The Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) sector is increasing its focus on the pharmaceutical-biotech market as the need for elaborate research and development facilities continues to grow in this area, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources (www.industrialinfo.com).

The life science industry is equally attracted to REITs for the financial flexibility they can provide. Citing recent deals by BioMed Realty Trust Funds, Industrial Info Resources says pharmaceutical-biotech organizations can use REITs to free up funds for increased research and other needs. For example, BioMed recently paid out $147 million to purchase Human Genome Sciences’ headquarters and manufacturing facility in Rockville, Maryland. This deal follows two other acquisitions BioMed made in Colorado. The company purchased Array BioPharma’s manufacturing and research facilities in Longmont and Boulder. Array received $32 million in net additional cash from these transactions. In all of the above-mentioned cases, the properties were subsequently leased back to their original owners. For the third quarter alone, BioMed’s life science property investments totaled over $310 million.

Pointing to another example of a growing focus among REITs in pharma-biotech, Industrial Info Resources says Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., an organization that creates properties for lease primarily to institutional, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, life science, biodefense, and translational research entities, as well as government agencies, will soon embark on an extremely ambitious venture in New York City. Alexandria was chosen by the city to develop the $750 million East River Science Park in Manhattan. Adjacent to the NYU School of medicine, the multi-phased project will eventually total over one million square feet of laboratory and office space situated on 4.7 acres.