Rejuvenate Bio Finds a Home in Sorrento Valley
LIFE SCIENCE: Epigenetics Pioneer Shaping Future of Drug Discovery
Rejuvenate Bio, a rapidly growing life science company that focuses on eliminating age-related diseases and infirmities, has moved into a former Sorrento Valley office building that was renovated to meet the company’s needs.
Formed in 2018 by two former students at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Rejuvenate leased the 15,000-square-foot building at 3560 Dunhill St. that was acquired in 2021 by Sterling Bay and Harrison Street in a $31.3 million deal that included three buildings.
“The launch of our new office in this leading biotech hub allows us to aggressively pursue our business development and leverage the talent and expertise San Diego offers, said Rejuvenate CEO Daniel Oliver, who founded the company in San Diego along with Chief Scientific Officer Noah Davidsohn.
“We have a lot of people that came directly from UCSD (University of California, San Diego) to work for us that have been awesome employees,” Oliver said.
The company is a spinout of George Church’s lab at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Church is a renowned geneticist and professor of genetics at Harvard.
When Oliver and Davidsohn started Rejuvenate, Oliver said it was just the two of them using rented bench space. Since then, the company has grown to have a staff of 40 and Oliver said that he expects to add another 10 to 20 people within the next two years.
“We continue to hire up and down the board,” Oliver said.
Rejuvenate is developing a pipeline of therapies with applications in cardiac and meta bolic disease.
“As a pioneer in epigenetics and gene therapies that target the core drivers of chronic age-related diseases, our team is developing a pipeline to reverse pre-existing heart disease, metabolic disease, and kidney failure in humans,” Davidsohn said. “This new office will enable us to expand our team and shape the next generation of drug discovery and development in gene therapies driven by epigenetic reprograming.”
Epigenetics is an emerging area of scientific research that shows how environmental influences affect the expression of genes.
Oliver said he pushed for making San Diego the company’s home over Boston and San Francisco, the two biggest life science hubs in the U.S.
“We were looking at the West Coast and we were evaluating both San Francisco and San Diego,” Oliver said.
Talking with leaders of other companies involved in genetics, Oliver said that he and Davidsohn learned that many of the people they wanted to hire were working remotely from San Francisco for companies based in San Diego.
“It made me think, maybe there was an opportunity to be in San Diego,” Oliver said. “Not everyone wants to come here but people who want to come here are super motivated.”
They chose Sorrento Valley because it was close to Torrey Pines, which is the heart of San Diego’s life science scene but less expensive.
“This is cost effective but we still feel like we’re in the midst of everything. I’m literally looking up at Torrey Pines from my office but we’re not paying those prices,” Oliver said.
The Sorrento Valley building they leased was essentially gutted.
The building is evenly divided with about half the space used for labs and half for offices. There’s also a 500-square-foot patio with a trellis.
Renovations included adding storefront glass to replace roll-up doors in the lab portion of the building, installing about 40 work benches and bringing in “multiple pieces of equipment” Oliver said.
The lab areas includes two support rooms, a new vacuum and air compressor system, and a new emergency power generation
Interior colors with white walls and blue and green accents reflect those of the company’s logo.
Oliver said that the office side of the building has two private offices, two shared offices and conference rooms with most of the space designed in an open floor plan, although everyone has their own.
“There are no cubicles. People have little dividers,” Oliver said. “I get an office. This is my first office.”