TGen News & Press Releases : TGen discovers genetic mutation that causes the appearance of premature aging and severe loss of fat in children

Phoenix Biomedical Center provides venue for bioscience, research and development, and collaboration

PHOENIX, AZ, March 22, 2005--The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) today announced the grand opening of its worldwide headquarters. The six-story, $46 million city-owned building forms the cornerstone of the Phoenix Biomedical Center (PBC), a planned bioscience and medical research campus located in downtown Phoenix.

TGen's President and Scientific Director, Dr. Jeffrey Trent, expressed his pride and enthusiasm to nearly 1,000 people who gathered for TGen's Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on March 22,2005. "This is a catalyst, a stimulus that will move the biomedical sciences forward," he said.

Officials from TGen, IGC and the City of Phoenix joined with Senator Jon Kyl, Governor Janet Napolitano, Mayor Phil Gordon, and more than 500 guests to celebrate the building dedication and ribbon cutting. Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, delivered the keynote address.

"Building our biotech industry is very important for the state's future economic growth and will benefit all its citizens," stated Arizona's Governor Janet Napolitano. "We are committed to investing resources to make our state successful and to enabling legislation that will make Arizona more attractive to out-of-state companies wishing to open or expand offices here."

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano likened the dedication of the new TGen building and Downtown Phoenix Biomedical Center to the opening of the Roosevelt Dam 94 years ago. The dam brought life-giving water to the Valley and helped Phoenix turn into a thriving metropolis. "Years from now, people will look back and say 'I was there when the ribbon was cut on the first building'," said Napolitano.

Critical to the success of the PBC are commitments from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and others to locate a College of Medicine, a College of Pharmacy and a College of Nursing in downtown Phoenix and a potential School of Global Health located nearby. "Thanks to unfailing hard work from people throughout the state, the Phoenix Biomedical Center is becoming a reality. As the keystone of this project, TGen and it's scientists and research programs foster an environment of scientific collaboration and innovation," says Dr. Jeffrey M. Trent, TGen's President and Scientific Director. "The new headquarters' building enables TGen to further its goal of developing improved diagnostics and therapeutics to better the lives of people in Arizona and around the world."

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano cuts the ribbon to officially open the new TGen building and Downtown Phoenix Biomedical Center. (L-R Front Row) Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Speaker of the House James P. Weiers, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, TGen President and Scientific Director Jeffrey M. Trent, and Phoenix Councilman Greg Stanton.

The PBC is an integral piece of the statewide bioscience initiative and is expected to have a significant impact on biomedical discoveries, the quality of health care for Arizona's residents and the expansion and diversification of the state's economy.

"Bioscience is the fastest growing segment of the national economy. We're confident that IGC, TGen and their unique strategic partnership with the state's three universities and partnering with research organizations across the country will enhance Arizona's economy by bringing new industries and new jobs to the state," said Richard Mallery, IGC chairman.

The PBC provides a unique, energetic environment that will attract biotech and related companies to Phoenix and Arizona, from around the nation and world, for business opportunities in R&D, collaboration, partnering and office expansion.

"In addition to our rich cultural and entertainment venues, Downtown Phoenix has the resources and infrastructure necessary to attract and sustain world-class organizations and companies," said Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix. "We're excited to have TGen, IGC and NIDDK in our midst and we invite biotech companies from out of state and around the world to investigate the business opportunities for R&D, collaboration and expansion that we offer."

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About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the human Genome Project to apply to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases.

About IGC
The International Genomics Consortium (IGC) is a non-profit genomics research institute that seeks to revolutionize the treatment and prevention of cancer and complex diseases by rigorously developing and applying post-genome science to advances in human health. IGC is dedicated to the creation and public-release of clinically annotated molecular databases characterizing human disease. These databases are useful for discovery and validation of new diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Consortia members include medical centers, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology and informatics entities, as well as foundations and government sponsors working in a private-public partnership.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Galen Perry, TGen, (602) 343-8423
Amy Erickson, TGen, (602) 343-8522
Cynthia Weaver, City of Phoenix, (602) 262-6180


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