Aduro Biotech Opens New HQ in the Bay Area, Eventually to House 400 Workers

Aduro Biotech Opens New HQ in the Bay Area, Eventually to House 400 Workers September 2, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

If finding and developing drugs have long timelines for biotech companies, that can sometimes seem short and simple compared to finding biotech real estate space in the Bay Area. Berkley-based Aduro Biotech recently announced it had opened new corporate offices and laboratory facilities, a process that took almost two decades.

The company’s LADD tech platform uses modified strains of the bacteria Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor-associated antigens that stimulate the immune system. It also has a STING Pathway Activator platform that activates, appropriately enough, the intracellular STING receptor, which also stimulates a tumor-specific immune response.

In May, Aduro announced that its Phase IIb ECLIPSE trial for CRS-207 in pancreatic cancer patients failed to meet its primary endpoint. Despite that setback, the company in June presented data from an ongoing Phase Ib trial of CRS-207 in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin in unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (PMP), which showed promise. Last year the company made an initial public offering that brought in $119 million.

The company’s new headquarters are 110,853 square feet at 740 Heinz Avenue in West Berkeley. The San Francisco Business Times reported that it took the developer, Wareham Development, about 17 years to “win all the approvals for the West Berkeley building, on the site of a landmark former dried coconut warehouse.”

“Over the course of the last two years, we have grown significantly, both in the number of programs and in our employee base, and we have outgrown our former location,” said Stephen Isaacs, Aduro’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We are extremely pleased to remain in Berkeley, maintaining our roots and our key connections with both the University of California, Berkeley and this extraordinary community. Our new facility also provides room to grow as we continue to advance our three technology platforms focused on the development of immunotherapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases.”

The facility is the Aquatic Park Center, which is a development by Wareham Development. It is dubbed the largest research building in the East Bay since Wareham built the EmeryStation Greenway four years ago.

So far, Aduro has built out three floors of the building for 110 staffers. By the end of the year it will host 200 employees, and ultimately have room for 400. “We really needed the space,” Isaacs told the San Francisco Business Times.

In addition to its various internal projects, Aduro has partnerships with Johnson & Johnson , and with Incyte Corp. . Novartis (NVS) is utilizing its STING program. Currently the company has five preclinical drugs.

The company had an open house on September 1, joined by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, Councilmember Darryl Moore, Mayor Tom Bates and the Honorable Nancy Skinner.

“Technology and innovation are helping to drive our economy forward,” Lee said in a statement. “As these new technologies are applied to healthcare, they are helping people live longer, healthier lives. I am pleased to know Aduro Biotech, a cutting-edge leader in immunotherapy, will remain in Berkeley and continue the East Bay’s tradition of world-leading innovation in healthcare and biotech.”

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