Bristol-Myers Squibb Will Add Third Building to Bay Area Campus, Could Up Headcount by 150 Employees

Bristol-Myers Squibb Will Add Third Building to Bay Area Campus, Could Up Headcount by 150 Employees
April 14, 2016
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Bristol-Myers Squibb , headquartered in New York, announced that it has signed a new lease with BioMed Realty for a third building at its Redwood City, Calif. campus. The new building will be 62,000 square feet, adding to the company’s 194,000 square feet already on campus. The expansion could bring in another 150 jobs.

“The expansion of our facilities in Redwood City,” said Nils Lonberg, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s head of Oncology Biology Discovery, in a statement, “is evidence of the value that Bristol-Myers Squibb sees in the Bay Area scientific community and our relationship with BioMed Realty.”

It’s been a busy month for San Diego-based BioMed Realty, which focuses on developing and managing real estate properties for life science companies. On April 6, BioMed reported that it had signed a 10-year lease with Illumina (ILMN) at BioMed’s i3 campus. The i3 campus is currently being constructed in San Diego’s University Towne Centre (UTC) and will have 316,000 square feet of property.

BioMed Realty currently owns and manages 18 million square feet of rental space worldwide, with major holdings in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cambridge, Mass., and the U.K.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s operations in Redwood City focus largely on cancer immunotherapies. It’s a particularly hot and promising area of cancer treatment, where the patient’s immune system is programmed to specifically attack the cancer cells. Typically the immune-stimulating components are matched with drugs that prevent the cancer cells from “hiding” from the immune system. These drugs are generally called checkpoint inhibitors.

Merck & Co. and Genentech , a Roche company, are just two of the bigger companies focusing on immuno-oncology. Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Paris-based Sanofi have a potential $2.2 billion collaboration deal to develop and market immuno-oncology products focused on programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitors. UK-based AstraZeneca has a $550 million-plus deal with Heptares Therapeutics for immuno-oncology products.

“The reason we’re doing it here is because this site has an extraordinary (record),” said Giovanni Caforio, the chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb to the San Francisco Business Times, “and really some of the names in the development of immuno-oncology over the years are the scientists here.”

The facility currently employs about 250 people, but the additional space could take that number to 400.

“They are the global leader in the life science community known for scientific breath and excellence,” said Scott Altick, BioMed Realty’s San Francisco market lead, in a statement, “and we look forward to supporting their science in the Bay Area for many years to come.”

The expanded facilities will be designed to meet the “Energy Star Challenge for Industry.” This program requires a 10 percent cut in energy usage over the next five years.

Although financial terms were not reported, the leases for the three buildings extend to March 2027.

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