Colliers International recently structured a lease for Cellectis, a Paris based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, to create an 82,000 square foot commercial-scale manufacturing facility named IMPACT (Innovative Manufacturing Plant for Allogeneic Cellular Therapies) in Raleigh, North Carolina, for clinical and commercial production of Cellectis’ leading allogeneic UCART products.
With products in clinical trials, the Cellectis team was under time pressure to identify and build out a US manufacturing plant that would enable them to meet their manufacturing and marketing timeline. The search was limited to the East Coast to enable easy access to Paris. Key factors informing the search were depth of skilled workforce, cost of living, suitable building configuration and infrastructure, economic incentives and proximity to an international airport.
It quickly became clear that the inventory of Class A buildings that could meet the defined requirement was very limited in the markets under consideration. Even more challenging was the need to find buildings with a Landlord that understood the challenges and complexity of a clinical trial stage tenant, including credit/funding risk, clinical trial risk, production risk and extensive tenant improvement and equipment capital requirements.
Ultimately, after consideration of a short list of alternatives, the Colliers International team, led by Mike Brown and Joe Fetterman selected a well located 82,000 SF single tenant flex building in Raleigh, NC, with well-funded ownership capable of providing sufficient improvement dollars and structuring the necessary flexibility to allow for the operating requirements of the Tenant. This coupled with State and local economic incentives, skilled workforce and affordable cost of living made this an ideal solution for Cellectis.
"We engaged Colliers International to identify an existing building for Cellectis to lease for the manufacturing of our UCART therapy in the United States. We were looking to find a building that could accommodate our extensive short -term infrastructure requirements as well as allow for potential future expansion needs. With a tight real estate market, our choices were limited, particularly since we needed a landlord that could contribute to our improvement costs and who understood the financial profile of a biopharmaceutical company in clinical stage.
Joe Fetterman and Mike Brown, working with their colleague Baxter Walker in Raleigh, identified an ideal site and successfully negotiated lease terms that provided us the protection and flexibility we required. While there were many challenges throughout the process, Colliers always found a solution and ultimately secured a lease in an ideal building in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the implementation of our US manufacturing operations."
EVP Technical Operations