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Wake Forest to Purchase One Technology Place for $8.5 M: Targacept to Lease Two Floors

Wake Forest University School of Medicine will purchase One Technology Place from Samet Corporation for $8.5 million. The four-story, 91,000-square-foot facility is located in the Piedmont Triad Research Park at 200 E. First St.

Targacept, Inc., a privately held research and development pharmaceutical company founded by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1997, announced that it would lease the top two floors of the building for its corporate headquarters and laboratory facilities. Targacept will sign a five-year lease, with options for renewals. It currently leases space at the tobacco company''s Bowman Gray Technical Center at 950 Reynolds Blvd.

"The purchase of One Technology Place reaffirms the medical school''s commitment to work with the community in the development of an economy based on research and technology, particularly biotechnology," said Richard Dean, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at Wake Forest University. "As the medical school''s research mission grows, it will provide increasing opportunities for companies based on that research to develop at the Piedmont Triad Research Park."

Targacept is a pharmaceutical company specializing in neuronal nicotinic receptor-based therapeutic research and development. The company has products in development for treating Alzheimer''s disease, Parkinson''s disease, ulcerative colitis, depression, pain and attention deficit disorder. Targacept was spun out from Reynolds Tobacco last August with one of the largest first round venture capital financings in the industry ($30.4 million). It currently has 45 employees with an additional 15 expected to be on board by the end of the year.

Don deBethizy, president and chief executive officer of Targacept, said his company evaluated other potential sites in the United States and North Carolina, including Charlotte and Research Triangle Park, prior to choosing One Technology Place.

"Winston-Salem''s new research park emerged as our number one choice," deBethizy said, citing the presence of top-ranked research departments at the medical school and the ability to attract and retain highly educated employees due to the area''s excellent quality of life.

DeBethizy said that Targacept is particularly grateful to Wake Forest University for facilitating the company''s move to One Technology Place. "It''s a first-rate facility that we will be able to lease at a reasonable cost, thanks to their efforts," he said.

With Targacept''s relocation to the Piedmont Triad Research Park, the downtown technology center now comprises 17 life science, information technology and business service tenants. "As one of North Carolina''s new biotech companies, Targacept is an ideal fit for the research park," said Bill Dean, president of Idealliance, the nonprofit community group charged with developing the park. "Targacept''s decision to join the outstanding companies already located at the park further substantiates the vision that Winston-Salem is becoming an important center for world-class technology development."

Targacept anticipates spending up to $1.2 million to relocate to One Technology Place. The company plans to move in by the end of the year.

Wachovia Bank''s Silas Technologies and Wachovia/e-Business moved into One Technology Place last June occupying two floors of the building. Wachovia has a five-year lease with an option for renewals.

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