Monday, September 24, 2012

Swiss Drug Giant Picks Manhattan for Research Site

What New Jersey loses, New York City gains, at least in part. Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, will establish a new research facility in the Alexandria Center for Life Science, at 29th Street and First Avenue in Manhattan. The new research center will take on some of the former responsibilities of its big New Jersey campus. Roche anticipates moving its team to the 421,000 square foot West Tower, when it is completed in December 2013. 

Roche announced in June that it would shut its Nutley, New Jersey site, where the tranquilizer Valium was invented more than 50 years ago, as part of a cost-cutting effort that would eliminate about 1,000 jobs.

At the time, the company said it would open a new translational clinical research center somewhere on the East Coast. The decision by Roche is a coup in New York City’s efforts to develop a life sciences and biotechnology hub.

Translational research provides a bridge between basic research and clinical practice. The research center would coordinate the early clinical trials of experimental drugs developed by Roche in Europe. Roche will move 200 people from Nutley to work at the new site.

New York and New Jersey both competed for the new site. The move will create more than 600 new jobs in Manhattan. As a concession, Roche said it would keep 50 management-level positions in northern New Jersey.

Roche said it chose the new location in part because of its proximity to leading academic medical centers. It said it had taken an 11-year lease on the property and anticipated moving staff members there at the end of 2013.

The TCRC will be the mission-critical presence for Roche Pharma Research and Early Development in the United States.

Located in the East Side Medical Corridor, the Alexandria Center for Life Science will provide Roche with adjacency to New York City's nine academic medical centers and its ongoing clinical trials in an environment purposely built for life science collaboration and innovation.

Roche's decision to relocate to New York City will allow its TCRC to build upon its connections to key stakeholders in the U.S., maintain interactions with the Food and Drug Administration, and enhance collaborations with U.S.-based partners.

Employees of the TCRC will be responsible for leading early development programs and clinical trials, as well as developing strategy and implementing translational research programs focused on disease understanding and the development of potential new medicines.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. developed the Alexandria Center for Life Science in a relationship with the City and State of New York, to become the commercial destination in New York City for life science entities to translate innovative discoveries into breakthrough products for patients with significant unmet medical needs.

The first phase of development, which included the LEED Gold Certified, 308,000 square foot 15-story East Tower, opened in December 2010 and is fully leased.

Some Alexandria Center research clients include:
  • Eli Lilly
  • Kadmon Pharmaceuticals
  • New York University
  • Pfizer 
  • The East Tower features a variety of creative environments designed to foster life science convergence including Apella, a digital conference center and event space; two culinary establishments – Riverpark, a Tom Colicchio Restaurant, and Witchcraft  Sandwich shop; a fully equipped fitness center; an onsite parking garage and shuttle with transportation to and from Penn Station; and a one-acre riverfront plaza.

    With the completion of the West Tower, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. will have completed approximately 729,000 square feet of laboratory/office space in New York City for life science entities to translate innovative discoveries into safe and effective products that save lives and manage disease.

    Roche is the world's largest biotech company. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide, invested over $9 billion in research and development, and posted sales of over $47.8 billion.