Life Sciences Incubator BioCube Gets Major Renovation to Provide More Space for Startups

(Originally published in 2021--updated as of 2023)

The San Jose BioCube life sciences incubator project has undergone a significant renovation which includes a major expansion of its headquarter facilities, and also provides housing for new life sciences startups, including four startups that established residency.

Following a complete re-design of the ground floor once occupied by Roche, the biotech incubator now offers functional, appealing workspaces that include brand-new concept labs, huddle rooms, café kitchens and on-site concierge support. On Friday, the BioCube said the latest 67,000-square-foot addition to Silicon Valley’s biotech scene provides a hive-like setting for up to 50 life-science startups and emerging companies, ranging from small to mid-size.

San Jose BioCube Chief Executive Officer Tony Gonzales called the expansion a major milestone for the incubator. He said the BioCube team wanted to “provide the next frontier of lab design” so the scientists who work in the facility could feel inspired as well as looked after.

“When we hear that it’s more reminiscent of a hip hotel than a lab, we know we’ve succeeded in creating an experience that promotes our long-term vision,” Gonzales said in a statement.

The San Jose BioCube was envisioned as a startup incubator in the western United States that could benefit from companies seeking less expensive space outside of nearby San Francisco. Just four years ago, there was a waiting list for startups that wanted to be part of the BioCube.

The site provided about 37,000 square feet of space with multiple amenities, such as a reception center, conference center and three research centers – a cell culture room, virus room and a bacteria room. Last year, the BioCube unveiled 15 new biotech wet labs in a facility dubbed BioCube North, on the ground floor of the Q Bay Center.  

BioCube’s mission is to attract and retain the next generation of life-science innovators in Silicon Valley and the amenities in the latest renovation are designed with that in mind. Since the BioCube is targeting founders of biotech startups, more emphasis has been placed on their specific needs and expectations. The new facility blends highly advanced biotech workplace environments with a modern lab design and beautiful architectural elements that feature space, natural light, greenery, and glass.

Research already conducted at the BioCube includes drug development, clinical research organization (CRO) biological processes and life-science services, material science, and battery research. Even with the expansion, the facility is already at 70% capacity. In its announcement, the BioCube noted its concept is resonating with progressive early- and mid-stage companies.

The expansion is anchored by several new startups, including Oxford BioTherapeutics, a clinical-stage oncology company with a pipeline of immune-oncology and antibody-drug conjugate-based therapies aimed to fulfill major unmet patient needs by targeting difficult-to-treat cancers. Christian Rohlff, CEO of Oxford BioTherapeutics, said the expansion of the BioCube has allowed the company to triple its footprint and grow its staff. Oxford BioTherapeutics’ lead program is OBT076, a CD205-directed ADC. The asset is in Phase I development metastatic breast cancer and recurrent and/or metastatic solid tumors (gastric, ovarian, lung).

Other companies anchoring the expansion include Loliware, a seaweed-based material technology company, and Ionobell, a battery R&D company with expertise in cell and battery material. (Update Loliware has now raised $15.4 Million as of 2023.)

Article Originally: Published: Apr 05, 2021 By Alex Keown/ Updated by BioCube May 2023.