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MANASSAS, VA-George Mason University will erect a new laboratory at its Prince William County campus now that the National Institutes of Health has awarded the school a $25-million grant to construct the research facility. Activities in the nearly 83,200-sf regional biocontainment laboratory will focus on the development of products for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases. These diseases could materialize as a result of biological attacks by terrorists, as well as naturally occurring infectious diseases.

The facility will cost an aggregate $42 million to complete, with the remaining $17 million of the costs coming from a $15.3 million contribution from GMU and an additional $2.5 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prince William county officials have been working with the university to realize this endeavor. “The county’s partnership with the university has led to many new investments and jobs in Prince William County,” says Prince William Board of County Supervisors chairman Sean T. Connaughton,” and this facility is part of the continued growth of the county as a biotech community.”

Prince William County continues to attract new bioscience and biotechnology entities interested in building or leasing space for research and development activities. Companies with development projects in the works in Prince William County include life science products manufacturer Mediatech Inc. Last year, the firm said it will spend $10 million to build a 100,000-sf corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility, and pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly will spend $325 million on a new 300,000-sf insulin manufacturing plant. Further details with regard to a design and construction team for the GMU project have not yet been announced.

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