Ventana buys Integrated Biomolecule Corp. facility - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Ventana buys Integrated Biomolecule Corp. facility

Roche subsidiary looks across the street to widen its global reach

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Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 12:00 am

Up until yesterday, Nov. 18, the small Oro Valley biotech firm operated somewhat in the shadow of its multi-national neighbors.

Integrated Biomolecule Corp., which specializes in laboratory analysis and synthesis, on Wednesday sold its lab space off Innovation Park Drive to Ventana Medical Systems, the Roche-owned diagnostics firm that stands directly across the street.

"IBC began in my garage and operated at the University of Arizona Tech Park for years, until we became successful enough to build a facility of our own," IBC founder and president Robert S. Green said in a statement. "IBC will continue to provide many of its services directly and through its affiliates."

The biotech firm, however, can operate out of other venues and no longer needs its own facility, Green said.

Ventana will use the IBC labs for its own purposes.

Terms of Ventana's purchase of the IBC facility were not disclosed. Green says he will remain as IBC's president, and the firm will continue providing analytical and synthesis services to a variety of companies.

"Acquiring the existing IBC facility allows for immediate expansion of our research and development capabilities," Ventana spokeswoman Alana Bolton said in a statement. "This purchase underscores our commitment for further growth in the community."

In February, Swiss-based drugmaker Roche Holdings bought Ventana for $3 billion. The conglomerate has since made known its plans to aggressively expand Ventana's presence in Oro Valley, including hiring about 250 additional employees.

By the end of 2009, Ventana wil employ more than 1,000 people, Roche CEO Severin Schwan told local leaders during a recent visit to Oro Valley.

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