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SAN DIEGO-The latest financial results reported by locally based BioMed Realty Trust Inc. reflect the strength of the life science industry segment of the commercial real estate market despite the downturn in the general office market, the REIT’s chairman and CEO said in the company’s earnings conference call last week. Chairman and CEO Alan D. Gold commented that the results were strong “despite the broader challenges facing the economy as a whole and as well as the life science industry.”

BioMed reported record revenue of $94 million for the first quarter ended March 31, up 39.5% from $67.4 million for the same period in 2008, the result primarily of strong leasing despite the recession along with the completion of new space from the company’s development pipeline. Net income totaled $19 million for the quarter, up 54.3% from the same period in 2008. Gold noted that the REIT executed 400,000 square feet of gross leasing in the first quarter after a strong year of leasing in 2008.

Gold observed that the first quarter showed “no material improvements in the general market conditions” as well as a continuing weakness in the global economy and constrained credit markets that continue to impact every industry, including the life science industry. “The over-arching issue for all sectors of the economy today, and especially for the life science industry, is access to capital,” the BioMed chief said.

In his remarks regarding the general outlook for the industry, Gold referred to the “one particular bright spot” of nearly $22 billion for science and research spending in the federal government’s economic stimulus package. “We see positive signs that this funding is not just approved but the mechanisms are in motion to deploy this capital in the very near term, Gold said. He said that the funding could be a significant positive catalyst for universities and other institutions in the short-term but also for the future of smaller biotech firms–all of which are they types of clients that lease space from BioMed Realty.

Kent Griffin, president and CFO of the REIT, noted that despite the generally tight capital markets, BioMed in February closed on a $203 million loan for a joint venture with Prudential in which BioMed has a 20% interest. Griffin also reported that the company has agreed to key terms and is making solid progress on $350 million in refinancing for its Life Sciences Center in Boston. In addition, the company is in the late stages of negotiations regarding a loan for a build-to-suit at its Town Center Drive property in San Diego that would provide proceeds of approximately $18 million and is expected to close in June.

The company’s financial and capital markets performance for the first quarter followed a 2008 in which BioMed twice raised new funding in stock offerings, one for $212.4 million and another for $149.7 million. In both offerings, BioMed said the funds would be used to pay down its line of credit and cover general corporate uses. As of March 31, BioMed owned or had interests in 69 properties with 112 buildings, located predominantly in the major US life science markets of Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York/New Jersey.

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