Alexandria Bringing Eli Lilly’s Gateway Labs to San Diego


Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company and life sciences developer Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) are expanding their partnership and bringing their incubator platform  Gateway Labs to San Diego. 

Lilly and Alexandria launched the model in 2019 to accelerate the development of early-stage life sciences firms and to speed the discovery of innovative medicines. Participating companies — such as research institutes, universities and small biotech firms — gain access to flex lab space, as well as to Lilly’s scientists, researchers and executives, and access to capital through Lilly and its venture network, including Alexandria Venture Investments

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The new Gateway Labs site is expected to open in the first half of 2024 at Alexandria’s University Town Center campus with nearly 62,000 square feet of rentable lab space, as well as open workstations, open collaboration areas, core equipment, and fitness amenities. Lilly Gateway Labs San Diego will be able to accommodate 10 companies and more than 120 biotech and Lilly employees. It will be the company’s third Gateway Labs location, with additional sites in San Francisco and Boston, which were also developed by Alexandria.

San Diego is one of the country’s top life sciences clusters and the home to 525 such companies as well as a concentration of research institutions. Over the past five years, the amount of venture capital invested in San Diego-based biotech companies increased threefold compared with the previous five years, according to Alexandria.

“San Diego is home to a thriving life science community, and we’re excited to provide Lilly’s scientific expertise to small biotechs in the area as they work to discover life-changing medicines for people who need them,” Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in a statement.

Lilly and Alexandria began their partnership in 2008, and it now includes two Gateway Labs locations in South San Francisco, as well as the upcoming opening of Gateway Labs at the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine at the 15 Necco development in Boston.

Alexandria planted its flag in San Diego nearly 30 years ago with the acquisition of its first laboratory building in Torrey Pines, and the market footprint has grown to 14.6 million square feet of space for life sciences companies. 

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at