Biotech puts 68K sf of pre-leased space back on market

Freenome seeks takers at under-construction Brisbane life science campus

Freenome’s Mike Nolan with a rendering of the Genesis Marina project (Phase 3 Real Estate Partners, Freenome)
Freenome’s Mike Nolan with a rendering of the Genesis Marina project (Phase 3 Real Estate Partners, Freenome)

Freenome has put 68,000 square feet of pre-leased life science space in Brisbane back on the market, a potential sign that the biotech company will occupy less space than initially anticipated in an under-construction campus in which it’s the main tenant.

The early cancer detection company, based in neighboring South San Francisco, is seeking one or more takers for the top two floors of a six-story, under-construction building at 3000 Marina Boulevard, according to JLL’s online marketing brochure for the space. The site is part of Phase 3 Real Estate Partners and Bain Capital’s three-building, 560,000-square-foot life science project named Genesis Marina.

Freenome signed a 12-year pre-lease for about 335,000 square feet of the project in September 2021, encompassing the top four floors at 3000 Marina Boulevard and the entire five-story structure at 3300 Marina Boulevard, the San Francisco Business Times reported at the time.

Each of the sublease’s floors totals 34,000 square feet of lab and office space and will be fully furnished, according to the brochure. The space will be available for occupancy in January 2024, a few months after the entire Genesis Marina campus is slated for delivery in the third quarter of next year, the brochure and the project’s website state.

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Neither JLL’s website nor its marketing brochure discloses Freenome’s lease expiration date for the 3000 Marina building or the sublease’s asking rate. Freenome didn’t respond to a request for comment, while JLL declined one.

It’s not uncommon for a life science company to take more space than it’s ready to fill upon signing a lease, with the idea of eventually growing into the space over time. Yet Freenome is different from the typical case because it has decided to list space for sublease that’s still months away from completion, which could mean that it no longer needs as much elbow room as initially projected.

That didn’t seem in the cards at this time last year, when the company announced a $300 million Series D funding round — a vote of confidence from investors in the eight-year-old company’s race to develop and commercialize a way to detect cancer through blood tests.

Freenome is in the process of conducting a 25,000-person trial on its first blood test, screening for colorectal cancer, although a readout of that test has been delayed from this year to next, pharma and biotech news site Evaluate Vantage reported in April.

Despite the setback, there have been no news during the past 12 months about Freenome cutting headcount or seeing any of its trials flop, according to Google search results. The company lists three dozen job openings on its LinkedIn page, more than half of which are remote or hybrid positions. It doesn’t publicly disclose its financials or headcount.

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