Roche Picks New Big Apple Tower as Home for Research Center
The Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced yesterday that that it will locate its new Translational Clinical Research Center in the West Tower at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan. Roche has taken an 11-year lease on the space, which is currently under construction, and hopes to occupy it by the end of 2013.
Roche revealed in June that it would shut down its Nutley, NJ, site and cut 1,000 jobs in the process. Yesterday’s announcement said the pharma company will fully close the Nutley site by the end of 2013 and will look for a buyer for the property. Roche is transitioning its research activities in oncology and virology to Europe, and is keeping its Genentech research unit intact in South San Francisco.
The Translational Clinical Research Center (TCRC), which is part of Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development unit, will be responsible for working with existing collaborators and U.S. regulators to conduct early stage development based on research being done in Europe. The group will bring compounds to Phase 2 and then pass them off the units responsible for late stage development, Roche spokeswoman Darien Wilson told me on a phone call.
“It was a very close race between New York and New Jersey. We were impressed with opportunities we had in New Jersey, but this will allow us to take advantage of being in an established environment,” Wilson said about the search for the TCRC location. “You have a lot of expertise in the area. We also have nine existing collaborations in the New York area with a lot of institutions. That made it a perfect fit for the new TCRC to be located in New York and Alexandria.”
The Alexandria Center for Life Science, located at 29th Street and First Avenue, opened up its East Tower in late 2010. The center currently houses tenants such as Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation and Eli Lilly’s ImClone Systems subsidiary. The Roche research center at Alexandria will house 200 employees, and Roche will be the anchor tenant of the new Alexandria tower, Wilson says. Roche will also keep 50 management jobs in New Jersey, a recent development, and is currently searching for space in the northern New Jersey area to house them, Wilson told me.