AstraZeneca raising profile in Bay Area
- AstraZeneca announced Wednesday morning that it has opened a new facility in South San Francisco, at the Cove at Oyster Point.
- The facility will combine Bay Area employees from Acerta Pharma, MedImmune, Pearl Therapeutics and AstraZeneca’s TIDE (Technology Innovation & Delivery Excellence) group.
- "The opening of our South San Francisco site is a milestone for AstraZeneca, enabling talent from four organizations to work side-by-side at the center of where biotechnology and high-tech industry intersects. This is a demonstration of our commitment to a strong and visible presence in California," said AstraZeneca Chief Medical Officer Sean Bohen in a statement.
AstraZeneca's main U.S. commercial specialty care business is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, home to its MedImmune campus where more than 3,000 of AstraZeneca's employees work.
But 400 Bay Area employees began moving into the new site in South San Francisco in the fourth quarter of 2017. The facility was initially announced in 2016.
AstraZeneca has a majority equity stake in Acerta Pharma, which focuses on treatments for blood cancers, while Pearl Therapeutics is a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca following an acquisition in 2013 — both were previously located in Redwood City, California.
ZS Pharma, which the British pharma acquired in 2015 for $2.7 billion, was located in San Mateo, California, but chose not to move to the new location. AstraZeneca transitioned the Renal-Cardio Therapy Area to Wilmington, DE., instead, as of Jan. 1.
MedImmune employees will be transitioning from a site in Mountain View, California.
In recent years, biotech and pharmas have pushed real estate prices up in both the Bay Area and the area surrounding Boston, the other major biotech hub.
A December report from California Life Sciences Association and PwC claims more venture capital flooded into the West Coast state during the first half of 2017, totaling $6.6 billion — more than double the investment seen in Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, a report from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council in October claims the Massachusetts area has the highest rate of R&D employment.
For AstraZeneca, the new location consolidates several existing sites, freeing up real estate space for other new biotechs looking to get into the area. It also puts the British pharma in closer connection to existing partners.
Correction: A previous version of this article did not include the ZS Pharma move to Wilmington and cited a previous estimation of employees at the new site.
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