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Decibel Therapeutics

Greater Boston

T3 has worked tirelessly for newly funded Decibel Therapeutics, locating, negotiating, and helping design a creative lab and office space for the company in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Our work with Decibel has led to substantial cost savings for the company and a more collaborative, productive, and satisfied team.

T3 Services Provided:

The Challenge

Thanks to a large round of venture financing, Decibel was ready to expand its science efforts and grow its team. The company’s new CEO was determined to build an exceptional culture and office environment—one that would help tell its story as it worked to develop the first therapeutics for hearing loss. But its home base in Cambridge’s Kendall Square—one of the world’s most expensive lab markets—made it difficult for the company to execute on this vision.

We were overpaying for crappy facilities in Cambridge. We were a 30-person company crammed into three distinct, small locations spread throughout one building. So, it felt very disjointed and didn’t really feel like a unified team.

John Keilty, Chief Data Sciences Officer and Director of Operations, Decibel Therapeutics

Our Approach

We were introduced to Decibel by venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures, who challenged the Decibel team to rethink the traditional Kendall-Square-only real estate strategy that had become the norm for companies in the life sciences space.

After working with the Decibel team to define its vision and goals for its new home, the T3 team spent the next six months speaking to dozens of major landlords throughout Greater Boston to assess creative lab and office space opportunities.

The team identified a beautiful new space in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood—from developer Samuels & Associates—that seemed ideal, except that it was located in an office building not built to support laboratory requirements.

Working with outside vendors and consultants, we managed a complicated analysis of the space to determine if it could indeed be converted to lab space.

Squeezing a lab into what was originally office space is no small feat. So it was out-of-the-box for T3 to come in and even propose this space with that amount of vision.

John Keilty, Chief Data Sciences Officer and Director of Operations, Decibel Therapeutics

After the analysis, the team at Samuels worked with Decibel and T3 to convert one floor of the new office building into lab space. The conversion was a complicated process, and the deal almost fell through several times due to unforeseen mechanical, HVAC, and other lab-specific challenges.

But thanks to T3’s credibility and deep experience in the life sciences community, we were able to advocate aggressively on behalf of Decibel and assure the Samuels team that by completing the conversion and dipping their toe into the life sciences sector, they would ultimately create greater long-term value for the company’s portfolio.


The Result

Decibel’s office and lab space in Fenway has allowed the team to grow comfortably, placed the company close to key business and institution partners, and resulted in a significant cost savings through reduced rent. The move has allowed Decibel to:

  1. Save approximately 30% on rent in comparison to the Cambridge market and grow its team comfortably.
  2. Provide high-quality neighborhood amenities to its current and future employees, including public transportation and ample dining options.
  3. Remain close to Boston-area hospitals, universities, and other business and institutional partners.
  4. Be closer to its lead investment partner, Third Rock Ventures.

The space and move to Fenway really reflects our pioneering spirit. And it’s added value to our company, not just because the ROI on the space was good relative to Cambridge, but because it adds value to us and our ability to recruit, our ability to keep our team excited in ways that I personally didn’t anticipate.

John Keilty, Chief Data Sciences Officer and Director of Operations, Decibel Therapeutics

About Decibel Therapeutics

Decibel Therapeutics has established the world’s first comprehensive drug discovery, development, and translational research platform to discover and develop the first therapeutics to protect, repair, and restore hearing. To serve the over half billion people globally living with hearing loss and related disorders, Decibel is committed to creating a world in which the benefits and joys of hearing are available to all. Decibel is headquartered in Boston, Mass.

Meet some of the team who supported this project: