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San Diego
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Element Biosciences Moves into New Sorrento Mesa HQ

A biotech company that specializes in making DNA sequencing devices has moved to Alexandria Tech Center in Sorrento Mesa.

Element Biosciences in late May moved into a five-story, 186,000-square-foot building in the 37-acre Alexandria Tech Center in Sorrento Mesa at 10555 Barnes Canyon Road.

“We are the anchor tenant in this brand-new tech center,” said Molly He, Element’s CEO and co-founder.

In making the move, the company consolidated its San Diego operations that had been scattered in three separate buildings.

“Now with the new building, we can put everybody together under the same roof. It’s much easier talking to people just talking across the hallway and going up and down stairs,” He said. “Everybody will have a good time interacting with each other. It just helps the morale to see each other more often, run into each other organically, and it really improves the communication.”

Room to Grow

Element will initially occupy the first three floors of the building, He said.


Construction of the top two floors won’t be finished until the end of the year, “so that kind of works for us,” she added.


“We will be at almost capacity on the first three floors.”

The company has 283 employees in San Diego, and 22 more in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose.

Element’s San Diego operations include research and development, manufacturing and support activities.


“Our Bay Area facility is part R&D;, part manufacturing to a much smaller scale,” He said.

Founded in 2017, the company is expanding since developing a desktop DNA sequencing machine called the Element AVITI System.

“A year ago, we didn’t have a product. We were working on a product but we actually have a product now,” He said.

Eliminating Barriers

The new building is about a 50-50 mix of lab and office space designed in an open layout.

“We are excited to move into our new headquarters as we continue to grow and disrupt every element of the DNA and genetic sequencing market with AVITI,” He said. “Our technology will empower the scientific community with more freedom and flexibility to accelerate our collective impact on humanity so that, together, we can realize the incredible.”

Small enough to fit on a desk, Element AVITI System is branded as a DNA sequencer – “but our platform can go beyond sequencing, we can do something else. We can also read proteins, small molecules, not just RNA and DNA,” He said.

“With AVITI, Element is eliminating the barriers to research access and expanding the opportunities for research innovation by creating affordable, adaptable and accurate life science tools for basic, applied and clinical research,” He said. “This technology enables researchers to better understand biology and improve human life from decoding the basis for infectious diseases like COVID-19 to determining the genetic profile of individual cancers and inherited diseases to discovering and developing new drug therapies.”

He said academics and researchers are the primary customers for AVITI “though we anticipate robust adoption by commercial entities and government institutions. We do not foresee a large adoption from clinical or translational type customers within the next six months,” she added.

How fast Element grows will depend on how well AVITI is accepted.

“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from our early adopters,” He said. “We need to be very data driven. The very first piece of data is how successful we’re going to be commercially. The second piece of data is where the market is going.”

Given the volatility of the stock market of late, He said that’s hard to predict.

Element Biosciences

Founded: 2017

CEO and Co-founder: Molly He

Business:  Biotech

Headquarters: Sorrento Mesa

Employees: 305



Notable: Element’s team is filled with former Illumina scientists and executives.


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