Rendering of the planned building at 400 Summer St. (WS Development)

Roche's Foun­da­tion Med­i­cine is get­ting a new 16-sto­ry home in Boston's Sea­port Dis­trict

A de­vel­op­er and an in­vest­ment firm have joined to­geth­er to add yet an­oth­er biotech build­ing to Boston’s sky­line. And to­day, a pri­vate eq­ui­ty firm has joined the ven­ture.

KKR an­nounced to­day that it com­plet­ed an in­vest­ment and is now in a joint ven­ture with WS De­vel­op­ment and the Pub­lic Sec­tor Pen­sion In­vest­ment Board for 400 Sum­mer Street, a life sci­ence tow­er un­der con­struc­tion in Boston’s Sea­port Dis­trict. The amount that KKR in­vest­ed in­to the con­struc­tion of the project re­mains undis­closed.

400 Sum­mer Street will be a 16-sto­ry build­ing lo­cat­ed in the cen­ter of Boston’s Sea­port Dis­trict sub­mar­ket. The 635,000 square foot prop­er­ty will serve as the head­quar­ters of Boston biotech and Roche sub­sidiary Foun­da­tion Med­i­cine, which has leased all of the lab­o­ra­to­ry and of­fice space.

Justin Pat­tner

Foun­da­tion Med­i­cine was the per­son­al­ized med­i­cine firm that Roche spent $2.4 bil­lion on in 2018 to com­plete­ly buy out the com­pa­ny.

“We have a strong con­vic­tion in life sci­ences re­al es­tate and be­lieve there will be last­ing de­mand for high-qual­i­ty lab and work space in the world’s top in­no­va­tion cen­ters,” said KKR part­ner Justin Pat­tner in a state­ment.

De­mand for lab space and of­fice space is at an all-time high, set­ting records and com­pe­ti­tion over the next year. The post-pan­dem­ic re­al es­tate mar­ket shows no signs of be­ing slow — rather, it’s in­creas­ing and quite frankly, boom­ing.

“Record-set­ting de­mand over the past 12 months is ex­pect­ed to con­tin­ue, dri­ving in­tense com­pe­ti­tion for lab space un­til 2022/2023 when new de­vel­op­ments and con­ver­sions are de­liv­ered,” said Jonathan Varho­lak, a CBRE vice chair­man spe­cial­iz­ing in life-sci­ences and Boston-area re­al es­tate in an in­ter­view with the Boston Re­al Es­tate Times in Ju­ly.

There is al­so the as­pect of lim­it­ed space in the near fu­ture near Cam­bridge, so oth­er com­pa­nies must go to oth­er parts of Boston to lease al­ready built spaces — but they are not enough.

Jonathan Varho­lak

Boston is in the lead in terms of new lab space de­vel­op­ment, with 11 mil­lion square feet cur­rent­ly un­der con­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by JLL ear­li­er this month. How­ev­er, near­ly all the space ex­pect­ed to de­liv­er this year is pre-leased, as well as rough­ly half of the 8 mil­lion square feet ex­pect­ed to de­liv­er next year.

Part of the in­crease in ac­tiv­i­ty can be traced back to ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing. Be­tween March 2020 and March 2021 dur­ing the height of the Covid pan­dem­ic, Boston biotech/bio­phar­ma star­tups and es­tab­lished com­pa­nies have re­ceived close to $9.6 bil­lion in ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing, ac­cord­ing to a CBRE re­port.

Through all in­di­ca­tions, Boston’s life sci­ence re­al es­tate mar­ket has not slowed down af­ter the pan­dem­ic — and does not plan to any time soon.

At the In­flec­tion Point for the Next Gen­er­a­tion of Can­cer Im­munother­a­py

While oncology researchers have long pursued the potential of cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, it was unclear whether these therapies would ever reach patients due to the complexity of manufacturing and costs of development. Fortunately, the recent successful development and regulatory approval of chimeric antigen receptor-engineered T (CAR-T) cells have demonstrated the significant benefit of these therapies to patients.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO

'This is not go­ing to be good': Mod­er­na CEO Ban­cel warns of a 'ma­te­r­i­al drop' in vac­cine ef­fi­ca­cy as Omi­cron spreads

Even as public health officials remain guarded about their comments on the likelihood Omicron will escape the reach of the currently approved Covid-19 vaccines, there’s growing scientific consensus that we’re facing a variant that threatens to overwhelm the vaccine barricades that have been erected.

Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, one of the leading mRNA players whose quick vault into the markets with a highly effective vaccine created an instant multibillion-dollar market, added his voice to the rising chorus early Tuesday. According to Bancel, there will be a significant drop in efficacy when the average immune system is confronted by Omicron. The only question now is: How much?

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Philip Dormitzer, new GSK global head of vaccines R&D

Glax­o­SmithK­line poach­es Pfiz­er's vi­ral vac­cines lead in rush to cap­i­tal­ize on fu­ture of mR­NA

GlaxoSmithKline has appointed Philip Dormitzer, formerly chief scientific officer of Pfizer’s viral vaccines unit, as its newest global head of vaccines R&D, looking to leverage one of the leading minds behind Pfizer and BioNTech’s RNA collaboration that led to Covid-19 jab Comirnaty, the British drug giant said Tuesday.

Dormitzer had been with Pfizer for a little more than six years, joining up after a seven-year stint with Novartis, where he reached the role of US head of research and head of global virology for the company’s vaccines and diagnostics unit.

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In­tro­duc­ing End­points Stu­dio, a new way to ad­ver­tise with End­points-craft­ed brand­ing cam­paigns

Since our start in 2016, Endpoints has grown fast while executing our mission to cover biopharma’s most critical developments for industry pros worldwide. As readership has grown, our advertising business has too. Endpoints advertising partners support the mission and engage their desired audiences through announcements on our email and web platforms, brand recognition in our event coverage and sponsorships of Endpoints daily and weekly reports.

What's fair? New ICER re­port shows pay­ers gen­er­al­ly en­sur­ing fair ac­cess to drugs

The nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review on Wednesday released a new report highlighting the ways in which payers are generally ensuring fair access to prescription drugs, even when based on a set of criteria set by the nonprofit.

While noting the lack of transparency hindered the report’s results, ICER said that the “great majority” of payer policies in the formularies evaluated are structured in a way to support many key elements of how ICER defines “fair access.”

With on­ly burns to show in gene ther­a­py, Astel­las inks deal with AAV spe­cial­ist Dyno in push for a bet­ter cap­sid

On the hunt for a better AAV capsid for gene therapy, Eric Kelsic’s Dyno Therapeutics has set itself apart with its focus on machine learning to help speed discovery. Now, Japanese drugmaker Astellas — fresh off a slate of gene therapy burns — is taking a bet on Dyno as it looks to the future.

Astellas and Dyno will work together as part of an R&D pact to develop next-gen AAV vectors for gene therapy using Dyno’s CapsidMap platform directed at skeletal and cardiac muscle, the companies said Wednesday. Under the terms of the deal, Dyno will design AAV capsids for gene therapy, while Astellas will be responsible for conducting preclinical, clinical and commercialization activities for gene therapy product candidates using the capsids.

As first Omi­cron case in US crops up, re­searchers won­der: which an­ti­bod­ies, vac­cines will hold up?

As Covid-19 drug and vaccine developers race to figure out which of their products might be hampered by the new variant, the CDC on Wednesday afternoon announced the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) in the US, found in San Francisco.

The unidentified individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, 2021, was fully vaccinated, and had mild symptoms that the CDC described as improving. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative, the centers said.

GSK 'Target the Future' Ad Campaign

Glax­o­SmithK­line's friend­ly ‘shark tank’ crowd­sources ideas for mul­ti­ple myelo­ma, kicks off big­ger push

GlaxoSmithKline is inviting everyone to its friendly shark tank. Its “Think Tank” challenge launching today aims to gather the best pitches for ideas in multiple myeloma with a final pitch-off “Shark Tank” TV show-style finish next year.

The innovation contest kicks off GSK’s bigger “Target the Future” unbranded campaign to advance innovation and awareness in multiple myeloma.

“We have a good sense of where the unmet need lies and what tools may be welcomed by this community, and we’ll continue to do that as part of this program, but the ‘Think Tank’ kickoff is to bring new ideas to the table — things that come from a more grassroots perspective than a large pharma perspective,” Christine Roth, senior VP and global head of oncology at GSK, said.

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Ap­peals court puts the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin for Tec­fidera patent, adding to Bio­gen's bur­geon­ing set­backs

In another setback for Biogen, the big biotech lost its appeal to revive a patent for the once-blockbuster drug Tecfidera, marking a likely conclusion to the case.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued the ruling Tuesday morning, saying Biogen failed to satisfy the “written description” requirement for patent law. As a result, Mylan-turned-Viatris will be able to sell its multiple sclerosis generic without fear of infringement and Biogen will have to find a new revenue driver elsewhere.

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