SAN DIEGO – (July 1, 2011) Five years after opening a state-of-the art research facility in the University of California, San Diego’s new Science Research Park, leaders from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, Inc. (KKC) and UC San Diego gathered to celebrate five years of exciting growth and new collaborations in the ongoing battle against disease.
“Our move to UC San Diego’s Science Research Park in 2006 was a milestone on many fronts,” said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of the La Jolla Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research institute and world leader in immunology. “Our larger, world-class facility has given us the space and enhanced scientific design to significantly expand our research activities, while our University proximity has facilitated important joint scientific projects that hold great promise for improving human health.”
The La Jolla Institute and KKC, a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. Ltd., a Japan-based global specialty pharmaceutical company, moved into their new 145,000-square-foot home in 2006, becoming the first tenants in UC San Diego’s 30-acre Science Research Park. KKC is the La Jolla Institute’s longtime industry partner, and facilitates the pharmaceutical translation of many of the Institute’s promising discoveries into new treatments for disease.
UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox praised the park for the innovative science and educational opportunities it has fueled. “UC San Diego’s five-year partnership with the La Jolla Institute and Kyowa Hakko Kirin has been extremely important. It has encouraged research collaborations and given UC San Diego graduate students and post-doctoral scholars exposure to cutting-edge research topics and scientific techniques in the La Jolla Institute’s laboratories. The park has truly been a ‘win-win.’ ”
Located on 3.42 acres, the La Jolla Institute’s 350 employees and 22 independent laboratories, and KKC’s research and development labs and 40 employees are located in the four-level research facility. Significantly larger than their previous building, the facility has allowed the Institute to add five faculty members and their labs, new high-tech scientific equipment and, most recently, to construct a new RNA interference (RNAi) Screening Center for genomics research to be opened in August. The NIH-funded Center will be one of the few dedicated RNAi facilities nationwide and will be shared with UC San Diego and other local research Institutes.
Dr. Kronenberg said the Science Research Park’s unique environment – involving a nonprofit research institution, a biopharmaceutical company and a renowned medical teaching institution -- has spurred countless scientific exchanges as well as numerous joint research efforts. Among the many collaborations now underway are projects focused on sickle cell anemia, heart disease, tuberculosis, type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. “We currently have active research collaborations with 20 UC San Diego faculty members and have published 17 joint publications since 2005,” said Dr. Kronenberg. “Our location here has definitely been a catalyst for cooperative scientific innovation.”
KKC President Kinya Ohgami, Ph.D., agreed, noting the relationship between KKC, the La Jolla Institute and UC San Diego has supported, and will continue to support, research toward new and improved medicines. “Our goal is to improve the lives of people worldwide through innovative drug discovery,” said Dr. Ohgami. “Our co-location with the leading immunologists at the La Jolla Institute and UC San Diego’s internationally recognized faculty and physicians provide a fertile environment for important scientific exchange. We feel this is a wonderful place for translating discoveries into clinical development for new therapies.”
UC San Diego’s park is located adjacent to the East Campus Medical Center complex and just east of the Moores Cancer Center. The University launched the park to encourage science and technology organizations with shared interests to the University to locate on the UC San Diego campus.
“We envisioned the park as a way to strengthen creative collaborations that can help bridge the gap between laboratory research and the development of practical applications that benefit society,” said Chancellor Fox. “The La Jolla Institute and KKC have been model tenants, bringing strength and expertise in life sciences research that melds perfectly with the goals of the University for improving human health.”
In addition to scientific exchanges, the park’s University proximity has encouraged more educational opportunities.
The La Jolla Institute provides laboratory internships for many UC San Diego students each year, and eleven Institute faculty have adjunct UC San Diego professorship appointments. La Jolla Institute faculty also teach a number of University courses, focusing on infectious diseases, immunology and bioengineering.
“The University’s research and teaching collaborations with the La Jolla institute are natural outgrowths of our leadership as one of the nation's top medical teaching institutions," said Fox.
Tenants who lease land or facilities in the park must conduct industrial, scientific and technological activities in various scientific disciplines, including medicine, life sciences and engineering. As part of the lease agreement, tenants agree to participate with UC San Diego in research and educational programs. Tenants maintain their own independent finances and identity.
About Kyowa Hakko Kirin California
Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, Inc. (KKC) is a wholly-owned US subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd. (KHK), and serves as one of KHK's primary R&D centers in the United States . KKC is focused on research and development of novel bio-therapeutics including antibody products using KHK’s proprietary antibody technologies, the KM Mouse™, Potelligent® and Complegent® in three major disease areas: cancer, kidney and immunological diseases. Since 1988, KKC has been a major corporate sponsor of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI), a not-for-profit research institute.
About the La Jolla Institute
Founded in 1988, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology is a biomedical research nonprofit focused on improving human health through increased understanding of the immune system. Its scientists carry out research seeking new knowledge leading to the prevention of disease through vaccines and the treatment and cure of infectious diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 (juvenile) diabetes, Crohn’s disease and asthma. La Jolla Institute’s research staff includes more than 100 Ph.D.s and M.D.s. For more information, go to www.liai.org