A lack of lab monkeys has developed in China as a result of the import prohibition and a significant increase in the creation of new drugs, which are tested on non-human primates before being used in clinical trials on human patients. Now, a Chinese company has bought 1400 acres in Florida for a primate quarantine facility.
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According to Levy County officials and records, a Chinese-based biological research corporation paid $5.5 million in July for 1,400 acres with the intention of constructing a primate quarantine and breeding facility, reports Chronicle.
L & T Cattle & Timber LLC, owned by seasoned Citrus County businessmen Steven and Justin Lamb, sold the land to JOINN Laboratories. According to public records, the Lambs paid $3.127 million for the 1,400-acre parcel of land at 6870 SE County Road 326 in 2020.
According to Stacey Hectus, the county’s planning and zoning director, JOINN Laboratories, its lawyer, and the Realtor promoting the property contacted the Levy County Planning and Zoning Department for a primate quarantine and breeding facility prior to purchase. Hectus informed the Chronicle that Levy County only authorizes research laboratories in its industrial zoning. Future Land Use and Zoning of Forestry/Rural Residential (F/RR) apply to the property that JOINN Laboratories acquired.
“We had discussions with all of the above people explaining that this was not permitted in the zoning district they were in,” Hectus explained. “They asked to rezone the property but I stated that a request such as that would not be looked upon favorably by staff because of compatibility and spot-zoning.”
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Spot-zoning, according to Hectus, involves zoning one or more properties within a broader zoned region where the rezoning is in conflict with the County’s Comprehensive Plan and present zoning limitations. “But we examine each individual application on its own merits as they come in,” she said.
Hectus stated that since the parcel has a Future Land Use and Zoning of Forestry/Rural Residential, a land use amendment and rezoning would be necessary, and that if the parcel is larger than 50 acres, the state would need to review it as part of the expedited state review of comprehensive plan amendments.
“Because it would most likely need to go to the state, we would require that to happen first, see what comments came from the state agencies and then, if the applicant received favorable review by the state, they could proceed with the rezoning,” she explained, mentioning that all of these are public hearings and would necessitate notice such as signs posted on the property for the length of the process, advertisements in the paper, letters to neighboring property owners within 300 feet of the parcel(s) in question.
The parent business and top clinical and nonclinical CRO with sites in China and the United States, JOINN Laboratories, is listed on the JOINN Biologics website.
“JOINN Laboratories CA Inc. is a different company from JOINN Biologics US Inc,” JOINN Biologics wrote in its response. “They are on the same campus as our company, but they are a completely different legal entity. Please direct your inquiry to the company listed on the public information.”
According to a Yicai Global story from June 21, 2022, JOINN Laboratories stock rose despite the Chinese government’s restriction on the import of monkeys for scientific research.
According to the news report, a lack of lab monkeys has developed in the nation as a result of the import prohibition and a significant increase in the creation of new drugs, which are tested on non-human primates before being used in clinical trials on human patients. According to a recent assessment by China Fund, there are just 30,000 in the nation.
The paper claimed that the price for lab monkeys increased from $1,046 in 2014 to $29,874.