Nucleus Biologics is expanding its San Diego footprint, moving into a new 19,884-square-foot building in Rancho Bernardo.
“This is an exciting time for Nucleus Biologics,” said David Sheehan, the company’s founder and CEO.
“We have seen rapid growth in both the cell and gene therapy industry and our business and are expanding manufacturing and cleanroom capacity to support our therapy customers to speed the time from discovery to cure,” Sheehan said.
The addition of the new building at 10908 Technology Place expands the company’s Rancho Bernardo operations from one to two buildings.
Nucleus Biologics makes the media that pharmaceutical companies use in their research and development programs.
“We’re really a technology and tools company that enables these scientists to bring their therapies into the market faster,” Sheehan said.
The new building includes four liquid clean rooms and two powder clean rooms built to ISO 7 specifications for cell media manufacturing. The ISO specification is a measure of the quantity and size of particulates in the air and ISO 7 is one of the most common ratings for clean rooms.
The expansion increases the manufacturing capacity of Nucleus Biologics to 2.5 million liters annually.
The new building also has a water filtration system with ozone sanitation and real-time quality monitoring.
Nucleus Biologics in January signed a collaboration agreement with Cytia, formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and became a distributor of Stoic Bio’s Krakatoa, a pod-based cell culture media maker that reduces carbon dioxide emissions of cell culture media by 65% over conventional media. Stoic is a spinoff of Nucleus Biologics.
“We’re just kind of getting ready for the growth that has occurred as a result of the partnership,” Sheehan said.
Founded in 2016, Nucleus Biologics has about 70 employees but Sheehan said he expects to add 20 to 25 employees over the next 12 months.
“We anticipate that we’ll continue to grow, not only as our industry grows but as our product offerings grow,” Sheehan said. “I’m not really sure how big we can be but the demand is there and our product offering is unique.”
Future plans include expanding into new markets on the East Coast and internationally, Sheehan said.
Nucleus Biologics signed a lease on the new Rancho Bernardo building in February, but extensive renovations were needed, including completely redoing the portion of the building that was converted into clean rooms.
“Half the building was gutted,” Sheehan said. “The other half is office space.”
Sheehan declined to say exactly how much his company spent on the renovations, other than saying it was “several million dollars.”
Despite recent Wall Street jitters over tech companies, Sheehan is optimistic about the outlook for the life science industry in San Diego County.
“We’ve created a very novel ecosystem in San Diego where there’s already a ready pool of candidates that can do everything from the science and discovery side through to manufacturing,” he said.
Newmark, a commercial real estate brokerage, reported that demand for life science space in San Diego has significantly outstripped supply, with companies actively looking for 2.9 million square feet of space.
Submarkets such as Del Mar Heights have started to emerge as new life science clusters, driven by expanding life science firms seeking large blocks of space outside the supply-constrained core areas of UTC and Torrey Pines, according to Newmark.
President and CEO: David Sheehan
Headquarters: Rancho Bernardo
Business: Biotechnology company
Notable: Nucleus Biologics is the leading provider of custom cell-growth media, tools and technology for cell and gene therapy. Its mission is to speed the time from scientific discovery to cure.