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REIT Set to Help Cure Cancer

Tickers in this article: ARE
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alexandria Real Estate Equities is an $8.2 billion (total cap) equity REIT focused on mission-critical lab and office space.

The driving force behind its life science sector is the highly sustainable revenue model that consists of multi-national pharmaceuticals, institutional research, biotech and life sciences products and services. Alexandria has a diversified portfolio, with more than 400 tenants -- about 50% of them are investment-grade.

Many of Alexandria's tenants are cutting-edge R&D firms that operate core, critical-mission assets, including companies that are developing successful treatments to major diseases; many are coming up with the next-generation treatments to cure cancer.

Since the company started in 1994 (IPO in 1997), Alexandria (headquartered in Pasadena) has become a venue for many scientific breakthroughs. Alexandria owns 173 high-quality properties (more than 16.7 million square feet) located in major cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Raleigh-Durham, suburban D.C. and Greater Boston. In addition, Alexandria owns properties in Canada and Asia.

At a two-day conference in New York this week, Alexandria will host an interactive platform for debate among the world's foremost visionaries to tackle the most critical global health care challenges, shaping the future of life science R&D.

Alexandria has become a catalyst for bringing together the world's foremost visionaries from industry, academia, medical centers, philanthropy, government and finance to explore how best to translate innovative discoveries into safe and effective therapies to treat cancer.

On Wednesday, I interviewed Alexandria's Founder and CEO Joel Marcus. In this exclusive video, Marcus provides details of Alexandria's strategically focused Life Science model and specifically the differentiated investment model that offers tremendous "sleep well at night" attributes.

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Alexandria has assets of around $7.09 billion and Wednesday shares were trading at $64.04 (market cap of $4.6 billion). With less than 23% secured debt, Alexandria has a conservatively positioned balance sheet (debt-to-market cap of 39.24%). Last year, Alexandria achieved an investment grade rating of BBB- (from S&P).