Carmel Valley Biotech
From the UT: To life science professionals, Torrey Pines and Sorrento Valley, the ZIP codes 92037 and 92121 signify the old core of San Diego’s biotechnology industry, right next to the academic institutions that spawned it in the late 1970s.
To the north, 92130 represents biotech’s emerging hub of Carmel Valley. It shows life science with a different face, not only geographically but in terms of business style. There’s less proximity to academia but greater closeness to the professional service firms biotech and related life sciences companies need, including law and venture capital firms located along High Bluff Drive and El Camino Real.
So while Carmel Valley doesn’t offer the Torrey Pines Mesa experience of a chance meeting with an academic researcher whose lab is across the street, it’s quite efficient at bringing together all the pieces a biotech company needs to grow. And as biotech (and other technology sectors) kept expanding in San Diego, its growth became inevitable.
It began with the high-profile move of Neurocrine Biosciences, said Joe Panetta, chief executive of the San Diego-based Biocom. a life science trade group. Neurocrine moved its 400 employees from Sorrento Valley to its new 200,000 square-foot building in 2004.
“For a long time, we’ve talked about Carmel Valley as being geographically the next step north for the industry,” Panetta said.
Biotech employees also find the area to be a great place to live, said Panetta, a Carmel Valley resident.
“Many of these people have children, and the school systems between Del Mar and San Dieguito, Torrey Pines, are excellent, and that’s always been important to people in the biotech industry,” Panetta said. “They want to be located in a place where (a) they can live close to work, and (b) they have access to the best schools.”
Biocom says about 60 of its members sport 92130 addresses. A few of these companies have market values above $1 billion, namely Volcano Corp. ($1.5 billion), which moved here from Rancho Cordova in 2008; and CareFusion Corp., ($5.9 billion), spun off from Cardinal Health in 2009.
The ZIP code has about 4.4 million square feet of office space with a vacancy rate of 15.1 percent and an average lease rate of $3.55 a square foot, according to a second quarter report from Cushman & Wakefield.
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