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Tengion Signs Lease for First-of-its-Kind Manufacturing Facility


Tengion is a development-stage regenerative medicine company that required a first-of-its-kind facility utilizing current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) to manufacture autologous cells for the regeneration of bladder cells. The building required spaces for quality assurance, quality control, tissue culture and an open sterile manufacturing room for an incubator farm to produce the replacement bladders. Tengion hired the Colliers team to perform a site-selection survey with a comparative analysis between two states, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The site had to be free of vibrations that might impact the analytical equipment, have the potential to accommodate 2,000 amps of power, offer access to dark fiber and provide sufficient equivalent dwelling units (EDUs) to accommodate an effluent for discharge into the public sewer system.


Within 90 days, the team identified and analyzed multiple sites in North Carolina and Pennsylvania using a weighted matrix of critical issues to achieve Tengion’s design and construction goals. Since this was the first facility approved for this type of manufacturing by the FDA, careful consideration had to be given to security, attractiveness of the environment, ease of servicing the mechanical infrastructure and the ability to maintain a sterile, controlled environment with redundant utilities and power. It also needed to be located in an area with access to experienced biological technicians and scientists.The decision was made to shortlist only newly constructed properties with a minimum 28-foot clear ceiling height to accommodate a “catwalk mezzanine” and a background of minimal power interruptions. As a result of assessing this short list, Tengion signed a letter of intent for a lease of approximately 48,000 square feet of offices, analytical labs and sterile manufacturing space in Pennsylvania. The overall cost of the project was approximately $25 million for the infrastructure and critical utilities alone.


With help from the Colliers team, Tengion was able to produce the best quality site in advance of the timeline goal for occupancy. Colliers secured a market-appropriate rental rate with access to every critical utility required for the construction of the facility. Additionally, as part of the coordination between the State of Pennsylvania and Tengion, the Colliers team facilitated a grant of $1.25 million to be used in the construction of the facility.


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Joseph Fetterman

Executive Vice President | Healthcare and Life Sciences


Joe joined Colliers International in 2012 to lead and grow Colliers’ Office Brokerage Division.  Today he focuses on providing strategic solutions to local, national and global Health Care, Life Sciences and Corporate clients. Joe’s background in architecture, real estate development and financial analysis provides clients with an experienced professional and strategic leader who integrates  complex factors to create successful results for clients

Joe is a Healthcare Fellow and serves on Colliers National Healthcare Services and Life Sciences Steering Committees. 

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Michael Brown

Senior Director, Office Services


As the National Leader of Colliers Global Life Science Practice Group, I bring 43 years of commercial real estate experience and 22 years of experience focusing on life science real estate. My acquired knowledge in life science work has been on both the landlord (Wexford Science & Technology) and the tenant side within the industry.

I have experience with Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products, Parenteral Fill Finish, Solid Oral Dosage, Biologics, and Medical Device manufacturing facilities, as well as a solid background in Laboratory Research and Development/Pilot scale facilities and controlled environments. Through my work on local, regional and national site selection assignments, I have developed a firm grasp of the rigorous process required to meet the key search criteria of my clients.  

My knowledge of market conditions and influences in the life sciences supports my ability to be creative in structuring the financial details of both lease and purchase transactions. My network of a wide variety of trusted advisors within the industry facilitates a regular flow of information about life science real estate trends, pricing, and comparable data for leasing and sales transactions.

Personal Goal:

To make sure that our team can deliver insightful and thoughtful life science real estate strategies to our clients, regardless of company size and the challenges they may face in entering and exiting the clinic successfully.

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