COVID Vaccine Developer Expands in San Diego’s Core Biotech Office Neighborhood

Lou Hirsh

October 7, 2021

Arcturus Therapeutics Leases in Coastal Torrey Pines Enclave

Arcturus Therapeutics has doubled down on San Diego’s booming life science market, leasing more than 43,000 square feet in the region’s core Torrey Pines biotech enclave.

The locally based developer of COVID-19 and other infectious-disease vaccines using messenger RNA technology leased 43,234 square feet at 10285 Science Center Drive, according to a Sept. 29 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The building is part of The Boardwalk office complex currently under redevelopment by owner Healthpeak Properties, a Denver-based developer.

The lease has an initial term of 10 years and eight months, and financial terms were not disclosed. Arcturus will be expanding from its headquarters about a half-mile away at 10628 Science Center Drive, according to the regulatory filing. CoStar and public data show the firm occupies 24,056 square feet and employs 200 at its current location.

Located in coastal La Jolla, Torrey Pines is among San Diego’s tightest office neighborhoods, sporting a 5.6% vacancy rate and an average monthly asking rent of $3.78 per square foot, according to CoStar data, the fourth-most expensive in the area. It has been San Diego’s core biotech research and development hub for the past five decades, though other nearby neighborhoods have seen rising industry demand for the past 10 years as office and lab space runs out in Torrey Pines.

With pandemic-related research and rising venture funding accelerating overall demand during the past year, biotech leasing has also escalated in neighboring enclaves of University Town Center, Sorrento Mesa and Del Mar Heights.

Arcturus Therapeutics officials did not immediately respond to CoStar News’ request for comment on plans for its new space. CEO Joseph Payne met in New York last month with Vietnamese government and biotech leaders on plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in Vietnam for the company’s COVID-19 vaccines in a partnership with developer Vingroup, according to a statement.