Lack Of Wet Space Prompts Anpac To Leave Sacramento
Anpac Technology, a Shanghai-based bio-tech company, has closed its office in Sacramento and plans to relocate to Philadelphia. The reason? A lack of wet lab space in Sacramento. Wet labs are spaces designed for testing chemicals or biological matter. Anpac, which develops early cancer-screening tests, once considered bringing a thousand jobs to Sacramento. The Sacramento Business Journal's Sonya Sorich says one reason wet labs are so scarce is cost.
"Constructing buildings that include wet lab space can be much more expensive than basic construction,” says Sorich. “Wet labs require expensive infrastructure to be installed into buildings. These buildings are typically built to house industrial refrigerators, freezers, incubators and growth chambers."
Anpac was apparently looking for wet lab space in the Sacramento region for the last four years, specifically in the Elk Grove area. But it could never find a location to fit its needs.
“That's according to an email exchange recently obtained by the Business Journal,” says Sorich. “In that exchange, Elk Grove's development director said Anpac was looking for wet lab space in Elk Grove, and urged the CEO of California Northstate University to include wet lab space in the university's proposed Elk Grove hospital campus plans. In fact, according to public records obtained by the Business Journal, Elk Grove has been pursuing a biotech hub or space for wet labs for quite a while.”
The lack of wet lab space is also affecting UC Davis. Professors can't get the lab space they need, so the university leases space off campus.
Some observers say public-private partnerships could be key in creating more wet lab space.