2007-2008

Gateway Park Announces Lease to RXi Pharmaceuticals

Gateway Park announced today that RXi Pharmaceuticals has signed a 20-month lease to locate in the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center with the option to become the lead tenant of a future 100,000-square-foot building planned for construction at Gateway Park. The company was founded by Nobel Laureate Craig Mello.

Company Founded by 2006 Nobel Prize co-recipient Dr. Craig Mello to Lease Space

WORCESTER, Mass. – Gateway Park announced today that RXi Pharmaceuticals has signed a 20-month lease to locate in the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center with the option to become the lead tenant of a future 100,000-square-foot building planned for construction at Gateway Park. The company, founded by Nobel Laureate Craig Mello, PhD, is one of several firms that have signed an Indication of Interest as potential future tenants of the rapidly expanding Gateway Park.

RXi Pharmaceuticals was created to develop therapeutics for the treatment of human disease employing the RNA interference (RNAi) technology co-discovered by Dr. Mello, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  RNAi technology can help determine the function of particular genes in the body and also potentially lead to the development of new RNAi-based drugs. Using RNAi to turn off defective genes opens the door for an entirely new class of drugs to potentially treat cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and many other diseases.

According to D’Anne Hurd, Vice President for Business Development at Gateway Park, “Gateway Park offered all of the advantages RXi Pharmaceuticals was looking for in a location – state-of-the-art laboratories, beautiful office space, access to shared equipment, support infrastructure, and proximity to their founding scientist's laboratories in Worcester, MA.”

As a tenant in the new Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, RXi Pharmaceuticals will be adjacent to dozens of WPI faculty members and students, working in interdisciplinary research centers and programs, who are conducting basic and applied research and working to translate their discoveries into viable life-sciences-based products and companies.  The WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center is the first building to be completed at Gateway Park and it hosts advanced research in such areas as regenerative medicine, molecular nanotechnology and biosensors, plant systems, tissue engineering, and untethered healthcare.

“RXi is an ideal match for what Gateway Park can provide to growing, creative life sciences companies,” said WPI President and CEO Dennis Berkey. “We are honored that RXi Pharmaceuticals is interested in joining the unique community of scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators at Gateway Park.  Their interest in becoming the lead tenant of the 100K sq ft. building is a testament to the growing momentum at Gateway Park.”

About RXi Pharmaceuticals

RXi is a biopharmaceutical research and development company that focuses on developing RNAi-based therapeutics for the treatment of human disease. The company was founded by RNAi pioneers Craig Mello, Ph.D., 2006 Nobel Laureate for discovering RNAi and inventing RNAi therapeutics, Tariq M. Rana, Ph.D., inventor of fundamental technology for stabilizing RNAi and of RNAi nanotransporters, Greg Hannon, Ph.D., discoverer of RNAi mechanism (RISC) and short hairpin RNAi (shRNAi), and Michael Czech, Ph.D., a leader in the application of RNAi to diabetes and obesity. Mello, Rana and Czech are on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA; Hannon is at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

About Gateway Park

Gateway Park is a joint venture of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC). Located in Worcester, near the intersection of I-190 and I-290, Gateway Park is designed as a 12 acre, mixed-use destination for life sciences and biotech companies and the people who work for them.  At completion, the project will include five life sciences buildings totaling 500,000 square feet of flexible, adaptable lab space designed to meet the needs of research organizations, 241,000 sq. ft. of market rate, loft condominiums as well as several planned retail establishments. WPI is also exploring the possibility of graduate student housing on one of the sites. Gateway Park is part of the larger 55-acre Gateway redevelopment district. It is currently home to numerous businesses, offices, restaurants, and business services, as well as a Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

October 22, 2007