Oxford Properties Group, a worldwide real estate investor, developer, and manager, has initiated the construction of a 165,000ft2 expansion for Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ primary life sciences campus.

Situated in the Carlsbad submarket of San Diego’s life sciences sector, Ionis’ existing campus encompasses around 250,000ft2 of laboratory and office space.

The expansion marks a continuation of the established partnership between Oxford and Ionis, which began with Oxford’s acquisition and subsequent long-term lease of Ionis’ existing campus in October 2022.

The recent development further solidifies Oxford’s already extensive global life sciences portfolio and strengthens its presence on the West Coast, complemented by additional high-quality assets in the Bay Area and Seattle.

Oxford made its entry into the San Diego life sciences market in February 2022 through the acquisition of a 13-building portfolio totalling $464m.

Currently, Oxford’s San Diego life sciences portfolio exceeds 900,000ft2, with expectations for it to surpass 1.3 million ft2 feet upon the completion of its development pipeline in the market.

Oxford investments vice president Tycho Suter said: “We are very pleased to build on our significant partnership with Ionis, as we each write another chapter in our remarkable growth journeys through the expansion of their main campus.

“Oxford is a long-term investor, committed to creating both economic and social value through real estate. Supporting the growth of a highly aligned partner in Ionis, who are deeply embedded in the Carlsbad community, delivers on both fronts as we help provide the infrastructure necessary to develop the life-saving therapeutics of tomorrow.”

Established in 1989, Ionis is a publicly traded biotechnology company at the forefront of discovering and developing RNA-targeted therapeutics. With a proven track record, Ionis boasts four currently marketed medicines and a distinguished late-stage pipeline, particularly excelling in cardiovascular and neurological franchises within the industry. Leveraging an ever-expanding technology platform, Ionis has a rich history of research and development successes, consistently achieving breakthroughs in the field.

The ongoing expansion of its campus aligns with Ionis’ strategic objectives, emphasising the prioritisation of its wholly owned pipeline and the advancement of its drug discovery technology. This expansion reflects Ionis’ commitment to fostering innovation and maintaining a leading position in the dynamic landscape of biotechnology.

Ionis executive vice president and chief financial officer Elizabeth Hougen said: “The state-of-the-art facility being built by our partner Oxford Properties is more than a building, it’s a testament to Ionis’ enduring commitment to discovering, developing and delivering novel medicines to patients who are living with serious diseases.

“In the same way that Ionis-discovered therapies like Spinraza, the first-ever approved medicine to treat spinal muscular atrophy, and Qalsody, the first treatment targeting a genetic form of ALS, changed the lives of people battling these devastating diseases, we expect the science done within the walls of this building to have a positive impact on the lives of people with unmet medical needs in the years to come.”

Situated at 2830 Whiptail Loop in Carlsbad and scheduled for completion by the end of 2025, Ionis’ campus expansion is set to introduce 165,000ft2 of purpose-built laboratory space along with complementary office facilities.

This development will augment Ionis’ overall campus, expanding it to exceed 400,000ft2 spread across four buildings. These structures are equipped with chemistry labs, biology labs, and research and development support systems, in addition to contemporary office spaces.

Positioned within the prominent San Diego North County life sciences cluster, Carlsbad is a hub for leading firms in the industry. Apart from Ionis, the area is home to renowned companies such as Novartis, Thermo Fisher, and Genentech, contributing to the region’s stature as a significant centre for life sciences innovation and research.