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PASADENA, CA-Demand for life sciences space remains solid despite the worldwide turmoil in the economy and credit markets. The steady demand was reflected in results reported recently by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a REIT specializing in life sciences space, which reported higher funds from operations and FFO per share for the quarter.

“Our core operating results were solid for the first three months of 2009, during the continuing extraordinary and unprecedented US and worldwide economic, financial, banking and credit market crises,” the REIT stated in its quarterly financial report with the SEC for the first three months of the year. Alexandria reported FFO of $61.3 million and $1.89 per diluted share, compared to FFO of $38.2 million and $1.21 per share for the first quarter of 2008.

Nonetheless, current conditions have caused have “mandated significant reductions to our capital expenditures across all areas of our business,” the REIT said in its filing. These reductions include operating expenses, general and administrative expenses, development and construction.

Alexandria intends to significantly reduce its capital expenditures in 2009 as compared to 2008 while focusing on the completion of its existing active redevelopment projects, which total approximately 586,738 square feet–and its existing active development projects, which total approximately 1.1 million square feet. In addition, the REIT has some preconstruction activities under way for some land parcels intended for future development, and it plans to continue with those activities.

During the quarter, the REIT executed 37 Leases for 465,000 square feet of space and registered an increase of 5.4% on renewed leases. The occupancy of its portfolio stood at 94.3%.

One reason for the steady demand and high occupancy is that Alexandria has a very broad and diversified tenant base. As of March 31, its multinational pharmaceutical client tenants represented approximately 27% of its client tenant mix, led by its top three client tenants: Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline plc and Roche Holding Ltd. Public biopharmaceutical companies represented approximately 20% and included the three largest in the sector, Amgen Inc., Gilead Sciences Inc. and Celgene Corp. Other tenants included life science product and service companies, government agencies and medical and research institutions, privatee pharmaceutical companies, and a few traditional office tenants.

The REIT’s asset base totals approximately 12.8 million square feet in 156 properties. That 12.8 million square feet includes approximating 11.7 million square feet of existing buildings as well as spaces undergoing redevelopment, plus 1.1 million square feet of properties being developed from the ground up.

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