Biotechnology company Century Therapeutics LLC has signed a lease at One uCity Square, making it the first confirmed tenant at the office tower now being erected in West Philadelphia .
Century develops treatments that use stem cells to target tumors and blood cancer. It plans to lease 32,500 square feet of office and lab space in the building, which is part of the large uCity Square development site centered at 37th and Market Streets. The news comes from commercial real estate firm CBRE, whose life-science brokerage team helped negotiate the deal.
Century was launched in 2019 by San Francisco-based Versant Ventures in partnership with a cell-therapy unit under Fujifilm Holdings Corp. of Japan and German drugmaker Bayer AG’s venture-capital arm. It is now in another building in the uCity Square complex.
uCity Square is to encompass 6.5 million square feet of retail, residential, office, and lab space on 27 acres owned by developer Wexford Science & Technology LLC and the nonprofit University City Science Center.
In January, Wexford, the Science Center and development partner Ventas Inc. broke ground on a 400,000-square-foot tower at 37th and Warren Streets, southwest of Lancaster Avenue. The space in the building is to be ready for the company in early 2022.
Century was represented in the deal by a CBRE team led by Bob Zwengler, Matthew Knowles and Anthony Pell. The group was recently integrated into the firm’s Boston-based national life-science practice in response to the sector’s growth in the Philadelphia region.
Venture capital funding for the life sciences in Pennsylvania has reached more than $392 million so far this year, according to a new CBRE research report on the sector. That’s more than a four-fold increase over the $87 million invested over the first half of 2019, according to CBRE.