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SEATTLE-The San Diego-based Life Sciences REIT Alexandria Real Estate Equities has joined forces with the Seattle-based Institute for Systems Biology and three biotech venture capital firms to launch Accelerator Corporation, an incubator seeded with $15 million that will provide the capital, expertise and space required to identify, finance and develop new ideas and technologies.

The Institute for Systems Biology is an internationally renowned non-profit research institute dedicated to the study and application of systems biology. Its goal is to demystify human biology and identify strategies for predicting and preventing diseases such as cancer, arthritis and AIDS.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities owns several biotech buildings in Seattle. Last fall it completed a $52-million acquisition-leaseback for the three-building headquarters of ZymoGenetics Corp. on the east side of Lake Union. Earlier this year, an affiliate of the company spent another $34.7 million to acquire a new office-and-laboratory building a short ways away at 1616 Eastlake Ave. E. Additionally, the company owns the former Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center buildings on First Hill and the former Bristol-Myers Squibb building at 3005 First Ave. that houses biotech firms.

The $15 million in funding is being led by MPM Capital, which manages over $2.1 billion in assets through the MPM BioVentures Family of venture capital funds and the MPM BioEquities public market funds. ARCH Venture Partners, Versant Ventures, and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. also are investors.

The goal of Accelerator Corp. is to make money by investing in and then better positioning biotechnologies and early-stage companies for success from their outset. Accelerator will provide the management, infrastructure, and facilities required by these start-up ventures with the hope of enabling their scientific founders to focus on achieving key short-term research, development, and commercialization milestones. Assuming achievement, Accelerator will prepare the ventures to raise their next rounds of financing, facilitating their transition from exciting leading-edge technology stage companies into fully integrated biotechnology companies.

Accelerator will be leveraging the expertise of Leroy Hood, MD, Ph.D., president of the ISB and now a member of the Board of Directors of Accelerator Corporation. “One of the key missions of ISB is to enable the development of products and technologies which will fundamentally revolutionize medicine,” said Hood, whose institute has been awarded almost $130 million in funding and now employs about 180. “Accelerator represents an innovative vehicle for the achievement of this vision, whether through the commercialization of ISB-generated technologies or through the enablement, with our affiliation, of technologies originating elsewhere.”

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