PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, a company that is working on products designed to extend the half-life of drugs in the body, has closed its Morrisville office and relocated to Philadelphia.
PhaseBio CEO Christopher Prior said the move made sense because the company's focus has shifted to product development and clinical trials. The company is developing drugs to treat diabetes and hypertension, among other ailments.
The shift required Prior to bring in a new team, which he said he was able to put together quickly in Philadelphia, where he has a network of contacts in the pharmaceutical industry.
"We moved to the greater Philadephia area not because I couldn't do it in North Carolina," he said. "I couldn't do it as quickly."
Prior said the company had downsized in October, and only four people here were let go in the Triangle as part of the move. At its peak, the company had about a dozen employees in the Triangle.
PhaseBio was given new life in December when it raised $25 million in venture capital funding. Its investors include RTP-based Hatteras Venture Partners.
Robert Ingram, vice chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and a partner at Hatteras, is on PhaseBio's board.
PhaseBio had been leasing about 6,000 square feet in the Aerial Center in Morrisville.
Prior said he was able to get a great deal on about 15,000 square feet of space outside Philadelphia that was formally occupied by Centocor Ortho Biotech. Centocor had recently invested $2 million in the space.
"I got it for less than $15 a square foot," Prior said.
Prior said PhaseBio is also looking to partner with some Philadelphia area pharmaceutical companies on product development.
Prior previously founded BioRexis Pharmaceuticals, a firm acquired by Pfizer in 2007.