SAN DIEGO-Sequenom Inc., a fast-growing biotech firm, has signed a $65-million office lease—the biggest this area has seen all year and one of the largest in the county’s history.

The 15-year pact is for 82,500 sf at the hot Torrey Pines ScienceCenter in Del Mar Heights. Barely a year ago, Peregrine Systems signed a$175 million deal for 420,000 sf in Del Mar Heights in the single-largestdeal in San Diego County history.

The biotech firm is expected to move next month from smaller quarters inSorrento Valley to the new building, built on spec by Slough Estates USA.Burnham Real Estate Services, which did the Peregrine deal, repped Sequenomin the lease. Burnham brokers also represented Slough Estates.

San Diego-based Sequenom specializes in using information from maps ofthe human genome to develop real-life applications. Although still aresearch and development company, the strides in mapping the human gene haveset the stage for the industry to experience what Toni Schuh, the firm’s president and CEO, predicts will be “explosive growth.”

San Diego County is a hotbed of biotech activity, in part because its universities are involved in various research projects and the schools churn out thousands of top-notch graduates every year.

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