Isis Pharmaceuticals opened a new R&D centre at Carlsbad Oaks North Business Park in California. Image courtesy of TUBS.
The new facility of Isis focuses on developing RNA-based drugs,
The Carlsbad research and development facility is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Image courtesy of Bobjgalindo.
The new facility in Carlsbad also acts as headquarters for Isis Pharmaceuticals’ operations.

Isis Pharmaceuticals R&D facility

Isis Pharmaceuticals inaugurated a new research and development (R&D) facility at Carlsbad in California, USA in September 2011. The new facility is provided with sophisticated drug discovery and development facilities. It acts as both corporate headquarters and R&D centre for the company. It was built at a cost of $49m.

The facility is located at Carlsbad Oaks North Business Park, which is a 414 acre development in Carlsbad, built for corporate business development. The Carlsbad Oaks North is developed by BioMed Realty Trust. The completion of the new facility increased the total space rented by BioMed to Isis to 204,700ft2.

Isis Pharmaceuticals research facility

"The facility acts as both corporate headquarters and R&D centre for the company. It was built at a cost of $49m."

The research laboratory at the facility is built over a floor space of 176,000ft2. It features modern laboratories for the promotion of innovation and to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. It has ample outdoor space for informal meeting areas and for the exchange of ideas. It is also features laboratories with mobile bench cabinets.

The facility contains administrative offices, a central utility plant, about 550 parking spaces, a warehouse, an outdoor dining area and a sports court. It is accessible by Interstate Highway 5 through Palomar Airport road.

Research laboratory design and construction

The research facility broke ground for construction in June 2010. The construction was completed and the facility was opened in September 2011.

The building is incorporated with modern design features such as maximum use of natural lighting, eco-friendly equipment such as solar panels and drought-resistant native landscaping. It is expected to qualify for Silver LEED certification from the US Green Building Council.

The preconstruction activity included developing a 12 acre greenfield site in the Carlsbad Business Park. The construction was completed three days ahead of the scheduled completion of 13 months.

More than 350 construction crews from 30 trades were employed in the construction of the facility. A total of 280,000 working hours were completed in the construction of the building without any report of an injury. The usage of building information modelling (BIM) in the construction significantly reduced the coordination problems in the field and, as a result, the project was completed within the stipulated time.

Drug development activity at the new facility of Isis

The new facility is used for carrying out research, discovery and development of new drugs by using antisense technology to treat various diseases. It is engaged in the development of RNA-based drug discovery.

"The building features maximum use of natural lighting, eco-friendly equipment such as solar panels and drought-resistant native landscaping."

Isis also plans to play a lead role in the development of antisense drugs through the new facility. The company has already initiated the research and development of mipomersen (Kynamro), an antisense drug being developed for the reduction of cholesterol, at the Carlsbad facility. A new drug application (NDA) for the same is currently under review by the US FDA. Isis is developing the drug in collaboration with Genzyme.

Contractors for Carlsbad facility

The research facility was designed by DGA, an architectural firm based in San Diego. The general construction contract was awarded to DPR Construction, which is also based in San Diego. DPR also acted as construction manager and management advisor for the project. The civil engineering services were provided by O’day.

Isis Pharmaceuticals background and product portfolio

Related project

Sanofi Pasteur R&D Centre, Canada

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, opened a new vaccine research and development centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in July 2011. The R&D facility is located at Sanofi Pasteur’s Connaught Campus and will focus mainly on the development of vaccines for cancer and paediatric ailments.

Isis Pharmaceuticals is a US-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel drugs. The company has a product portfolio of 24 drugs including those for the treatment of metabolic, cardiovascular, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. It primarily focuses on drug discovery and productivity.