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Sports Science Lab Unveiled in Kentucky

HFL Sport Science Inc. has cut the ribbon on a new laboratory in Lexington, KY that will provide drug surveillance, doping control and research to equine and other sports industries. The lab, which represents a more than $4 million investment, will create 48 new jobs, including 25 high-tech positions, paying an average salary of over $47,000, exclusive of benefits.

“HFL is establishing a world-class bioanalytical laboratory to deliver doping control and associated research for horseracing in Kentucky and nationwide,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Their testing services for various sport science activities, such as checking horse feed and sport supplements for banned substances, will help ensure the equine industry remains healthy, while also helping preserve and create high-paying, high-tech jobs for Kentucky residents.”

In March 2010, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission selected HFL to provide drug testing for Kentucky race tracks. The lab will begin processing samples in February 2011.  In addition to developing laboratory screening tests for fitness and nutritional health, HFL plans to provide services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. The company also anticipates research collaborations with the University of Kentucky, which will improve the basic understanding of issues relating to doping control in equine, canine and human sports.

“We at HFL are truly delighted to be partnering with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in creating a world class Racing Chemistry Laboratory in Lexington,” said Dr. David Hall, CEO of HFL Sport Science Ltd in the United Kingdom, and HFL Sport Science Inc. in Kentucky.

“We anticipate that our partnership and research-led approach will quickly bring benefits to racing in Kentucky, and are eager to investigate the benefits of forging the transatlantic link with racing in the United Kingdom. It must be noted that the support that we have received from the Cabinet for Economic Development, Commerce Lexington and the wider community has been tremendous, making the start up in Lexington a remarkably smooth process.”

HFL’s parent company, HFL Sport Science Ltd, is based in Fordham, near Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, and has more than 40 years of continuous experience in the science of sports doping control. This includes experience testing within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Agency and testing human and animal food supplements for substances prohibited in sports.  The company also delivers both operational screening services and innovative research into prohibited substance detection.

“This announcement once again illustrates the power of the horse industry and of University of Kentucky brainpower to attract good jobs to Lexington,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry. “After all, we are the worldwide hub of the thoroughbred industry and the UK Gluck Equine Research Center is an international center of excellence in equine research.  Lexington is a perfect fit for HFL.”

“Commerce Lexington is excited to participate in HFL Sport Science’s grand opening event,” said President and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. Bob Quick.  “We have enjoyed working with HFL and are thrilled about the impact the company will make on our region with new, high-tech jobs.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved HFL for a forgivable loan up to $425,000 through the Cabinet for Economic Development’s High-Tech Investment Pool, a program used to support technology-based and research-intensive companies and projects.  The high-tech pool funds are being used by HFL to purchase lab equipment and help underwrite costs for lab up-fit of the Lexington facility.

KEDFA also gave preliminary approval for tax incentive benefits to HFL up to $800,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investments over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

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