What a sad ending to such a promising dream.
The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has shut down “most of its operations,” citing “competitive realities,” the Hamner said in a statement provided to WRAL TechWire on Monday.
The decision brings to a close a legacy of research and development done under the name Hamner and the Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences dating back four decades.
“The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has announced that it will discontinue most of its operations effective December 31, 2015,” the statement reads.
“Over the past 15 years, The Hamner has undergone a number of transitions, both with respect to the nature of its work and sources of funding.
“Despite the best efforts of The Hamner’s management and Board of Directors to explore options to sustain and continue the mission of the organization, unfortunate competitive realities make this decision necessary.”
The Hamner shutdown news emerged in an announcement that some CIIT assets had been purchased by a Durham firm and that the employees involved were now part of that company.
SciMetrika, a population health consulting company, disclosed its acquisition of the ICSS on Monday.
The ICSS will operate as part of ScitoVation, a wholly owned subsidiary of SciMetrika.
Just two years ago, The Hamner sold the land on which the organization had planned to build its own campus for years for some $20 million. Alexandria Real Estate Equities plans to develop its own life science campus on the site.
“The Hamner remains proud of its many accomplishments over the past 40 years as a leading force in environmental health and safety sciences research, as well as training over 300 of the next generation of talented scientists, all of which were made possible by the efforts of its dedicated and award-winning staff and funding support from its valued sponsors.,” The Hamner said.
Eight years ago, The Hamner took on a new name and unveiled grandiose plans for a life science and research campus.
The CIIT Centers for Health Research was renamed after former Biotechnoloy Center CEO and legendary life science leader Charles Hamner in 2007. It also unveiled plans for a $35 million expansion as well as a master building development plan with 1 million square feet of office space – a near 10-fold jump from the existing 126,000 square feet. A capital campaign was launched seeking $100 million.
CIIT dates back to 1974. and has been supported by the chemical industry, had a $21 million annual budget at the time and had received more than $400 million in funding.
As part of the expansion, launched the Institute for Translational Biomedical Sciences, an incubator that still has several tenants, according to the Triangle Business Journal.
CIIT was created by the chemical industry to research the potential impact of exposure to chemicals in the environment on humans.
William Greenlee, president of CIIT since 1999, said at the time of the expansion announcement that the chemical industry had agreed to invest $40 million over three years in CIIT. The newly named Hamner expected to generate at least $25 million in additional grants and contracts as well.
In the future, Greenlee told the Durham Herald-Sun, “We’ll be a research arm to facilitate drug development.”
Greenlee received a five-year contract extension in 2012.