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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, June 16, 2014, 6:55 am

Rapidly growing BioCision to expand to San Rafael

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    SAN RAFAEL – BioCision, a medical storage device startup based in Larkspur, has leased more than 11,000 square feet in San Rafael and plans to relocate in August, more than doubling its current space that will accommodate the company’s rapid growth.

    The company, started in 2007, has seen its products that seek to improve biomaterial handling and standardization meet a significant demand, while revenues have grown by 100 percent over the past year, according to Hugh Douglas, chief operating officer. BioCision does not disclose its revenues.

    “Since we’re doubling growth every year, we needed to find a place we can grow with over the next five years,” he said. “We went over 100 percent growth and we planned 100 percent growth this year. The company is kind of making a splash in the industry.”

    To that end, BioCision has had a busy 2014 so far, including landing a $4 million line of equity from Massachusetts-based Brooks Automation in March, along with its products being used tin a phase llb clinical trial conducted by TxCell, a French biotech company that specializes in developing cell-based therapies for chronic inflammatory disease.  It will use BioCision’s CoolCell passive freezing device.

    The company specializes in both biomedical and medical device storage, which if done improperly can be costly. Mr. Douglas said the company so far has little competition and has made significant inroads with several major biomedical companies. They include Genentech, Novartis, Roche, Gilead Sciences, Harvard and Stanford universities and the National Institutes of Health, all of whom were among early customers of BioCision’s temperature management and organization systems.

    The company’s cell-freezing products and other storage devices “really help improve some innovations in pharmaceutical and medical products,” Mr. Douglas said, adding: “We really hit the sweet spot to help companies and research labs. Everything is consistent.”

    Mr. Douglas said several major distributors have picked up the company’s products, and that several new developments are under way.

    “We’re hiring more employees and launching a bunch of new products,” he said.

    BioCision has about 30 full-time employees and plans to hire around 10 or 12 newcomers upon expansion.  The company employees a good deal of independent contractors and consultants, which Mr. Douglas said helps keep BioCision “very efficient” and careful not to overextend itself.  

    “We’re very flexible and can ramp up quickly. That’s the model we use,” Mr. Douglas said.

    BioCision’s expansion comes as the North Bay life sciences sector and economic development officials are undertaking efforts to build a strong cluster of such companies across the North Bay. Marin County itself is home to more than 200 such companies.

    Peter Gettner and Mark Cooper of HL Commercial Real Estate represented BioCision in the lease. The landlord, Donald Tornberg, was represented by Jerry Suyderhoud and Mac Cranford of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight.

    The new space is at 101 Glacier Point East. BioCision has a small office of about 2,200 square feet in Menlo Park, which will remain in the South Bay. The company’s CEO is Rolf Ehrhardt, M.D., Ph.D.

    More information can be found at www.biocision.com

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