Vacant Rubius property generating interest after 1 year on market

THE PROPERTY that formerly hosted Rubius Therapeutics on Technology Way in Smithfield remains on the market more than one year after its acquisition by a Boston-based firm, but it has attracted "strong interest," the firm says. Pictured are Rubius staff members working in the lab. / PBN FILE PHOTO

SMITHFIELD – Despite remaining vacant one year after its purchase by Boston-based The Davis Cos., the former Rubius Therapeutics facility in Smithfield has attracted “strong interest,” the firm says.

Rubius, once viewed by Rhode Island officials as a promising biotechnology startup, sold its 100 Technology Way facility and shuttered operations in its Cambridge, Mass., headquarters in early 2023. The company, founded in 2013, sought to develop red cell therapeutics to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Since its closure and acquisition, the facility – which the property listing describes as containing “extensive in-lab infrastructure and $49 million of equipment” – has sat vacant as Rhode Island life sciences leaders push for more in-state facilities that can support life sciences infrastructure.

The Davis Cos. leadership says this timeline isn’t cause for alarm.

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In a statement sent to Providence Business News, Jon Needham, senior vice president of asset management for science and technology at The Davis Cos., said that the company has fielded “strong interest in 100 Technology Way due to its extensive in-place infrastructure, which allows future tenants to achieve greater speed to market, and its location, within reach of a highly educated talent pool.”

The 122,507-square-foot building covers 19.3 acres, according to its listing. The listing does not specify a purchase price but describes it as “deeply discounted.”

Neil D. Steinberg, board chairperson of the R.I. Life Sciences Hub, said that as of late March, the organization does not have additional information on plans for the property.

Matt Touchette, a spokesperson for the R.I. Commerce Corp., did not comment specifically on the former Rubius facility upon a PBN request but said that R.I. Commerce continues to work “in collaboration with the newly formed Life Sciences Hub on attracting new talent in this space, from both in state and out of state, that can utilize existing and future wet lab space across Rhode Island.”

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.

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