The Mission Bay Biotech Cluster: Antibodies, RNAi, Biofuels, & More

Xconomy San Francisco — 

[Update: 11:30 am, 7/8/10] Much has been written about the transformation of San Francisco’s Mission Bay district from run-down railroad property into a biotech hotbed. An estimated 56 biotech companies were said to be operating in San Francisco as of last month, compared to just one back in 2004, according to this report from Tom Abate at the Chronicle. It’s made me wonder, who are the entrepreneurs and large companies that have planted their flag in Mission Bay, and what are they doing?

I hope to learn more about this myself at an open house and panel discussion today being organized by the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) and BayBio.

You can bet some of the speakers tonight—a distinguished group that includes Brook Byers and Susan Desmond-Hellmann—will be tossing around factoids about how many companies have been created, and how many people are working there. What I’ve sought to pull together here is a directory of startups, small-to-mid-sized biotechs, and Big Pharma branches that have all clustered in the Mission Bay district. I’ve sought to keep this group limited to companies that are currently operating in Mission Bay, and for whom I was able to get some information from either my own reporting or some quick Web searching yesterday.

I realize it will fast be out of date, and I may have missed a few names. Thanks to Kristen Bole at UCSF, and the folks at QB3, including Doug Crawford and Kaspar Mossman, for their help in assembling the list. Thanks also to Travis Blaschek-Miller and Gail Maderis of BayBio, who offered up a database of 60 member companies from San Francisco that I didn’t quite have time to comb through for today’s deadline. I’ll be sure to update this space when I have a moment. If you have any questions, comments, or new information, please send me a note at [email protected] or [email protected]

100x Imaging. This company says it is working on “custom software solutions for life science automated imaging.” On its LinkedIn profile, the company adds that it supports and develops open source software, and that it aspires to lower the costs and increase the reliability of automated imaging.

Ablexis. The company formerly known as Aliva Biotherapeutics raised $12 million earlier this month from Third Rock Ventures and Pfizer Venture Investment. The company is developing genetically modified mice that produce a wide array of fully-human antibody drug candidates against specific markers of disease.

Allopartis. This company is developing enhanced enzymes that seek to break down cellulosic biomass into sugars for biofuels and industrial chemicals. The company is supported by the California Clean Energy Angel Fund.

Aperys. The company is developing technology to help researchers perform certain experiments in cell culture.

Bayer. The German pharmaceutical giant said last month that it is moving 65 researchers into a building that had been vacated by Pfizer. Bayer officials, quoted by the Chronicle, said they were eager to relocate their facility from Richmond, CA, to be close to the academic and startup energy at Mission Bay.

Carmot Therapeutics. Carmot received … Next Page »

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9 responses to “The Mission Bay Biotech Cluster: Antibodies, RNAi, Biofuels, & More”

  1. Watson'n'Crick says:

    Will you PLEASE get rid of that image of ‘DNA’ ? You use over and over again and I feel embarrassed for you every time.

    Not only is it left handed but it appears to have around 30 base pairs per turn of the helix… enough already!

  2. WC- The image was meant only to provide a little abstract eye candy, but point taken. Hope the new image is more to your liking.

  3. Saumitra says:

    Would you also include Vaxart Inc, Vaccine developer.. who have office on Townsend Street. Thank you

  4. Saumitra—I’ve added Vaxart, thanks. –Luke

  5. Crick'n'Watson says:

    Siluria Technologies, located in the Fibrogen building in Mission Bay, recently had an full article in the NYTimes.

  6. Crick—Just added Siluria to the list, thanks for the reminder.