Gilead Sciences, Inc. To Create More Than 80 Jobs With $50 Million Expansion

Published: Oct 23, 2014

Gilead Sciences To Create More Than 80 Jobs With $50 Million Expansion

October 21, 2014

By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences announced today it has broken ground on another research and development lab in Edmonton, Alberta’s Eco Industrial Park.

This facility will be adjacent to existing facilities, including a laboratory that is nearing completion. It is priced at $50 million and will be more than 44,000 square feet. It is expected to house another 80 full-time staffers.

Gilead traditionally outsources everything,” says Robin Nicol, Gilead’s Alberta VP and GM of operations in a statement, “so we are the biggest manufacturing site and the only one that does active pharmaceutical ingredients up to this sort of scale.”

The new laboratory will be involved and support the development and manufacturing of any new investigational drugs, as well as supply active pharmaceutical ingredients to its research programs.

The company announced on October 10 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) for treatment of chronic hepatitis C in adults. Only a week later, on October 16, they announced that the same compound had received a Notice of Compliance by Health Canada.

“Chronic hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver transplantation and is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality in Canada,” said Robert Myers, associate professor and director of the University of Calgary Viral Hepatitis Clinic in a press release. “With Harvoni, the majority of genotype 1 patients can be cured with a once-daily pill in as little as eight or 12 weeks without the need for interferon injections or ribavirin tablets, which are associated with significant side effects.”

Regulatory applications for Harvoni are pending in Australia and New Zealand.

The new facility in Edmonton will also be involved in product launches for hepatitis C, HIV-AIDS and oncology. Gilead has recently invested heavily in their Canadian market, with a $55 million in R&D in 2013.

“This expansion will allow us to recruit additional highly trained clinical and technical professionals in Alberta,” said Norbert Bischofberg, executive VP of research and development and chief science officer of Gilead in a statement. “The province is home to leading scientists and researchers who have the drive and expertise to advance patient care in many disease areas.”

In addition to its Canadian expansion, Gilead announced in late August that it was making major infrastructure changes to its Foster City campus. The company will be demolishing 12 office and lab facilities and creating 17 new ones, including a pilot lab facility, a cafeteria and fitness center, and up to 22 office and lab buildings. The construction boom is planned to run through 2033.

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