Lab Canada

Commercialization facility expands in BC

Vancouver, BC December 9, 2003 The University of British Columbia has seen the opening of a research commercialization facility on its campus. The facility, which was developed and built by private trust Discovery Parks will house companies spinning out of British Columbia’s post-secondary institutions.

The 109,000 sq ft Technology Enterprise Facility III (TEF III) is the third Discovery Parks research building built on the campus. TEF III is specifically designed to accommodate the changing requirements of existing tenants and the unique needs of new start-up companies, especially those in the fields of biotechnology and information technology. Tenant companies gain access to the university’s wealth of resources and expertise.

The building was financed through a private mortgage and existing Discovery Parks equity.

Gracing the side of TEF III are three terra cotta statues salvaged from Vancouver’s historic Georgia Medical-Dental building that was demolished in 1989. Purchased and restored by Discovery Parks, the historic, 11-ft tall "Sisters of Mercy" are now mounted on the fifth floor of the building’s exterior.

"Not only does TEF III create a perfect environment for private sector research firms, it is also meeting a need from researchers who are funded by the public sector," says Mark Betteridge, executive director and CEO of Discovery Parks. "The idea is that research begins in the universities and over time is commercialized into the private sector. Buildings such as TEF III are designed to facilitate that process."

Cardiome Pharma is the first major tenant company in TEF III, having signed on for 16,000 sq ft of space. The UBC spin-off is a drug development company focused on major heart diseases. The publicly traded company is working on the development of Oxypurinol, a novel therapy in treating congestive heart failure.

"As a UBC spin-off, it’s crucial for us to maintain links to the campus as we evolve and grow over the next few years," says Robert Rieder, President and CEO of Cardiome Pharma Corp. "With continued access to UBC resources and flexibility in terms of growth, it is a privilege to be in a facility that is truly designed with the needs of high tech companies in mind."