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Scripps Research is in talks to merge its Jupiter-based biomedical operation with the University of Florida‘s academic health center’s research division in a relationship that pairs private and public institutions.

In 2003, Scripps expanded to Florida on a 30-acre campus adjacent to Florida Atlantic University. Officials said Thursday this merger will spur cooperation with other institutions in Florida, including FAU.

Florida paid Scripps $310 million to open a Florida lab in an effort to entice biotech firms to the state, and Palm Beach County added $269 million.

Then Gov. Jeb Bush had envisioned 50,000 jobs in 15 years. Though the goal has not been met, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience later came to Jupiter. Scripps has grown to 40 faculty-led laboratories supported by a 500-member team, achieving the promising of that many jobs.

In addition, Palm Beach County bought 70 acres of vacant land for $70 million across from Scripps in Palm Beach Gardens with an intention of developing a “biotech village.” Scripps has been leasing the land, known as the Briger tract, for $1 per year and an option to have the deed transferred to the biotech company. The property hasn’t been developed and other portions of the Briger property have been sold for commercial and resident development, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Officials predict the University of Florida-Scripps relationship will generate additional jobs in expanding economic development.

“Our shared vision for propelling biomedical research forward is based on the great mutual respect our two institutions have for each other,” said Dr. Peter Schultz, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Scripps Research based in La Jolla, California.


“UF is an outstanding partner for Scripps Florida — the two institutions have complementary basic and translational research capabilities and strengths which, when combined, will enhance their collective reputation and impact on Florida,” Schultz added. “We have built an outstanding research institute in Scripps Florida with generous support from the state and from local communities and we believe it will have its biggest impact on Florida and greatest opportunity for further growth as part of UF, one of the country’s leading research and educational institutions.”

Shared research could potentially include cancer, drug discovery, immunology and infectious disease, neuroscience, including Alzheimer’s disease and other aging-related disorders, as well as and structural biology and molecular medicine.

UF has spent $942 million in research expenditures during the past fiscal year, including $143 million in National Institute of Health grants, which is tops in the state. Scripps has received $33 million from NIH.

UF already has research collaborations with Scripps.

The agreement will build on that relationship by capitalizing on each of their strengths, said Dr. David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, the university’s academic health center.

UF and Scripps Research plan to name Patrick Griffin, Ph.D., to lead the joint operation. Griffin is now chairman of the department of molecular medicine at Scripps Florida and directs its Translational Research Institute.

“Our shared vision focuses on improving the health of humanity and developing innovations to optimize quality of life,” Nelson said. “With this venture, we will both be positioned to take medical research to the next level in a way that is win-win for the people of Florida and beyond.”

University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said this relationship can spur relationships with other state university-system institutions, including FAU and Florida International.

“This would be the next logical step, adding to the impact Scripps Research has already made in Florida,” Fuchs said. “They have been great stewards of the state’s investment in biotech, and we look forward to partnering on this next phase to add value and grow additional research and tech collaborations.”


“This news is welcome because it aligns with the commitment of Florida’s public universities to work together for the greater good. FAU is looking forward to expanding on our existing collaborations with UF and Scripps Florida by identifying educational and research opportunities that leverage our shared strengths,” FAU president John Kelly, Ph.D., said. “These include exploring common interests in areas like autism, neuroscience, molecular biology and data science to advance medicine.”

The University of Florida has collaborated with FAU and other universities on the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

In 2020, 1Florida ADRC received a five-year $15 million NIH grant to expand its work with a heightened focus on further understanding dementias in diverse populations.

The University of Florida and FAU also have collaborated on the NIH-funded National Drug Early Warning System coordinating center to identify emerging drug abuse trends.

Scripps announced in March one of its researchers, Dr. Michael Farzan, was in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccine that is broken down to powder, shipped to delivery sites without refrigeration and mixed with water before injecting individuals.

Farzan is the chairman of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute.


Source:  WPTV

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A $100 million-plus mixed-use development with a hospital is in the pipeline for The Villages near the border of Lake and Sumter counties.

The Villages Development Co. LLC — tied to the 35,000-acre retirement community that spans three Florida counties — is seeking Lake County job creation incentive funds for a 435-acre, multi-phase project. It will be built near the Florida Turnpike and County Road 470, with approximately 240 acres in Lake County and 195 acres in Sumter County. Development of the first phase is expected to kick off in late 2021 or early 2022.

Lake County commissioners initial approved the economic development incentives in December 2020, when the project was referred to as “Project Go West.” The final agreement is set to go before the Lake County Commission on July 27.

The large-scale, mixed-use project would have a “Wellness Village” anchored by a regional hospital and aims to include targeted industries such as health care, translational science, research, academic, regional retail and commercial facilities. It will be built in phases by the applicant and other end-users recruited by the applicant.


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Marcus & Millichap announced the sale of University Community Medical Plaza, a two-story, 20,299-square foot office property on a 2.68-acre lot located in Tamarac.

The asset sold for $4,700,000.

Alex D. Zylberglait and Michael Crocchiola, investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Miami office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a limited liability company.  The buyer, a private investor, was secured and represented by Zylberglait and Crocchiola.

“The Buyer will benefit from the stability of the tenancy and the upside in rents in this strong suburban market,” noted Zylberglait.

The property offers a unique opportunity for the investor to acquire an office building in a highly sought-after metro with ample parking backed by an established tenant roster consisting of medical professionals and specialists with generous lease terms and annual rent escalations.

University Community Medical Plaza is located at 7401 N University Dr. in Tamarac. The medical office building is adjacent to University Hospital and Medical Center; a large 317-bed medical facility awarded the Gold Seal of Approval™ from the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission is a leader in the accreditation and certification of health care organizations.

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Sunset Point ALF, LLC, an affiliate of Miami-based real estate development firm CIP Group, and LV Development, an affiliate of Miami-based Linkvest Capital, announced a joint venture to develop a 40,000-square-foot, 120-bed assisted living facility at 9985 Sunset Drive in an unincorporated area near Dadeland.

The partners acquired the vacant acre site for $3.7 million from Stupp Family Partnership Ltd. Closing took place on June 30.

Groundbreaking is slated for Q1 2022.

Sunset Point ALF, LLC is led by Genaro Garcia, Fernando Espino and Carlos Alonso. LV Development is led by Camilo Niño and Ricardo Uribe.


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A new medical college is being proposed for Horizon West.

Plans for a potential 136,194-square-foot facility on 25 acres on Avalon Road are set to go before Orange County’s technical review group on July 21. Palmetto-based Element Commercial Construction LLC is listed as the developer, while the property owner is Hamlin Partners at Silverleaf LLC, an entity tied to Hamlin developer Boyd Development Corp.

Hamlin Partners at Silverleaf LLC bought the 149-acre property — which includes the land for the college — on Feb. 15 as part of a $8.09 million purchase from Jen Florida 36 LLC.

The vacant land is near both Orlando Health Horizon West Hospital at 17000 Porter Road and a 155.2-acre piece of land owned by Valencia College that it plans to build a campus on eventually.


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Miami-based Cano Health announced the acquisition of fellow primary care provider Doctor’s Medical Center in a bid to grow its Medicare, Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange memberships in South Florida.

The deal closed July 2 and ran Cano Health $300 million, $250 million of which the company said was financed by new debt.

Cano Health now controls DMC’s 18 medical centers located in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the companies said, with 15 of these serving memberships dominated by adult and pediatric Medicaid members.

By combining with DMC, Cano Health said it will become “the largest independent value-based primary care provider to both Medicare and Medicaid patients” in the state of Florida.

“The DMC team has served the South Florida region for nearly 25 years, evolving its clinical platform to meet the diverse care needs of the community,” Marlow Hernandez, M.D., co-founder, CEO and chairman of Cano Health, said in a statement. “With DMC as part of the Cano Health family, we are bringing our care model to more patients and acquiring important footprint and infrastructure to further improve the clinical outcomes of underserved patients.”

Cano Health—which just recently joined the public markets through a $4.4 billion special purpose acquisition company merger—runs value-based primary care centers and provides support to other primary care practices treating senior patients. Active in Florida, Texas, Nevada and Puerto Rico, 80% of Cano Health’s populations are minorities, and 50% are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

This week’s deal adds roughly 7,000 Medicare Advantage members, 31,000 Medicaid members and 14,000 ACA members to Cano Health’s business, which the provider said brings its total to about 197,000 members.

Of note, Cano Health stressed in its announcement that the deal will be a boon to its standing business with Humana. By expanding its reach and incorporating DMC’s specialized Medicaid medical centers, Cano Health said it will be able to provide greater services to the payer’s Medicaid members living in Florida.

“Cano Health’s focus on preventive care and wellness aligns with Humana Healthy Horizons and our ‘human care’ approach to serving our Medicaid members,” Humana Florida Medicaid President Jocelyn Chisholm Carter said in a statement. “Teaming with Cano Health, we continue to focus on making sure our members receive the full-service health care services they need in a welcoming environment.”

Cano Health’s deal comes hot on the heels of last month’s $600 million acquisition of University Health Care. That deal brought 13 Florida facilities and approximately 24,000 Medicare Advantage members under Cano Health’s purview.

Alongside news of the DMC deal, Cano Health shared new guidance on its 2021 and 2022 full-year financials.

Through the end of this year, the provider is projecting $1.5 billion in full-year revenue (an 80% year-over-year increase) and roughly $110 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). It anticipates its membership to land between 205,000 and 210,000 and its total number of medical centers (currently 106) to fall between 121 and 126 facilities.

In 2022, Cano Health believes it will reach full-year revenues of $2.23 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $150 million. It’s also aiming to reach 250,000 members and 180 medical centers by the end of that year.


Source:  Fierce Healthcare


The Ocala Regional Medical Center broke ground on a new $65 million expansion this week.

The new project will add a dedicated 36-bed neurological intensive care unit, five new cardiovascular procedure suites, and significant renovations of dining space and laboratory facilities.

Multiple Ocala and Marion County elected officials attended the ceremony, including Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, and Florida House Representative Stan McClain, among others.

Ocala Health CEO Chad Christianson says this expansion will effectively tap out the existing space for construction on the Ocala Regional Medical Center campus.

The new project will add over 49,091 square feet of new space and renovate an additional 9,976 square feet of existing space.

With the additional 36 beds, the facility now boasts a total of 323 inpatient beds.

The organization hopes to have the new unit open by the third quarter of 2022.


Source:  Ocala News

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A specialty hospital and a medical office building – South Florida Spine & Orthopedic Institute – have been proposed west of Delray Beach on the 11.25-acre site at 14930 Smith Sundy Road, which is on the north side of Atlantic Avenue, a few blocks west of Lyons Road.

Medical Facilities LLC, a partnership of Irving, Texas-based Legent Health and 29 local physicians, has the agricultural site under contract from Delray Growers, owned by Melissa McKeown of Lighthouse Point and Christopher McKeown of Reston, Virginia.

The applicants want to rezone the site to allow for a 60,000-square-foot hospital building and a 60,000-square-foot medical office building. The hospital would have 24 beds. There would be 10 physician offices, outpatient treatment areas and 363 parking spaces.

According to the South Florida Spine & Orthopedic Institute, it would not be a traditional hospital with an emergency room. It would provide only spine and orthopedic surgeries, which are in high demand by Palm Beach County’s older population.


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