A Home in the North Bay for Ultragenyx

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. is a Novato-based public company committed to developing treatments for rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases. The Ultragenyx team secured a $2.1 million tax credit from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, with help from the North Bay Life Science Alliance.

“Awareness is key. Without the North Bay Life Science Alliance we might not have even heard about the opportunity,” said Shalini Sharp, Chief Financial Officer of Ultragenyx. Two North Bay life science companies, including Ultragenyx, became recipients of the initial tax awards. Ultragenyx plans to use the $2.1 million credit to hire additional highly skilled employees.

Securing a multi-million dollar California Competes Tax Credit isn’t the only success for Ultragenyx this year. In January, the company completed its initial public offering. Sharp praised the community for its support during this year of growth.

“We feel that we actually matter to the North Bay community. In other areas, we might have been one of many life sciences companies going through a growth and expansion phase. The work of the North Bay Life Science Alliance isn’t solely focused on recruiting new companies, but also supporting existing companies.”

Community support also includes close proximity and easy access to a world-class academic institution. Ultragenyx has found that in the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato. “The Buck is a great advantage for life science companies in the North Bay. We have leased lab space from their institution and the professionals in the community have a lot to do with the attraction of the internationally renowned Buck.”

Ultragenyx established in 2010 in Novato and has never considered leaving the region. “Many of our employees live in Marin County. For those who live in San Francisco, our offices in Novato are only 25 minutes away, and we have people who commute from the East Bay and South Bay as well. Living and working in the North Bay provides great weather, natural beauty and great public schools. There is a high quality of life and an educated workforce. The dedication to education and a highly educated work force is important to our industry, as we recruit at the PhD and MD levels,” concluded Sharp.