By Joshua Burd
A specialty pharmaceutical maker has more than doubled its footprint at a state-owned campus in North Brunswick, where it’s set to occupy nearly 60,000 square feet across a full building.
According to Savills, which represented Ascendia Pharmaceuticals, the New Jersey Bioscience Center will continue to house expanded specialty life sciences facilities and office space under a deal with the Economic Development Authority. The contract development and manufacturing organization is also doubling its headcount at the property, at 661 Route 1 North, which will be home to more than 100 employees.
“Ascendia Pharmaceuticals has grown rapidly, and its leadership team expressed a critical need for additional manufacturing capacity, lab and research and development space in order to meet the company’s business objectives,” said Savills Vice Chairman Gregg Najarian, who represented Ascendia Pharmaceuticals alongside Corporate Managing Director Slava Vaynberg. “Lab space in this particular submarket is in short supply and is leased quickly, when available. Recognizing that the NJEDA was seeking a long-term commitment, we approached our counterparts and negotiated a favorable deal, allowing both parties to accomplish their respective goals.”
JLL represented the EDA in the multiyear lease restructure and expansion, which leaves Ascendia with 59,558 square feet overall. As Savills noted, the firm has experienced a three-year compound annual growth rate of 55 percent, thanks in large part to an increased number of successful complex injectable projects, from pre-formulation development through clinical trial material and ultimately commercialization.
The additional space will be enhanced and renovated to reflect what are known as Current Good Manufacturing Practice standards.
“Our expanded state-of-the-art facility will now include sterile manufacturing, that includes process and filling room space,” Ascendia Founder and CEO Jim Huang said. “When complete, we will offer Phase 3 and commercial supply that will allow us to produce prefilled syringes, vials, cartridges, and other deliverables at a large scale. This includes biomanufacturing and packaging.”
According to Savills, Ascendia is a specialty contract development and manufacturing organization for biologics and gene delivery with lipid nanoparticles, as well as small molecules. It provides custom sterile and nonsterile enabling formulations, along with analytical methods for new chemical entities, complex dosage forms, and 505(B)(2) product development, as well as over-the-counter drugs and nutraceuticals.
Its home within the 50-acre EDA campus sits in the heart of New Jersey’s research and development corridor, between Rutgers and Princeton universities, with a host of lab, R&D and office space options for companies of all sizes and stages of growth.
“Our new facility solidifies our leading position to offer startup times in way that virtually no other specialty CMDO can match,” said Robert Bloder, Ascendia chief business officer. “It allows us to maintain our commitment to service and helping customers overcome drug development challenges on-time and within budget.”