Jackson Laboratories CEO Edison Liu, M.D., joined Gov. Dannel Malloy at the Thursday to celebrate final approval of the deal that brings the research firm's billion-dollar, personalized medicine laboratory and the promise of 300 permanent jobs to the Farmington campus.
The state agreed to bond $291 million in a forgivable construction loan and research grants as part of Malloy's plan to build the state's economy with the bioscience and genomic research industry as the cornerstone. That industry, Malloy said, is worth $298 billion today and is growing by 11 percent annually. Once fully developed, Malloy's office expects Jackson Labs to support 6,800 permanent jobs.
"There's no reason we couldn't be the center of genomic personalized medicine for the country — perhaps all the world," Malloy said.
Jackson's Liu explained that each individual's genetic recipe is unique, as is his response to treatment. Genomic, personalized medicine, which Jackson Laboratories will work to develop in Farmington, could lead to improved methods of combating cancer and superbugs and in blocking the onset of disease.
With the state pouring in $291 million of forgivable loans and research grants, some legislators said the costs of the project were too high with too little in dividends for the state of Connecticut. Malloy said Thursday that the final negotiations provide "plenty of protections" to ensure that Jackson Labs delivers jobs and that Connecticut gets a share in its profits.
First, the agreement says that within 10 years JAX will create at least 300 full-time positions with an average salary equal to 125 percent of the Connecticut average wage.
It also specifies that Jackson Laboratories will give preference in hiring and in contracts to qualified Connecticut residents and vendors.
The state will also receive 10 percent of any net royalty proceeds from intellectual property, up to $3 million, and 50 percent of royalty proceeds exceeding $3 million.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring. The health center will lease the property to Jackson Labs until 600 jobs are created, at which time the land will be given to JAX.