MILFORD, Mass. _ Hybridon Inc. _ a privately-held companywhich develops antisense compounds _ is the first recipient of thisstate's Land Bank's new Emerging Technology Fund program,Massachusetts governor William Weld announced last Thursday. (SeeBioWorld Today, Nov. 10, 1993, p. 1.)He told a gathering of some 70 banking, biotech and governmentofficials that the biotechnology company will develop a 36,000-square-foot manufacturing plant here to produce its anti-AIDSantisense compound, GEM91, now entering Phase II clinical trials inthe U.S. and France. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 17, 1994, p. 1.)Hybridon will commit an estimated $5.7 million, the governor said, toconvert a former computer-chip factory here to what the firm'schairman, president and CEO, E. Andrews Grinstead III, described as"a state-of-the-art, FDA-approved, GMP manufacturing plant." He toldBioWorld Today that when fully renovated, the facility would be able,within two to three years, to scale up output of GEM91 from its currentthree kg a month to 30, enough to treat 50,000 to 100,000 patients.Production should begin this winter.The Land Bank will guarantee $2.85 million of a $4.9 millionconstruction loan to Hybridon from Fleet Bank of Massachusetts. Thecompany itself, and local investors in this city (who own the structure,which they are leasing to Hybridon for 10 years), will finance the$800,000 balance.In a separate development, next month, Hybridon will begin gutting theshell of the former Baxter Co. building in Cambridge. Adding twofloors will bring the structure to 91,000 sq. ft of floor space, Grinsteadsaid, to provide the company with a new headquarters and research anddevelopment laboratories. He anticipates that the Land Bank willguarantee $4 million to $5 million of the $17-million project. Equityfinancing is coming from a consortium of investors, notably the Frenchmerchant banking firm of Pillar SA. n

-- David N. Leff Science Editor

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