Prometheus Bioscience has moved into nearly 28,000 square feet of lab and office space at The Muse, a 180,000-square-foot life science campus in Torrey Pines.
The company also has leased additional space of about 30,000 square feet at the development and within the next year, will have a total of about 60,000 square feet at The Muse, said Mark McKenna, chairman and CEO of Prometheus.
“The upside here is pretty significant in terms of what we can do. The space provides space to double our current size,” McKenna said. “We’re science-focused. We’re going to let the science kind of drive the expansion.”
Prometheus had been leasing space in a Sorrento Mesa industrial complex.
“Moving over here, we’ve been able to showcase our space and really provide a foundation for us to expand,” McKenna said. “This will provide us with the backdrop to really build the first precision medicine in immunology.”
Prometheus completed its Initial Public Offering in March 2021, raising more than $200 million. Since then, the company has already gone through a rapid expansion, growing from a staff of about 30 in 2021 to 72 in 2022, McKenna said.
“The vision for this business is bold. It’s to revolutionize immunology and we’re doing it in a way that hasn’t been done before,” McKenna said. “The sky’s the limit for this business and we’ve been able to attract the right talent at the leadership level and employee base.”
The company’s goal, as outlined on its website, is “to transform the treatment of immune-mediated diseases, starting with inflammatory bowel disease.”
McKenna said that Prometheus has “the world’s largest repository of data on patients in this particular therapeutic area.”
Using that data base, McKenna said “we can track patients over time,” adding that “we use it to understand the drivers behind someone’s disease.”
“We think this is a patient-friendly approach that has the potential to bring meaningful improvement to millions of patients,” McKenna said.
The goal is to understand which patients are likely to respond to particular drugs that Prometheus develops, including its lead program, PRA023, which is in three Phase 2 clinical studies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and SSc-ILD (systemic sclerosis associated interstitial lung disease).
Prometheus said that it’s “the first company pioneering precision medicine for immunology.”
The company said that its precision medical platform, Prometheus360, “combines proprietary machine learning-based analytical approaches with one of the world’s largest gastrointestinal bioinformatics databases to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop therapeutic candidates to engage those targets.”
The company traces its history back more than 20 years at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when one of its founders, Stephen Targan, started building an immune bowel disease data bank.
“While there’s been a lot of companies brining new programs into the clinical phase, none of them has really broken through because this is a very heterogeneous disease,” McKenna said. “With these patients, there’s not one specific driver of the disease. It’s going to take a different approach and/or multiple drugs in order to unlock it.”
Prometheus Biosciences was founded in 2016 with the support of Cedars-Sinai’s Technology Transfer Office.
First named Precision IBD, the company changed its name to Prometheus Biosciences.
Prometheus chose The Muse for its new home because of its location in what has historically been the hub of San Diego’s life science industry.
“This is the biotech nexus of San Diego and provides the innovative space for us to retain and attract top talent,” McKenna said. “It really came down to the fact that we felt that the modern design and build-to-suit provided the right backdrop to attract the right kind of tenants we wanted. It’s pretty modest relative to big pharma standards but its build-to-suit for us and provides plenty of room to scale.”
Originally constructed as a three-building office campus at 3030, 3040 and 3050 Science Park Road, The Muse had been leased to Scripps Research, which vacated the property in 2019 to be renovated for life science companies by The RMR Group.
Prometheus built out the interior of the space it’s leasing. McKenna said the company spent the last year designing its portion of The Muse.
“It’s an open setting. What we wanted to do is set it up to allow for an open work environment where people can interact and share ideas,” McKenna said. “In this era of working remotely, you want to create the environment where people want to come in every day and interact with one another, so the space is very important.”
Chairman and CEO: Mark McKenna
Headquarters: Torrey Pines
Stock: RXDX (listed on NASDAQ)
Notable: Prometheus Biosciences was cited by Oppenheimer Holdings, a New York investment bank, as having one of the top 10 drugs to watch in 2022.