Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Contact: Kristen Boyd

May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019, JUPITER, FLA - The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB), in cooperation with the Town of Jupiter and Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, is pleased to announce that Expansion Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on advancing transformative medicines to patients with RNA-mediated diseases, is progressing its business development plans in Jupiter. The company received expedited permitting assistance to help solidify its presence in Palm Beach County and the local biotech community. The company will focus on employee growth and will occupy over 5000 sq. ft. at its new facility located at 555 Heritage Drive.

Expansion Therapeutics is one of The Scripps Research Institute Florida’s largest spin-off companies and was founded on pioneering work from the lab of Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D. Expansion’s pipeline is focused on the development of small molecule drugs targeting key human disease-driving RNAs with an initial focus on expansion repeat disorders, a set of approximately 30 genetic diseases that currently have no satisfactory treatments. One of the lead disease focuses is myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), the most frequent cause of adult onset muscular dystrophy.

“With its new location in Jupiter, Expansion Therapeutics will not only bring new discoveries to the world, but will create opportunities for local scientists and students in our community,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board.

The company has exclusive worldwide rights to groundbreaking research and intellectual property from The Disney Lab at The Scripps Research Institute, the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Disney who is the leader in the field of small molecule targeting of RNA. Dr. Disney has received numerous awards such as:

  • NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
  • Blavatnik Young Investigator Award in Chemistry National Finalist
  • The Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award
  • Camille & Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award
  • The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award
  • The University at Buffalo Exceptional Scholar Young Investigator Award
  • Eli Lily Award in Biological Chemistry from the American Chemical Society
  • David W. Robertson Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry from the American Chemical Society
  • David Y. Gin New Investigator Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry from the American Chemical Society

“We founded Expansion because we are passionate about and committed to discovering and developing novel medicines for patients with RNA-mediated diseases, such as myotonic dystrophy, that currently have no viable therapies,” said Dr. Disney. “There is no better place to get this work done than in Jupiter and at the Scripps Research Institute, which represents the pulse of Florida’s life sciences industry. We have a strong commitment and ties to the local biotech community and we look forward to continuing with our growth and development plans.”

“It’s rewarding to see a company like Expansion Therapeutics realize the vision of the bioscience community in Northern Palm Beach County and Jupiter.  Expansion Therapeutics is a perfect example of the spin-off model we always envisioned when the Scripps Research Institute located in Jupiter, and their growth is evidence of how successful this model can be.  We look forward to their continued success and contributions in Jupiter and world-wide,” said Town of Jupiter Mayor Todd Wodraska.  



About Expansion Therapeutics: Expansion Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company pursuing the vast potential of small molecule medicines for RNA-mediated diseases. Based on exclusive worldwide rights to groundbreaking research from the laboratory of Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D., at The Scripps Research Institute, Expansion has assembled the intellectual property, know-how, and proprietary enabling technologies and tools necessary to facilitate the creation of potent and specific small molecule binders of RNA. Through this unique platform, Expansion is building a portfolio of novel RNA-targeted drug candidates with activity across a broad number of disease indications. The company’s initial development focus is on therapies for patients with expansion repeat diseases who currently have limited and unsatisfactory treatment options. Expansion is based in San Diego, California and Jupiter, Florida.

About the BDB: The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida.  Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, our primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,822 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $69,062, resulting in more than $777 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $6.87 billion.  Additional information can be found at the BDB’s web site, BDB.org, and LifeHelix.org.

About the Town of Jupiter: Jupiter, Florida is located in the northeast corner of Palm Beach County, between Miami and Orlando. A coastal community that celebrates its history and heritage, Jupiter maintains a small-town feel and sense of community that is unique in South Florida. By keeping a watchful eye on development and managing growth, Jupiter has successfully avoided many of the challenges facing South Florida communities today. Residential and economic growth – such as that fueled by the life sciences industry – provides new opportunities that are a good match for Jupiter’s character and sense of place.



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