California biotech to invest $45M in Indy, hire 64 people

A California biotech startup that is developing specialty cancer drugs plans to open a research and development site on the northwest side of Indianapolis and hire 64 people.

RayzeBio Inc., a private company founded in 2020 in San Diego, said it will invest $45 million in the building and equipment in an existing warehouse at 5850 W. 80th Street, a former delivery station for e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.

RayzeBio specializes in developing radiopharmaceutical drugs, a new class of cancer drugs that can be injected into a patient in an outpatient clinic and target tumor cells in a more precise manner than chemotherapy.

The company is investing $20 million in the 63,000-square-foot building and plans to spend another $25 million on equipment on equipment, including modular cleanrooms, mechanical systems and a back-up power system.

RayzeBio said the jobs will pay an average of $44 an hour, but estimated that the average hourly wage for employees living in Marion County would be $26.44.

Positions include research scientists, engineers, administrators and warehouse operators.

The company also plans to build a second-floor mezzanine for future growth.

RayzeBio is seeking a tax abatement from Indianapolis worth $857,626 over four years.

The City-County Council’s Metropolitan & Economic Development Committee recently approved the abatement, but it still must be reviewed by the full council. The council has not yet scheduled a vote on the matter.

“We plan to do a significant investment in the property,” Kevin Rosenthal, the company’s Indianapolis site head told the committee last week. “So we are not only giving the entire exterior of the building a facelift, but the entire inside has to be gutted and prepped for radiopharmaceuticals business.”

The company’s website said it is backed by more than $400 million in funding from a broad syndicate of health-care investors, including Acuta Capital, Logos Capital, Vivo Capital and Wellington Management.

The company is led by Dr. Ken Song, president and CEO. He previously was CEO of Metacrine Inc., a maker of therapies for patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases. He led the organization from research to mid-stage clinical development and positioned it to go public.

RayzeBio is the latest radiopharmaceutical startup to pop up in central Indiana, where a cluster of young biotechs and biopharmaceutical company are building facilities for nuclear medicine.

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