Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC) announced plans to construct a new state of the art Biorational Research Center (BRC) as an expansion of its current presence in Libertyville, Ill. Part of a larger scale R&D investment plan being employed by parent Sumitomo Chemical Company (SCC), the VBC project includes an approximately 65,000 square foot build-out for dedicated lab and office space and an additional 20,000 square feet of greenhouse space at Innovation Park. VBC becomes the first occupant at the new 1.2 million square foot multi-tenant facility in Lake County, Ill., just north of Chicago.

Construction of the BRC means VBC will exit its current site of research operations in nearby Long Grove, Ill. The company expects all of its research personnel to make the move.

"This new Research Center is a key part of a continuum of investments being made by Sumitomo Chemical for the development of our biorational business," said Ted Melnik, executive vice president and chief operating officer of VBC. "With our new fermentation manufacturing plant in Osage, Iowa, the acquisitions of Pace International and Mycorrhizal Applications, and other recently announced license and business collaborations, we aim to maintain our biorational leadership position for years to come."

Phase I of the BRC project is scheduled to be completed in mid-2017 and involves a US $22 million investment to bring VBC's chemistry, biology, microbiology, fermentation and formulations labs under one roof. A 10,000-square foot research greenhouse is also part of the Phase I plan. Phase II, slated for completion in 2019, involves the construction of additional space finishing at an estimated cost of $5 million. The construction will significantly increase VBC's lab space and greenhouse footprint.

"We can't overstate the impact that this facility will have on our business in the mid- to long term," said Warren Shafer, Ph.D., vice president of R&D and regulatory affairs for Valent BioSciences. "The efficiencies we gain by having a self-contained, state of the art research center next door to our global headquarters will help drive a natural acceleration of our product development process."

Innovation Park was purchased in 2014 by BECO Management, Inc. and is currently under development.