GSK grabs 150K square feet of prime Boston lab space as part of RNA, viral focus

GSK is continuing to grow its footprint in the biotech hub of Boston, adding 155,000 square feet of additional lab space to its site on Cambridge Park Drive as part of a focus on RNA and viral therapies.

The move, reported by The Boston Globe and since confirmed to Fierce Biotech by GSK, will increase the British Big Pharma’s space at the site from 40,000 sq. ft. currently to over 200,000 sq. ft. next year.

“In addition to our current Boston sites (Cambridge Park Drive, Binney Street, Waltham and Tech Square), the eventual addition of lab space at Cambridge Park Drive will bring together talent and expertise from across our R&D organization, especially to focus on RNA as a critical technology for our future, as well as viral capabilities,” GSK told Fierce Biotech in an emailed statement this morning.

“This decision is part of our long-term plans to achieve our R&D strategy and growth ambition,” the company added.

Boston continues to sit atop Fierce Biotech’s list of the sector’s biggest hubs, and the biotech scene is still growing across the city. There were more than 9 million sq. ft. of new lab space under construction last year and 4.6 million sq. ft. due to be converted, according to CBRE Research. That will add to an existing inventory of 47.2 million sq. ft.

The Cambridge Park Drive expansion is the latest sign of how seriously GSK is taking its RNA strategy, coming a month after the company paid $170 million upfront for a collaboration with genetic medicines company Wave Life Sciences. As part of the deal, GSK received the exclusive global license to Wave’s preclinical RNA editing program to treat alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

It’s not the only upcoming site shake-up for the pharma. Last month, GSK announced that it will move its headquarters from Brentford in west London to new offices in the heart of the capital. The new HQ will host around 3,000 people under a continued hybrid working model, spanning GSK’s global leadership team alongside roles supporting research and development, supply chain and commercial operations.