bioscience industry," Malloy said in a press release. "This location will help meet the demand for high quality biotech laboratory and office facilities by providing a much-needed networking center to allow entrepreneurs and startups to do what they do best - cultivate scientific talent, find like-minded partners, attract investment to grow and advance the research, development and discovery of cutting-edge new medicines and technologies."

CURE Innovation Commons will lease laboratories, offices, conference rooms, co-working spaces and a large multipurpose room for meetings and events. The Commons will be able to accommodate six to nine companies and additional space to accommodate startup projects with tenants ranging from chemistry, pharmacology, medical device, information technology, biomedical engineering and clinical trial-related services.

"The CURE Board and I are thrilled with this generous donation. The Commons will be a first-class facility, providing back-office support and mentors with on-site office hours as well as laboratory and office space," said Susan Froshauer, president and CEO of CURE.

In February, the State Bond Commission approved a $4.2 million grant through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development for CURE to fund renovations and initial costs associated with CURE Innovation Commons. CURE Innovations expects rental income, fees or sponsorships from use of the building's facilities and partnerships with supporters will cover the building's operating costs.

"Pfizer is pleased to be part of this development," said Rod MacKenzie, Group Senior Vice President and Head of PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development for Pfizer and Site Director for Groton Laboratories. "Entrepreneurial biotech businesses are an increasingly important part of drug development, and Connecticut is making a strong showing in this area. I am excited about what this project means for the life sciences, for public health, and for Connecticut."

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