Austin pharma company grabs prime office, lab space near UT campus

Mar 18, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Xeris Pharmaceuticals has moved into some prime downtown Austin space on Red River Street that company executives say is perfect for the growing company


“It was challenging because we needed Class A office space combined with state-of-the-art labs, which is almost impossible to find in Austin,” Yash Sabharwal, chief financial officer and chief operating officer for Xeris, told Austin Business Journal


The company, which is developing quick delivery platforms for lifesaving drugs, formally began in the Austin Technology Incubator in 2011, but eventually needed dedicated wet lab space. At first, the only option company executives could find was space in Georgetown — which they said wasn’t ideal for a number of reasons


Enter Drawbridge Realty Trust, a San Francisco real estate investment and management company with a strong interest in acquiring research and development and life sciences buildings. The company purchased several buildings in Austin in the past two years, many housing biotech firms


Drawbridge also purchased a more conventional office building at 3208 Red River St. but was willing to finance the buildout of wet lab space on site for Xeris


Xeris contracted for about 7,000 square feet on the top floor of the building on Red River with about 45 percent of that area dedicated to lab space. The other two floors in the building are occupied by the executive offices of the YMCA of Austin


The location is just northeast of the University of Texas campus and down the street from St. David’s Medical Center. The site is perfect, according to the company


Xeris is privately held and doesn’t disclose financials. The company — with nine full-time employees and five independent contractors — has raised about $12.3 million so far. Its products are undergoing clinical trials, and the company is projecting approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016


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