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Outpace Bio expands cell therapy R&D, nets research collaborations in Seattle

May 26, 2023

Written by Tyler Patchen

The biotech announced Tuesday that it secured a new facility in a 23,000-square-foot space in Seattle’s Dexter Yard to house the company’s R&D efforts. The company now has 53 employees and has grown from a platform company to a pipeline and platform company, both of which require growth and more space, according to Outpace CEO Marc Lajoie in an interview with Endpoints News.

“We needed the space to be able to fit all of our awesome team members and all of our equipment. And this space is kind of like the perfect fit for us right now [in] that it gives us plenty of space to operate right now and a little bit of space for growth in the future,” Lajoie said.

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The facility brings the entire company under one roof rather than being spread across the city, which is relatively common for Seattle biotechs. While the building is largely dedicated to Outpace’s R&D efforts, Lajoie said there’s an area that could house process development capabilities, though the company is not looking to dive into any major cell manufacturing efforts.

“Outpace is pretty laser-focused on solving efficacy and safety, which we truly really think are the two key barriers to curative T-cell therapies for cancer,” Lajoie said.

Now that Outpace is in its new space, Lajoie said that the biotech will be doing some in vivo studies that will hopefully develop into its first internal program. The hope is to develop multiple efficacy modules that can fit into the same vector that can be used to deliver a CAR-T therapy. Lajoie said that it is “putting the bow” on these first modules and hope to have a product advance in 2025.

The biotech also announced two local research collaborations with David Baker, the director of the University of Washington Medicine Institute for Protein Design, and Stan Riddell, endowed chair in immunotherapy at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

According to a release, the University of Washington collaboration will allow Outpace to gain access to machine-learning algorithms for protein design, while Fred Hutch will give Outpace a chance to research the mechanism of action and efficacy of its cell therapies.

Tyler Patchen
News Reporter
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