The new 197,000 square foot, nine-story life sciences development called 222 Fifth located at the base of the Seattle Space Needle. (Credit: DA LI Development USA, LLC)

Con­struc­tion un­der­way for new life sci­ence cen­ter to ac­com­mo­date Seat­tle's grow­ing life sci­ence sec­tor

While the Seat­tle Space Nee­dle is a well-known tourist at­trac­tion, a con­struc­tion project at its base will look to at­tract a dif­fer­ent type of vis­i­tor, name­ly those in the life sci­ence sec­tor.

Con­struc­tion has kicked off on a new 197,000 square foot, nine-sto­ry life sci­ences de­vel­op­ment called 222 Fifth. The project is a joint ven­ture be­tween LPC West and In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Re­al Es­tate Cor­po­ra­tion, sched­uled to be com­plet­ed in 2024, and is LPC’s sec­ond life sci­ences project in the Emer­ald City.

JP Har­low

“222 Fifth is de­signed with mar­ket-lead­ing life sci­ences space spec­i­fi­ca­tions and ameni­ties that ex­ceed oth­er fa­cil­i­ties in Seat­tle. In the midst of all that Seat­tle Cen­ter has to of­fer, and over a mil­lion square feet of new de­vel­op­ment near­by, we’re ex­cit­ed to be at the fore­front of this in­ter­sec­tion of re­search, live and play,” said JP Har­low, SVP of LPC West.

The 222 Fifth lo­ca­tion will be in the South Lake Union In­no­va­tion Dis­trict, span­ning one-third of a city block. The project will be for life sci­ence re­search con­tain­ing an out­side air ex­change, side-loaded floors for lab lay­outs and a load­ing dock specif­i­cal­ly de­signed for lab use, among oth­er ameni­ties.

The build­ing will al­so have a 10,000-square-foot out­door view deck over­look­ing Seat­tle Cen­ter Park and ini­tial plans call for a cof­fee shop and bar, the firms tout­ed.

The South Lake Union In­no­va­tion Dis­trict has been a grow­ing at­trac­tive spot. In 2019, life sci­ences re­al es­tate de­vel­op­er Alexan­dria agreed to pay the city gov­ern­ment $138.5 mil­lion for a 2.86-acre site in the neigh­bor­hood, with the de­vel­op­er en­vi­sion­ing a life sci­ences clus­ter in the area.

LPC West it­self owns and op­er­ates over 5.5 mil­lion square feet of life sci­ences fa­cil­i­ties on the West Coast and the com­pa­ny aims to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing life sci­ence in­dus­try in Seat­tle. Last year, the com­pa­ny bought an­oth­er build­ing in the South Lake Union dis­trict for $164 mil­lion for the life sci­ences. The area is al­so home to the Bill & Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, the Allen In­sti­tute for Brain Sci­ence and the Fred Hutch Can­cer Re­search Cen­ter, among oth­ers.

Seat­tle has been kind to the life sci­ence and biotech in­dus­tries, as ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal tech news site Geek­Wire, the num­ber of life sci­ences re­searchers in the Seat­tle area grew 24% from 2015 to 2020. LPC West al­so stat­ed that the Puget Sound re­gion is home to 9.2 mil­lion square feet of life sci­ences space, as of the end of the first quar­ter of this year.

UP­DAT­ED: In a fresh dis­ap­point­ment, Am­gen spot­lights a ma­jor safe­ty is­sue with KRAS com­bo

Amgen had hoped that its latest study matching its landmark KRAS G12C drug Lumakras with checkpoint inhibitors would open up its treatment horizons and expand its commercial potential. Instead, the combo spurred safety issues that blunted efficacy and forced the pharma giant to alter course on its treatment strategy, once again disappointing analysts who have been tracking the drug’s faltering sales and limited therapeutic reach.

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Ad­dress­ing the ‘Ca­pac­i­ty Crunch’ with a Scal­able Plat­form Process Ap­proach

The field of gene therapy has been diligently moving forward over the past several decades to bring potentially life-saving treatments to patients with genetic diseases. In addition to two approved adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapies, there are more than 250 AAV gene therapies in various clinical trial stages.1 AAV vectors remain the most frequently used vector for delivering therapeutic transgenes to target tissues due to their demonstrated and lasting clinical efficacy and extensive safety track record. As AAV therapies advance through clinical trials and into commercialization, many biotech companies are turning to contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) to prepare their programs for late-stage clinical and commercial scale manufacturing. Given the scope and scale of the manufacturing needs that will accompany regulatory approvals for these assets, CDMOs continue to expand their capacity to meet the needs of increasing prevalent patient populations. However, despite rapid growth, projected gene therapy manufacturing demands still outpace the collective capacity of the CDMO industry.

A $5B Pfiz­er buy­out? Am­gen, Gilead head­line M&A Thurs­day; Al­ny­lam's AT­TR sweep; An­drew Lo's rare dis­ease quest; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

One of the cool things about adding EndpointsPharma to the daily roster is that my colleagues can now dedicate time to tracking quarterly updates and tuning into calls with Big Pharma companies. Check out their dispatch from the Q2 earnings below.

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Bob Bradway, Amgen CEO (Justin Kase Conder/AP Images for Amgen)

UP­DAT­ED: Am­gen chief Brad­way nabs a rare dis­ease play­er in $4B buy­out as the M&A tem­po ac­cel­er­ates

Amgen CEO Bob Bradway is bellying up to the M&A table today, scooping up the newly anointed commercial biotech ChemoCentryx $CCXI and its recently approved rare disease drug for $3.7 billion out of the cash stockpile. The deal comes in at $52 a share — a hefty increase over the $24.11 close yesterday.

Bradway and the Amgen team get a drug called Tavneos (avacopan) in the deal, a complement factor C5a inhibitor OK’d to treat anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-vasculitis, an autoimmune disease which can be lethal.

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Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Break­ing: Pfiz­er in hot pur­suit of a $5B buy­out of Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics — re­port

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has vowed to leave no stone unturned in the search for new biotech deals, and the BD team is not letting him down.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Pfizer is in the final stages of acquiring Global Blood Therapeutics for $5 billion. According to the Journal report, though, Pfizer is not the only buyer at the deal table and while the pharma giant may be close to clinching it, there are no guarantees it will continue.

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George Yancopoulos, Regeneron president and CSO (Brendan McDermid/Reuters/Alamy)

George Yan­copou­los says he's on the trail of the holy grail: ‘This could rep­re­sent the next break­through for im­munother­a­py’

Two of the most outspoken — and successful — drug developers in biotech say they’ve collected early-stage clinical data that are pointing them down the trail to the holy grail in cancer immunotherapy R&D.

While analysts largely busied themselves today with chronicling the ongoing success of Regeneron’s two big cash cows — Dupixent and Eylea — chief scientist George Yancopoulos and CEO Len Schleifer used the Q2 call to spotlight their early success with a combination of the “homegrown” PSMAxCD28 costimulatory bispecific antibody REGN5678 in combination with their PD-1 checkpoint Libtayo. The presentation comes just weeks after Regeneron completed a deal to gather all rights to the PD-1 that had been in Sanofi’s hands. And the two top execs are unstinting in their praise of the potential of a whole set of costimulatory pipeline projects which they say may finally deliver the long-awaited next-level approach to broadening the immunotherapy field of drugs.

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(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

US de­clares mon­key­pox a na­tion­al health emer­gency, as new drug­mak­ers con­sid­er en­ter­ing vac­cine race

Rising monkeypox cases have put the US on high alert as it announces a national health emergency, which grants the government more power in its response.

The news comes as Bavarian Nordic continues to fill orders for its Jynneos vaccine and other companies – including Moderna – consider jumping into the vaccine race. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the US has allowed around 20 million doses of smallpox vaccine in its stockpile to expire.

Al Sandrock, Voyager Therapeutics CEO

Al San­drock prunes his post-Bio­gen voy­age with sim­i­lar fo­cus on ALS

Al Sandrock is narrowing the focus of Voyager Therapeutics, concentrating on CNS diseases that were the hallmark of his time leading R&D at Biogen, including an emphasis on a familial form of ALS for which his former employer is getting a speedy review at the FDA.

Less than six months into his journey as CEO at Voyager, Sandrock is focusing the preclinical pipeline on Alzheimer’s disease, GBA1 Parkinson’s disease and SOD1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the rare form of ALS for which the FDA will decide whether to approve Biogen’s tofersen by Jan. 25, 2023.

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Pfiz­er ter­mi­nates PhI­II study of rare car­dio­vas­cu­lar drug picked up in $11.4B Ar­ray ac­qui­si­tion

While Pfizer’s $11.4 billion acquisition of Array BioPharma in the summer of 2019 was mainly focused on oncology, namely Braftovi and Mektovi, there were a few non-cancer assets, including a Phase III drug being tested in a rare cardiovascular disease.

The late-stage trial is now being axed, alongside any further development of the oral small molecule, the pharma giant disclosed after the closing bell on Wednesday. Based on an interim futility analysis of the global Phase III REALM-DCM trial, Pfizer determined a path forward was not in its best interest. Pfizer no longer expected the study would meet its primary goal.

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