Gilead Expands in NC Amidst Profitable Second Quarter
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Gilead Sciences will open the doors to its new operations site in North Raleigh, N.C., as part of its business services center expansion in North Hills. It recently announced it expected to bring in more than 300 new jobs, higher than the original 250 announced in February. The positions will be in human resources, finance and information technology.
The company will lease three floors in Midtown Plaza, near the North Hills Innovation District. Gilead is headquartered in Foster City, Calif., and operates in more than 35 countries. Its focus is on virology, inflammation and oncology. For example, its remdesivir (Veklury) is the only antiviral drug approved to treat COVID-19.
“When the Kane Realty team developed plans for the Innovation District, we hoped to attract forward-thinking, innovative companies to North Hills,” said John Kane, chief executive officer of Kane Realty. “That’s exactly what we found with Gilead Sciences, a revolutionary biopharmaceutical company that is working to improve public health day in and day out. We hope Gilead employees will enjoy the opportunity to work, live, socialize and spend time outdoors at North Hills.”
The business services center will focus on financial, human resources, and IT services, including cybersecurity and digital transformation.
Gilead announced the plans on February 9, 2021. They expect to hire for the 300 jobs by November.
The company will receive almost $10 million in economic incentives from North Carolina over the next 12 years via a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state Economic Investment Committee this week. It is projected that Gilead will bring in $1.11 billion to North Carolina’s economy through new tax revenue.
“The creation of the Gilead business services center is an important step forward for the company, as it creates a dedicated hub for critical support services in a location that will allow us to realize certain cost and time zone advantages,” said Gilead spokesperson Chris Ridley. “The Research Triangle region is a vibrant, growing area with a large pool of talented, diverse and highly educated people.”
Earlier this month, Kite, a Gilead company, sold its Gaithersburg, Md., manufacturing plant to Germany’s BioNTech. The sale included Kite’s solid tumor neoantigen T-cell receptor (TCR) research-and-development platform. BioNTech is best known for its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer. BioNTech indicated the purchase would add production capacity in support of U.S. clinical trials. Kite staffers at the Gaithersburg facility will be offered jobs with BioNTech.
Christi Shaw, chief executive officer of Kite, stated, “In order to serve more patients that need cell therapy today, Kite is rapidly growing both through global expansion and seeking new indications for our existing approved CAR T-cell therapies. This transaction will enable us to focus our energies and investment on accelerating the reach of our current CAR-T-cell therapies and midterm pipeline.”
At Gilead’s second-quarter financial report on July 29, the company’s product sales for the quarter increased 21% year-over-year primarily driven by Veklury. Its flagship HIV drug, Biktarvy, increased 24% year-over-year.
Company chairman and chief executive officer Daniel O’Day said, “The series of promising pipeline updates included the data from the landmark ZUMA-7 study for the treatment of second-line large B-cell lymphoma. In virology, recent results from our lenacapavir study reinforce its potential as a long-acting therapy for people living with HIV, and positive interim results from our Hepcludex studies in HDV moved us closer to a U.S. filing.”
However, Gilead has announced its plans to halt the development of its inhaled formulation of remdesivir. The decision was based on results from a proof-of-concept study. Veklury brought in $829 million in sales for the quarter, but projected sales are shaky since it’s linked to COVID-19 hospitalization rates.