Asterias Biotherapeutics, a subsidiary of BioTime, has entered a long-term lease for a research, development, and manufacturing facility in Fremont, CA for its cell therapy product development activities. The facility has approximately 44,000 sq.-ft. of existing office, lab and vivarium space. The eight-year lease begins October 1, 2014 and has two five-year extension options.
Asterias will use a $4.4 million tenant improvement allowance to construct a production facility designed to satisfy U.S. and European cGMP requirements for cell banks and the company’s drug product candidates. Construction of the manufacturing facility is expected to begin 2Q14.
Asterias began product development activities at its current Menlo Park, CA location in October of 2013 after the closing of an asset contribution agreement with Geron Corp. and BioTime, Inc., under which Asterias acquired Geron’s human embryonic stem cell assets and minority stakes in two of BioTime’s subsidiaries. The product development portfolio includes two programs for neural progenitors cells, currently in clinical development for spinal cord injury, and dendritic cells targeting telomerase, in clinical development for cancer. The company’s preclinical portfolio includes chondrocytes for osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, and cardiomyocytes for heart failure.