Biotech company opens on waterfront

SEAN HORGAN/Staff photo/LifeMine, a biotechnology company, is joining the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute at its waterfront headquarters at 417 Main St.

LifeMine, a biotechnology company scouring the Earth's biosphere to help create new drugs and medicines, has become the second tenant in the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute waterfront headquarters.

The company, which also has a presence in Cambridge, is occupying the entire second floor of the building at 417 Main St., taking 7,500 square feet of predominantly laboratory space, according Jim Halliday, president of NB Development Group.

"This is part of the commitment to bring life sciences to Gloucester," Halliday said Thursday. "LifeMine will help anchor the building with GMGI, creating even more opportunities to bring life sciences to the harbor and developing synergies with GMGI, as well. It's a good match across the board." 

The site and building are owned by local entrepreneur Sheree Zizik — one of GMGI's four founders and the driving force behind the Beauport Hotel Gloucester and Cruiseport Gloucester — and New Balance Chairman Jim Davis through their Back Shore LLC partnership. NB Development Group is the real estate arm of New Balance.

The two biotech companies already have one central element in common: biotech entrepreneur Gregory Verdine.

Verdine, another of the four founders of GMGI in 2013, also is the intellectual force and founder of LifeMine.

"This is the culmination of 15 years work on my part to bring a biotech company to Gloucester," Verdine wrote in an email.

From the day it was planned, the owners and the city envisioned the site and its standing facility as a potential catalyst — as well as a magnet for other biotech companies — in the transition of the city's waterfront to marine disciplines and businesses to supplement Gloucester historic commercial fishing and processing industries.

The GMGI headquarters, which sits across the harbor's North Channel from the Everett R. Jodrey State Fish Pier, officially opened in late October 2018, when Gov. Charlie Baker traveled to Gloucester to do the honors.

GMGI occupies about 6,000 square feet of laboratory and administrative space on the first floor of the striking red building developed for Back Shore LLC by Windover Construction. Halliday said about 5,000 square feet of leasable space remains on the first floor.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

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