Jackson Lab planning $27 million expansion of Sacramento facility

By Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee
Posted Oct. 03, 2012, at 6:30 a.m.

SACREMENTO — A research nonprofit based in Maine is planning a $27 million expansion of its Sacramento genetics laboratory that will translate into 60 to 80 jobs.

Jackson Laboratory West said Tuesday it needs more space to accommodate the growing demand for its chief product: mice used in genetic research.

“We’ll be expanding our mouse production capacity in Sacramento — we’ll be about doubling it,” said Charles Hewett, chief operating officer at the lab’s parent organization, The Jackson Laboratory.

Jackson Lab’s decision is sure to be welcomed by state officials, who were put on the defensive about California’s business climate after two big employers announced shutdowns in a matter of days last week: Comcast and Campbell Soup Co.

“California’s a great place for research and therefore it’s a great place for us,” Hewett said.

Hewett said the expansion project already has begun and is likely to be completed late next year.

The lab has been “expanding incrementally” but now will move forward with a full build-out of its Raley Boulevard facility, Hewett said.

The Sacramento lab employs about 130 workers. The additional hiring, totaling 60 to 80 workers, could take from two to five years to complete, Hewett said.

“As we need it, we’ll populate a room with mice and people,” he said.

Jackson grows hundreds of mice, known as JAX Mice, with different types of cancer and other maladies.

The mice are genetically groomed to grow human cancer tissues for use in research, diagnostics and treatment.

© 2012 The Sacramento Bee

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http://bangordailynews.com/2012/10/03/business/jackson-labs-planning-27-million-expansion-of-sacramento-facility/ printed on August 27, 2014