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Gene Editing Pioneer CRISPR Opens New Boston HQ

105 by Breakthrough, the newly opened headquarters of CRISPR Therapeutics.

CRISPR Therapeutics this week opened its new U.S. headquarters at The 105 by Breakthrough development in Boston, a 263K SF project recently completed by Breakthrough Properties.

The gene editing company occupies the entire building and is the latest in a list of cutting-edge biotech firms occupying, or planning to occupy, new facilities in the Boston area. 

CRISPR joins other big-name mRNA and gene therapy sites announced in the past year, such as Moderna’s 426K SF headquarters in Kendall Square, an Alexandria Real Estate Equities project and Eli Lilly’s $700M RNA research site on the Seaport, also by Alexandria.

CRISPR in 2020 signed a lease to move into the 105 by Breakthrough space in the Seaport, announcing its intention to leave its old Cambridge headquarters. The new location is the research and development center for the Swiss-American firm’s U.S. subsidiary.

It's been roughly two years since two scientists who worked on the discovery of the CRIPSR technology won the Nobel Prize, and the technology's applications are becoming more well-known. A patient with sickle cell anemia was successfully treated with genes edited using CRIPSR and a subsequent $17M trial was launched in December 2021.

Founded in 2019, Breakthrough, a joint venture between Bellco Capital and Tishman Speyer that raised $3B to invest in life sciences properties, now has roughly 5M SF of lab projects in the pipeline across the U.S., the UK and the Netherlands.

Other Boston projects include the 105K SF One Canal in East Cambridge, the 14-acre Enterprise Research Campus, and the redevelopment of 232 A St., the former site of Gillette’s waterfront headquarters. 

In May, Breakthrough CEO Dan Belldegrun told Bisnow that amid market uncertainty, Breakthrough would try and protect itself from the downturn by “investing in best-in-class locations, Class-A locations that will continue to receive demand from well-capitalized companies even if there is a downtick in demand.”