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Jax Daily Record Friday, Mar. 24, 201712:00 PM EST

Site work to start at Mayo: Lung restoration center to be built


Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and United Therapeutics Corp. are another step closer to opening their proposed lung-restoration center at Mayo’s Southside campus.

The city is reviewing a permit application for Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. to handle a $6.2 million project for soil improvements, foundations and structural concrete work at 14221 Kendall Hinch Circle for a three-story, 75,000-square-foot building on three acres.

That is next to the Birdsall Medical Research and Griffin Cancer Research buildings on the Mayo campus at 4500 San Pablo Road, just off Butler Boulevard.

Mayo Public Affairs Manager Kevin Punsky said Thursday site work is scheduled to start May 1, and the completion of construction is estimated for the first quarter of 2019.

He said it could create about 70 jobs. He said previously that about 25 United Therapeutics staff will run the center, and Mayo Clinic will dedicate about 50 employees to it.

The project owner is listed as Lung Biotechnology PBC of Silver Spring, Md. Lung PBC is a division of United Therapeutics, and Lung PBC is Lung Biotechnology Public Benefit Corporation.

Mayo Clinic and United Therapeutics are partnering to develop and operate the center, but have not confirmed financial details about the scope of the project.

United Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that focuses on the development and commercialization of products for the medical needs of patients in life-threatening conditions.

It and Mayo Clinic said in June 2015 that the goal of the lung-restoration center was to significantly increase the volume of lungs for transplantation by preserving and restoring selected marginal donor lungs, making them viable for transplantation.

They said the restored lungs will be made available to patients at Mayo Clinic and other transplant centers throughout the United States.

The building also will be used for Mayo to conduct research. Both Lung PBC and Mayo Clinic activities will produce materials or therapies that Mayo will use in a clinical setting elsewhere on the campus.

As shown to the city, the building would feature six “ex vivo lung perfusion” rooms on the first floor; executive and other offices, workstations, a conference room, command center, call rooms and a gym on the second floor; and labs and offices on the third floor.

The fourth floor is the roof and mechanical and machine rooms. The building is being designed for more floors to be added if needed.

The center was expected to be completed this year. Punsky said that given the state of the growth on the Mayo campus, the organizations recognized there might be some delays “as we continuously evaluate projects to make sure they are coordinated and fit our vision and mission to provide the highest quality of care to our patients as technology evolves.”

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