IRG Lands New Tenant, Rebrands former Pfizer Property

Real Estate In-Depth | May 2018

IRG has renamed its Rockland County campus the “New York Center for Innovation.”

PEARL RIVER—Industrial Realty Group announced recently its 1.993 million-square-foot campus of existing office, laboratory, and industrial space in Pearl River, will be known as “New York Center for Innovation.”

“The campus is a unique part of the community in Pearl River and we are committed to its next chapter,” said John A. Mase, CEO at IRG. “Our team is aggressively marketing the New York Center for Innovation. Continued progress in leasing will help support subsequent phases of development on site.”

The property was formerly Lederle Laboratories, then the headquarters of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (2002-2009). Pfizer Inc. acquired Wyeth and the property in 2009 and eventually sold 207 acres of the campus to IRG 2015.

As development continues to take shape, New York Center for Innovation will become a part of the mixed-use, multi-tenanted project, which plans to offer collaborative, coffee shop-style meeting spaces as well as dining, shopping and entertainment options. As part of the project, the New York Center for Innovation includes the existing office, laboratory and industrial space.

Recently Profectus BioSciences has moved to historic New York Center for Innovation taking 39,455 square feet of lab and office space. The company joins site tenants including Pfizer, Sanofi (formerly Protein Sciences), Urban Electric Power and NuBiyota. Leasing activity continues to grow on site with the addition of synergistic tenants, who have lead advancements in vaccine production, cancer research and other bioscience developments, IRG stated.

“We are thrilled to welcome Profectus to the site!” said Onno Steger, director of real estate at IRG. “They are the perfect addition to the campus; an important piece of both the site’s future and its past.”

All but two of Profectus’ 16 vaccine researchers previously worked at the campus as Wyeth or Pfizer employees.

That includes Dr. John Eldridge, Profectus’ chief scientific officer for vaccines, who previously worked in the very same building the company now leases as head of vaccines research for Wyeth. Eldridge left the campus in 2008 when the Pfizer/Wyeth vaccine group joined Profectus. After Profectus outgrew its facilities in Tarrytown, the amenities, location and tenant mix compelled Dr. Eldridge and his vaccine team to return to the New York Center for Innovation campus once again as part of its history of innovation, IRG stated in a press announcement.

“It’s great to be back!” said Eldridge. “A lot of breakthrough medical advances have happened at this site, including development and manufacturing of pioneering vaccines to counter life-threatening infections and promote global health. Profectus is certainly looking forward to continuing that legacy.”

The company’s vaccine research and development staff occupy the New York Innovation Center space, and Profectus’ administrative headquarters remains located in Baltimore, MD.

“The New York Center for Innovation is perfect for us,” said Jeff Meshulam, president of Profectus BioSciences. “This new site, located about 20 miles north of New York City, provides Profectus with sufficient space to house all vaccine R&D operations and the flexibility to expand as needed. The facilities include strong infrastructure and well-designed labs. We looked for a long time before we found this ideal new space that was custom-designed to fit our needs, welcoming our research team back home.”

For more than a century, researchers at the Pearl River campus have been developing and manufacturing vaccines against diseases of major public health importance, including production of early vaccines for smallpox, typhoid, and influenza; production of the oral polio vaccine, Orimune, which conferred permanent immunity to polio and eliminated the need for injections beginning in 1963; and development and manufacture of the infant pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, in 2000.

Profectus is bringing a fundamental new approach to designing preventive and therapeutic vaccines for infectious diseases and related cancers, as well as vaccines for cancer immunotherapy that selectively destroy tumors while simultaneously boosting the immune system to continue killing residual cancer cells. Profectus vaccine products derive from a technology platform that allows the company to tailor effective immune responses to specific targets. The company is currently focused on developing vaccines for major chronic viral infectious diseases and their associated cancers such as HIV, PBV, HBV, and HCV; emerging infectious diseases of public health and biodefense importance including Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa viruses; encephalitic diseases; chikungunya; and oncolytic vaccines for advanced-stage cancers.