Assembly Biosciences moves HQ from Carmel to California

Assembly Biosciences Inc., an eight-year-old biotech startup developing treatments for hepatitis B and other diseases, has moved its corporate headquarters from Carmel to the San Francisco area.

The publicly traded company disclosed the move in a short statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 1. The company did not say how many people work at the new location, at 331 Oyster Point Blvd. in South San Francisco. Nor did it issue a press release or make any public announcement about the move.

In its filing, Assembly Biosciences said it expects to continue maintaining an office in Carmel for a “period of time.” According to its 2018 annual report, the company’s lease on office space at 11711 N. Meridian St. in Carmel expires in August 2023.

About 90 people work for the company, according to its annual report. It’s unclear how many remain in Carmel, which has served as administrative base for the company.

The company’s research and development “and the majority of our employees have always been in the San Francisco Bay area,” company spokeswoman Lauren Glaser said in an email to IBJ. She said as the company continues to grow, “it makes the most sense to officially change our HQ.”

The move comes about five months after Assembly Biosciences brought in a new CEO, Dr. John McHutchison, to replace Derek Small, who had served as president and CEO since 2015 and was a co-founder of the company, along with Adam Zlotnick, a chemistry professor at Indiana University. Small, who graduated from Franklin College, remains a member of the company’s board and serves as senior adviser, and returned as managing director of his venture creation firm, Luson Bioventures.

McHutchison previously served as chief scientific officer and head of research and development at Gilead Sciences, based in Foster City, California, just south of San Francisco.

Assembly Biosciences has yet to launch a product, and last year lost $90.7 million. In December, the company raised $143.7 million by selling an additional 6.3 million shares.

The company’s lead pipeline product is a treatment for hepatitis B, a disease that affects 250 million people worldwide and causes 1 million deaths annually. It is also developing treatment for various gastrointestinal disorders.

The company’s stock, which had soared as high as $56.59 last year, is now trading at about $20.

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