BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ-Just three years ago, the biopharmaceutical company Genta Inc. signed a lease for 12,000 sf at Connell Corporate Center here, and subsequently increased its space to 24,000 sf. Now, the company has added 69,000 sf to its occupancy, bringing its total space to some 93,000 sf, according to Gregg Siefert, Genta’s senior director for human resources.

The company, which specializes in the development of anticancer therapies, is based at Two Connell Dr., a 343,000-sf class A building within Connell Corporate Center. The latest transaction was arranged for the tenant by Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, East Rutherford, which also arranged “our first lease in New Jersey in 2000,” according to Siefert. “Since that time, the partnership has continued.”

Two Connell Dr. is part of what is currently the four-building, 1.3 million-sf Connell Corporate Center, owned and managed by the locally based Connell Co. through its Connell Realty and Development subsidiary. The 170-acre site in suburban Union County has a build-out capacity of six class A buildings totaling 1.75 million sf, with a fifth building currently under construction, according to Connell officials.

Senior director Jeff Heller of C&W has been in charge of taking care of Genta’s ongoing space needs, according to Siefert, including “getting us established in a class A office building with the appropriate infrastructure and R&D permissible zoning.” The company’s expansion was aided, initially, by a Business Employment Incentive Program grant from the New Jersey Commerce & Economic Growth Commission, according to Siefert.

Founded in the late ’80s, Genta has an anticancer product portfolio whose research platform is anchored by oligonucleotide chemistry, particularly applications of antisense and decoy aptamer technology. Genasense, the company’s lead compound, has received fast track and “orphan drug” designation for the FDA and is currently undergoing late-stage, phase three clinical testing.

For its part, C&W recently established the Technology Enterprise Group, which is geared specifically toward providing real estate services for organizations looking to develop R&D and related facilities in the Garden State. The company recently brought former New Jersey Commerce secretary Gil Medina on board to head the program.

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