Kyowa Kirin Opens New Jersey Headquarters

Pictured: Inside of Kyowa Kirin headquarters/company courtesy

Pictured: Inside of Kyowa Kirin headquarters/company courtesy

Japan-based Kyowa Kirin has opened a new facility in Princeton, NJ, that will serve as its North American headquarters. At almost 80,000 square feet, the facility can accommodate the company’s rapid growth in recent years and will allow it to continue to create jobs for in-office and hybrid workers in the region.

Britt Byers, senior vice president of human resources, North America, at Kyowa Kirin, told BioSpace that the company’s headcount has more than doubled since 2018, when the FDA approved Poteligeo (mogamulizumab-kpkc), a treatment for two rare types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Since then, the regulator has granted Kyowa Kirin two more approvals: Nourianz (istradefylline) in Parkinson’s disease in 2019 and Crysvita (burosumab) in tumor-induced osteomalacia in 2020.

Because of these approvals, the company stated its North America division is now its fastest-growing region in terms of revenue, making up more than one-fourth of the company’s global revenue in 2022, up from 13% in 2019.

The region is also growing fast for the company in terms of jobs. Byers said that in 2019, Kyowa Kirin North America had about 280 total employees. Now, that number is up to over 600. The new facility will house over 300 employees working in development, commercial and corporate functions, and will combine teams that were previously split between two locations across New Jersey.

Byers said the company expects this growth to continue due to advancements in its current pipeline, which includes rocatinlimab (KHK4083/AMG 451) a mid-stage investigational antibody developed jointly with Amgen to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Byers also said she expects growth to come from future partnerships and alliances the company has yet to announce.

New Jersey has seen other growth in the industry of late. Announced May 25, an R&D campus that formerly served as Merck’s global headquarters is set to reopen and become the Northeast Science and Technology (NEST) Center in Kenilworth, NJ, 14 miles outside of New York City. The NEST Center includes 1.4 million square feet of laboratory space and 500,000 square feet of office space.

Byers said she’s spent all of her pharma career working in New Jersey.

“For me, New Jersey has always been a place where pharma has been ever-present,” Byers said. “It’s not been a challenge for us to find talent when we need it in different areas of expertise.”

She added that her team prioritizes diversity in their hiring processes, extending their candidate pools to those without industry experience.

“We’re looking for people who want to be a part of creating and building things. . . . We really want people who are ready to roll up their sleeves to engage in different ways and to have their voice heard.”

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