Berkeley’s Aduro Biotech Isn’t Just on the Mark — It’s on the Move, Too

Berkeley’s Aduro Biotech Isn’t Just on the Mark — It’s on the Move, Too
September 21, 2015
By Sean Keeler, Breaking News

Aduro Biotech is on the move. In more ways than one.

There’s the real estate side of the equation: The Berkeley, Calif., based life-sciences IPO recently announced plans to settle into an 110,853-square-foot building that’s more than four times the size of its present headquarters. Chairman and CEO Stephen Issacs told the San Francisco Business Times the plan is to take up half the new building next year, with an option to occupy the entire property by January 2018.

Which is emblematic of what’s already proven to be a pretty healthy 18 months for the company so far. Anti-cancer drugs have been good business for Aduro , whose stock price jumped 15.5 percent last week, closing at $23.72 Friday after opening Monday at $20.54. Shares opened at an initial price of $17 with a 12-month high of $49.25 and a 12-month low of $16.28; Aduro’s 50-day moving average is $21.39 with a 200-day moving average of $28.61.

Aduro’s LADD technology platform is being developed as a treatment for lung, prostate and pancreative cancers, as well as mesothelioma and glioblastoma. A drug aimed at attacking metastatic pancreative cancer — one of the toughest cancers to treat — is in a Phase II trial, while a late-stage trial in mesothelioma is also in the works. The company recently entered into partnerships with Novartis, Incyte and Janssen Biotech, the latter a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

In July 2014, Aduro was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its combination approach to pancreatic cancer treatment through its CRS-207 and GVAX Pancreas immunotherapies.

Breakthrough designation put Aduro on the FDA’s fast track, allowing for more intense — and frequent — guidance through senior FDA staff.

Aduro’s current digs on Berkeley’s Bancroft Way comprise 25,000 square feet. Its new home on Heinz Avenue in Berkeley — part of a Wareham Development’s 18-acre, 17-building research and development campus — will take up more than twice that: 56,452 square feet at a reported $42 per square foot starting next year, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company began the year with 30 employees, but its product rollouts and a $124-million initial public offering have prompted Isaacs to pull up stakes. Aduro employs 84 presently; that number could swell to 200 by the middle of 2016, when the move is scheduled to take place.

To accommodate more staffing, Aduro has a window in 2016 to exercise a one-time option for an additional 25,600 square feet in January 2017 and 28,801 more square feet in January 2018. Aduro reportedly also has an option to negotiate an extension of its lease on Heinz Avenue over two more five-year periods.

“This latest addition to our Aquatic Park Center portfolio in Berkeley is critical to Wareham's mission of providing more world-class facilities in our existing campus cluster to support the urgent work being conducted by scientists and innovators here in the Bay Area,” Wareham Development partner Chris Barlow told the Business Times.

Construction on Aduro’s new home is slated to finish sometime in October. Issacs told the company’s initial plan is to move into the third and fourth floors next year.

“Our intent,” he continued, “is to occupy the entire building.”

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