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New Kids On The Block: Tenants In The I-270 Life Sciences Corridor

Regenxbio 9800 Medical Center Drive Rockville
Regenxbio's planned headquarters at 9800 Medical Center Drive in Rockville

A host of new players have joined the I-270 corridor in the last year, powering its growth into a top 5 life sciences cluster in North America.

In November 2018, Bisnow reported that Regenxbio, a gene therapy developer, was set to sign a 15-year, 132K SF lease at the Alexandria Life Science and Translational Research Center in Rockville. Just a few weeks ago, the company exercised an option to lease out the remainder of the 176K SF facility, according to CoStar. The company’s new build-to-suit headquarters will also serve as a research facility.

The decision to expand came about six months after the Food and Drug Administration approved a gene therapy that uses Regenxbio technology to treat infants with spinal muscular atrophy. And while the FDA placed a hold on another of Regenxbio’s clinical trials, the company is reportedly seeing its first real revenues thanks to the first therapy. 

Autolus Therapeutics has also signed a lease in Rockville. The London-based company, which develops T-cell programming technologies to help treat cancer, has finalized a lease, also with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, for an 85K SF build-to-suit office at the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center in Rockville, where it will occupy an entire building. 

The office will serve as the home for Autolus' U.S.-based research and development, commercial and corporate functions and serve as its first full commercial-scale manufacturing center. The company expects to take occupancy of the building in 2021. In the meanwhile, it is occupying a temporary space in Rockville.

Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc. has more than doubled its footprint in Rockville after a plan to move its headquarters to Gaithersburg fell through, CoStar reported. While the company had occupied about 65K SF across two buildings in Rockville, it has now leased out 136K SF at 9715-9717 Key West Ave., spread across two buildings once again.

The lease that Supernus had been planning, a 119K SF space in Gaithersburg, was tabled by mutual consent of Supernus and Rock Creek Property Group. The new office will serve as its global headquarters.