Company News

Glyphic Biotechnologies Launches Berkeley Expansion

From the story by Sarah Klearman in the San Francisco Business Times.

A Berkeley-grown startup is moving forward with plans to expand its footprint in the city.

Glyphic Biotechnologies, whose Co-founder Josh Yang is pictured, is moving forward with plans to expand into 31,000 square feet at Foundry31. Photo by Stan Olszewski
Glyphic Biotechnologies, whose Co-founder Josh Yang is pictured, is moving forward with plans to expand into 31,000 square feet at Foundry31. Photo by Stan Olszewski for the San Francisco Business Times.

Two-year-old Glyphic Biosciences, which focuses on protein sequencing technologies, filed for a zoning certificate business license at 3100 San Pablo Ave. June 26, Berkeley city records show, shoring up a 31,000-square-foot lease it signed there earlier this year.

Glyphic, founded by two University of California, Berkeley alumni, had been operating out of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub, an incubator for early-stage biotech startups. It was not clear how many square feet Glyphic, which did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday, had been occupying at Bakar.

A source familiar with the firm said it planned to occupy only part of the space at 3100 San Pablo while also listing unspecified quantity of space there for sublease. Still, the move to 3100 San Pablo likely represents a substantial expansion: In total, the incubator at Bakar offers some 40,000 square feet lab space to its roster of startups, and available lab suites range in size from 144 square feet to 1,100 square feet, according to its website.

3100 San Pablo, known as Foundry31, is home to other research and development users, public records show. Building owner Oxford Properties, which purchased the former factory space from Irvine-based LBA Realty in 2021 for roughly $170 million, said it planned to convert a fourth of the 400,000-square-foot Foundry31 to life sciences space. At the time, that 100,000 square feet was sitting vacant; it was not clear how much space in the building remained available Tuesday, though Glyphic will join Arcadia Biosciences, another startup that signed for a little more than 22,000 square feet at Foundry31 in the final quarter of last year.

Cresa represented Glyphic in the deal; Newmark represented Oxford. Terms of Glyphic’s lease and additional details about the space it is listing for sublease were not available Tuesday.

The startup said in its business license application that the move to 3100 San Pablo would enhance Berkeley’s reputation as “a center for scientific innovation,” something the city has been working to cement over the last year or so. Berkeley City Councilmembers last fall signaled their unanimous interest in the Keep Innovation in Berkeley initiative, which outlined strategies to grow Berkeley’s biotech industry.

The city had historically been hesitant to embrace biotech, and that hesitancy spawned inflexible zoning codes that made it difficult for Berkeley-born startups — of which, thanks in part to UC Berkeley, there are many — to operate in the city once they matured and began requiring larger swaths of lab and research and development space.

Berkeley City Councilmember Rigel Robinson, who introduced the initiative in September of 2022, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday. He said last fall it was too early to establish a timeline for implementing the various steps suggested by the initiative, which will require City Council approval.

The majority of Berkeley’s existing lab and research and development space is clustered in West Berkeley, where 3100 San Pablo sits. Glyphic’s zoning certificate business license application for the property is under review.