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UCSD Moores Cancer Center expanding with 4 development projects

The UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center, already the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region, is in a period of major expansion to improve patient care, treatment options and collaboration with industry with four projects in various stages of completion.

To stay at the forefront of detection and treatment technologies, Moores Cancer Center is constructing a new Center for Novel Therapeutics, which will serve as a research hub for UCSD and Moores researchers along with private industry scientists.

The three-story building with roughly 66,000 square feet of rentable space is meant to facilitate collaboration between UCSD and local private companies, with building owner Biomed Realty Inc. (NYSE: BMR) in charge of leasing out space.

“The Center for Novel Therapeutics is the brainchild of Dr. Dennis Carson, director of Moores Cancer Center from 2004 to 2011,” said Ira Goodman, associate director for administration at Moores. “Dr. Carson always worked in both academia as well as industry -- having started five biotech companies -- and he always firmly believed that one building, particularly a UCSD building that could house both academic and industry scientists, could only improve the pace of cancer research and development of new therapeutics.”

The location and a rendering of the Center for Novel Therapeutics, expected to open sometime in 2017.

Goodman said the school has been working on this for a number of years, and two years ago was finally able to propose a building on its science research park campus -- adjacent to the existing Cancer Center, next to the visitor parking lot.

Because of its location, UCSD cannot build the structure itself and must occupy less than 50 percent of the building, which is where BioMed Realty came in, after being awarded the contract through a request for proposal process.

Goodman said construction is expected to begin in mid-2015 and last two years.

Goodman said he couldn’t comment on the specific cost for UCSD and Moores to lease space from BioMed in the building, but did say the building is worth about $110 million, or $1,000 per square foot. The facility is envisioned as a three-story building with 366 below-grade and surface parking spaces, wet labs, dry labs, core facilities and administration offices.

“The Center for Novel Therapeutics will be the incubator for Moores researchers and additional biotech researchers in the same building, to synergize the development of new and novel treatments of cancer,” said Barbara Parker, medical director of oncology services at Moores.

“So the physical location as well as the science located there will set the stage for tremendous productivity for developing treatments to transfer to patients,” she said.

Perkins + Will is the architecture firm of record.

In addition to the Center for Novel Therapeutics, Moores is building an outpatient ambulatory care pavilion — called the Outpatient Pavilion — on its medical center campus between Thorton Hospital and the Moores Cancer Center.

The approximately 140,000-gross-square-foot facility will sit on a 3.5-acre site and bring the outpatient care of several types of oncology patients under one roof.

“It will be newly constructed, opening in early 2017, in which medical oncology, radiology and radiation oncology, as well as surgery will be collocated,” Parker said. “There will be special operating rooms available in the lower levels of the building to facilitate care, especially of those who can get outpatient instead of inpatient surgery, and it will house ancillary services to support healing and coping.”

CO Architects is the architect for the $120 million project, which will focus on ambulatory surgery, outpatient imaging, physical therapy, and disease-specific clinics that focus on pain, urology, musculoskeletal care, breast care and infusion.

Patients also will now have access to Moores’ doctors in three designated floors within the new Jacobs Medical Center thanks to a $7.5 million gift from Pauline Foster, whose husband, Stanley, and brother both died of cancer.

“The Foster Family Cancer Care Center will be three floors with 108 beds that will be staffed by dedicated, trained staff who focus only on cancer patients,” Parker said. “It will have special air-filtration rooms for the sickest bone marrow and leukemia patients, and will have access to the latest technology and surgical management of cancer in the surgical area of the hospital.”

These 108 beds will double UCSD Health System’s ability to treat cancer patients when the Jacobs Medical Center opens in 2016, with the sixth floor — the one pressurized and filtered to facilitate care of blood and bone marrow patients — being a joint program between UCSD and Sharp HealthCare.

The final project Moores has underway is a remodel at its infusion center and lab in Hillcrest. Parker said this is being done to meet the needs of patients throughout the county for inpatient consultation services.

This location doesn’t have outpatient clinical care, but Moores is looking at options for providing that in the future.

The planned location of the Moores Cancer Center's $120 million Outpatient Pavilion, shown in yellow.

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