NGM Plans Move to Vacant Site Once Meant for Amgen
Booming Bay Area Biotech NGM Plans Move to Vacant Site Once Meant for Amgen
May 4, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – Amgen (AMGN)’s move to shed itself of some excess property in the Bay Area is a boon for biotech companies looking for new space — companies like NGM Biopharmaceuticals, which plans to move into an Amgen building that has been vacant for about eight years, the San Francisco Business Times reported this morning.
Like many booming biotech hubs, property is becoming increasingly difficult to come by. But, with Amgen ridding itself of excess real estate, NGM will be able to take over the 113,000 square foot facility on Oyster Point Boulevard. The Times reported NGM has invested $14 million into the property to improve the building and ready it for occupation by the 125-employee company in the fall. No information was provided as to the initial cost of acquiring the site, but the Times noted real estate in the area leases for about $50 per square foot.
NGM Biopharmaceuticals’ primary drug is NGM-282, a medication for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis, or PBC, a liver disease. PBC is an autoimmune disease of the liver characterized by the progressive destruction of the bile ducts and accumulation of bile in the liver. Over time, the excess bile damages the liver, resulting in the release of liver enzymes and bile acids into circulation and, eventually, to liver failure. According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers think it is triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
NGM Biopharmaceuticals received both orphan drug and fast track designations from the federal Food and Drug Administration for NGM-282 for the treatment of PBC. In March 2015, the company announced positive Phase II results for NGM-282 in treating patients with PBC. NGM-282 is an engineered protein variant of the human hormone FGF19.
Researchers have noted the medication lowers blood glucose, insulin and lipids in multiple rodent models. Additionally, researchers noted NGM-282 reduced body weight and increased metabolic rate in obese mice treated with the drug, supporting the potential for NGM-282 to be developed for obesity as well.
Additionally, NGM Biopharmaceuticals has found that NGM-282 has applications in the treatment of Type-2 Diabetes, which would fall in line with the company’s new partnership with Merck (MRK) for its experimental anti-obesity therapy, NGM-313.
NGM’s new digs will put it in close proximity to other Bay Area life science companies, including Amgen, which still maintains a presence on Oyster Point Boulevard and Google (GOOG)’s moon shot company, Verily Life Sciences, which has taken over the 400,000 square-foot facility that used to be home to Onyx Pharmaceuticals (AMGN), which was acquired by Amgen.