BioMed Realty, a Blackstone portfolio company, has completed the lease-up of its landmark scheme at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, underlining the strength of Britain’s life sciences sector.
BioMed Realty fully leases flagship life sciences development at Babraham Research Campus within 12 months as first occupier moves in
Bit Bio, a world leader in synthetic biology, has agreed to take 25,000 sq. ft. of space on a 10-year lease at the BioMed@Babraham development. The fast-growing company joins the likes of drug discovery and development platforms Mission Therapeutics and RxCelerate, as well as liquid biopsy specialists Inivata, with nearly two-thirds of tenants moving from existing facilities on the campus to larger scale-up labs to remain closely connected to the robust on-campus science and research community.
All 100,000 sq. ft. of mixed laboratory and office space at BioMed@Babraham has been leased within 12 months - ahead of schedule. The first business to take up occupancy is PetMedix, a fast-growing biotherapeutics firm.
Launched in 2017, BioMed@Babraham was developed by BioMed Realty and is operated in collaboration with Babraham Research Campus, one of the UK’s leading campuses to support early stage bioscience enterprises. BioMed@Babraham offers 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible and fully-fitted premium lab and work space, allowing fast-growing businesses to move in and focus solely on science and research.
The research space at BioMed@Babraham has been highly specified to support scale-up companies with pre-installed lab benches, fume hoods, vacuum and gas lines and Trespa shelving.
BioMed is a world leader in providing real estate solutions to the life science and technology communities with more than 13.6 million sq. ft. of space under occupation and development. The company owns and operates approximately 1 million sq. ft. of laboratory space across Cambridge - approximately a quarter of total space in the market.
Since entering the UK market in 2012, BioMed has been dedicated to developing Grade-A lab and office space for the life sciences sector. Many of its global occupiers - including firms such as AstraZeneca and Gilead - are now leading the fight against COVID-19.
Cheffins advised BioMed Realty.
Matt Smith, Director, U.K. Market, BioMed Realty said: “The life sciences industry makes a huge contribution to the UK economy, supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs. With the right investment in facilities to help nurture innovation, it will provide the industry a path for growth and compete globally with knowledge clusters across the US, Europe and Asia. We’ve seen unprecedented demand for high quality research space and full credit must be given to Derek Jones and the Babraham Research Campus for being one of the first organisations in Britain to recognise the huge value of offering turnkey facilities to spin-outs and scale-ups.”
Derek Jones, CEO of Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus, said: “We are delighted Bit Bio and PetMedix have chosen to make the Campus their home. They will benefit from being part of the wider Campus community of 60 innovative commercial organisations, as well as co-location with world leading research at the Babraham Institute. Our supportive and highly networked community shares a common objective; to make a positive contribution to the world’s health and we welcome both companies’ presence and contribution to that aim.”
Dr Tom Weaver, PetMedix CEO, said: “We’re delighted to have new, state-of-the-art premises within such a fantastic community that will benefit our staff both professionally and socially. As our company scales, it will be from this site that PetMedix will continue to innovate and develop novel antibody therapeutics for the companion animal market. The Babraham Research Campus has shown great foresight in creating facilities which we believe can play a key role in helping other spin-outs quickly scale up. We are a science-led company, but it is our people that make us who we are. We have some ambitious plans and this move will help us maintain our trajectory of strong growth.”
Bit Bio, founded in 2016 by leading neurosurgeon Dr Mark Kotter, has developed a unique technology to edit the code of stem cells to create specialised cells like neurons and muscle tissue that can then be used for academic and medical research. Bit Bio’s current projects include cell therapy for cancer patients and finding cures for diseases affecting the central nervous and immune systems. The company closed on a $41.5 million Series A investment last month, bringing the company’s total funding to $50 million.
The firm will be joining PetMedix, a fast-growing biotherapeutics company focused on therapeutic antibody research and development for dogs and cats. Antibody therapeutics have been transformative in human medicine, treating a wide range of diseases including cancers and autoimmune diseases, and are just starting to be developed for veterinary applications. The business, which raised £8 million of series A funding last year, has already taken occupancy and recently secured equity investment from Cambridge Innovation Capital.
As part of PetMedix’s move, laboratory equipment not required at the new site has been donated to the NHS for use in COVID-19 research, including four laminar flow cabinets suitable for tissue culture.
Cambridge life sciences real estate market
Cambridge is a high growth location at the core of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc - a world-leading hub of pharmaceutical, biomedical and biotechnology companies that is estimated to have contributed over £111 billion to the UK economy in 2019 alone. However, acute demand-supply imbalances threaten to undermine the region’s long-term growth and ability to play a leading role in the UK’s economic recovery post-coronavirus.
Healthy demand and a lack of suitable lab space has seen rents increase in Cambridge over the last year. In 2019, rents in the sector rose by 12 percent to an historic high of £46.50 per sq ft, according to Bidwells, a Cambridge-based property consultancy. Occupiers are also continuing to focus on Grade-A space, accounting for 64 percent of total take up in last year.
About BioMed Realty
Founded in 2004, and a Blackstone portfolio company since 2016, BioMed Realty owns, operates and develops high quality life science real estate comprising 13.6 million square feet, including 2.5 million square feet of Class A properties in active development to meet the growing demand of the life science industry. BioMed Realty’s portfolio is located in the leading innovation markets throughout the United States and United Kingdom, led by Boston-Cambridge, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, New York and Cambridge, U.K. With over 200 tenant partners, BioMed Realty provides real estate solutions for global enterprises, established biotechnology and innovation companies, leading universities and premier research institutions. To learn more about BioMed Realty, visit biomedrealty.com, and please follow us on Twitter @biomedrealty.
About Bit Bio
Bit Bio is a human synthetic biology company based in Cambridge, UK. The Company’s mission is the application of computational principles to biology. The team includes world leaders in stem cell biology, cellular reprogramming and cell therapy who are harnessing the power of synthetic biology to tackle the problem of inconsistency in the production of human cells.
Bit Bio’s current focus is to develop a scalable technology platform capable of producing consistent and functional batches of every human cell. Access to high-quality human cells will allow enhanced research outcomes and drug discovery efficiency, enabling a new generation of cell and tissue therapies.
To find out more, please visit www.bit.bio
PetMedix™ is a Cambridge, UK based research and development stage biopharmaceutical company developing antibody-based therapeutics for companion animals. The growing team have over 30 years’ experience building platforms that can develop species-specific therapeutic antibodies. Driven by the core value of improving the health and welfare of animals, PetMedix™ is taking the cutting edge of human medicine and using it to develop innovative new veterinary treatments against a wide range of clinical indications for dogs and for cats.
To find out more, please visit https://www.petmedix.co.uk
About the Babraham Research Campus
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT) is responsible for the management and commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus.
The Babraham Research Campus is distinct in its co‐location of 60 bioscience companies with the Babraham Institute, a world‐renowned research organisation which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The aim of the campus is to support U.K. bioscience through academic research, but also with facilities and capabilities for early-stage and growing commercial organizations. The campus provides companies laboratory and office space, networking and collaboration opportunities, together with access to outstanding scientific facilities in an ideal geographical location at the core of the Cambridge cluster.
The campus is managed and developed by BBT on behalf of the BBT shareholders, BBSRC and the Babraham Institute.
For more information please visit: www.babraham.com
BioMed Realty has been part of Cambridge's world-class life science community since the acquisition of Granta Park in 2012. Granta Park is a 477,230 square foot business estate in one of the most reconised areas for science success globally and is home to leading companies, including Sosei Heptares, Astrazeneca, Illumina, PPD Global, and One Nucleus.