Oxford breaks ground on 165,000 sq ft expansion of Ionis Pharmaceuticals Carlsbad campus

Build to suit development will expand Ionis’ campus footprint to over 400,000 square feet; grow Oxford’s San Diego life sciences portfolio to more than 1 million square feet

December 4, 2023


Oxford Properties Group (“Oxford”), a leading global real estate investor, developer and manager has officially broken ground on a 165,000 square foot expansion of Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ (“Ionis”) main life sciences campus. Located in the San Diego life sciences submarket of Carlsbad, Ionis’ existing campus features approximately 250,000 square feet of lab and office space. The expansion builds on Oxford and Ionis’ established partnership, with Oxford completing a purchase and long-term lease back of Ionis’ existing campus in October 2022.

Today’s announcement bolsters Oxford’s already robust global life sciences portfolio and West Coast presence, featuring additional high-quality assets in the Bay Area and Seattle. Oxford entered the San Diego life sciences market in February 2022 via a US$464 million acquisition of a 13-building portfolio. Oxford’s San Diego life sciences portfolio currently comprises more than 900,000 square feet, which will increase to over 1.3 million square feet upon completion of its development pipeline in market.

“We are very pleased to build on our significant partnership with Ionis, as we each write another chapter in our remarkable growth journeys through the expansion of their main campus,” said Tycho Suter, Vice President, Investments at Oxford. “Oxford is a long-term investor, committed to creating both economic and social value through real estate. Supporting the growth of a highly aligned partner in Ionis, who are deeply embedded in the Carlsbad community, delivers on both fronts as we help provide the infrastructure necessary to develop the life-saving therapeutics of tomorrow.”

Founded in 1989, Ionis is a publicly traded biotech company and a leader in discovering and developing RNA-targeted therapeutics. Ionis currently has four marketed medicines and a premier late-stage pipeline highlighted by industry-leading cardiovascular and neurological franchises. It has a long history of R&D successes and has delivered multiple breakthroughs leveraging its expanding technology platform. The campus expansion supports Ionis’ strategic goals of prioritizing its wholly owned pipeline and advancing its drug discovery technology.

“The state-of-the-art facility being built by our partner Oxford Properties is more than a building, it’s a testament to Ionis’ enduring commitment to discovering, developing and delivering novel medicines to patients who are living with serious diseases,” said Elizabeth L. Hougen, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ionis. “In the same way that Ionis-discovered therapies like SPINRAZA®, the first-ever approved medicine to treat spinal muscular atrophy, and QALSODY™, the first treatment targeting a genetic form of ALS, changed the lives of people battling these devastating diseases, we expect the science done within the walls of this building to have a positive impact on the lives of people with unmet medical needs in the years to come.”

Located at 2830 Whiptail Loop in Carlsbad and slated for completion by the end of 2025, Ionis’ campus expansion will deliver 165,000 square feet of purpose-built lab and complementary office space. Bringing Ionis’ overall campus to over 400,000 square feet of space across four buildings, the buildings feature chemistry labs, biology labs and R&D support systems, as well as modern office space. Part of the prominent San Diego North County life sciences cluster, in addition to Ionis, Carlsbad is home to leading firms such as Novartis, Thermo Fisher and Genentech.

San Diego continues to define itself as a top three US life sciences market, and one of the most important life sciences markets globally. Its ecosystem is anchored by renowned research institutions and non-profits including San Diego State University, UC San Diego, Scripps Research and the Sandford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Benefitting from this clustering of firms, institutions and associated talent established over decades, San Diego’s life sciences market has grown by 40% over the last 15 years.

Oxford has invested in life sciences since 2017. It has built substantial expertise in the sector while deploying capital through a variety of equity and credit investments as well as cultivating a significant development pipeline. Oxford’s life sciences business operates across the top 10 North American life sciences markets and in leading European markets through holdings in London, Cambridge and Paris.

Ionis Groundbreaking