Venter Institute Raises $53M Through Sale-Leaseback Deal

The $53 million generated by the sale of the J. Craig Venter Institute’s five-building campus in Rockville, MD, could help finance construction of a multi-disciplinary research facility proposed for a scenic coastal bluff on the U.C. San Diego campus.

The nonprofit genomic research institute announced the sale of its Maryland property yesterday to BioMed Realty Trust (NYSE: BMR) a San Diego-based real estate developer that specializes in life sciences buildings. In its statement, the Venter Institute said it will lease back the building from BioMed under a renewable, 10-year lease, and plans to continue its research there “indefinitely.”

J. Craig Venter

J. Craig Venter

The Venter Institute, which was founded in late 2004, employs about 300 scientists and staff in Rockville and about 100 in San Diego. Its namesake, genomic pioneer J. Craig Venter, also is the founding CEO at Synthetic Genomics, the San Diego-based startup developing algae-based biofuels that was the chief beneficiary of $600 million in funding from ExxonMobil that was announced last summer. His co-founders include Juan Enriquez of Boston’s Excel Venture Management and Hamilton Smith, the microbiologist and Nobel laureate.

The Rockville sale-and-leaseback deal prompted … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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