Sanofi, Genentech Both Eye U.S. Expansions; Could Add up to 2,300 Jobs

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Two well-established pharma companies are expanding in two different U.S. cities. One city is known for the plethora of pharma and biotech jobs, while the other is in an area that might not immediately spring to mind when it comes to biotech hubs.

Sanofi is reportedly eying a significant expansion in Cambridge, Mass. that could spur a hiring spree. The Boston Globe is reporting that Sanofi is considering an expansion in East Cambridge that could include 400,000 square feet of space and be large enough to house up to 2,000 employees. The site would be in a former rail yard known as Cambridge Crossing, although The Boston Globe reported that it is not yet known whether or not a deal has been reached.

The facility would include office and lab space, the Globe added. If Sanofi signs an agreement for the space, this would be the second site the company secured this year. Earlier this year Sanofi Genzyme, the rare-disease division of French pharma giant Sanofi SA, took over a 275,000 square-foot facility in Kendall Square. But that space is not enough for the rapidly growing company. A real estate research director told the Globe that the company is talking about requiring significant space, perhaps even beyond the 400,000 square feet of space at Cambridge Crossing.

While the company seems to be looking for additional space, earlier this year, in an unrelated event, Sanofi Genzyme laid off 130 people from a manufacturing facility based at Allston Landing in Boston. In announcing the layoffs, a company spokesperson told BioSpace at the time that Sanofi must be flexible in its operations in order to remain competitive. Sanofi has approximately 5,000 employees in Massachusetts.

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Across the country, in Portland, Oregon, Genentech is looking to open an office space that would require up to 300 new hires, The Portland Business Journal reported. The company already has a significant presence in Portland. In 2010 Genentech opened a distribution and packaging facility that currently employs about 400 people.

Genentech anticipates opening a 55,000 square-foot facility in the city. The new site will work closely with Genentech’s San Francisco-based Access Solutions Team. The Genentech team at the new Oregon facility, according to The Portland Business Journal, will help patients determine whether or not their existing insurance plan covers medication developed by Genentech. Additionally, the site will work to find ways to help patients gain access to the therapeutics manufactured by the company.

The new Genentech facility in Oregon will be subsidized by a $500,000 state economic development grant, according to The Oregonian. To meet the grant’s terms, Genentech much meet certain hiring and wage targets, which includes 50 jobs that have an average wage greater than 150 percent the state or county average, according to the paper. That means those 50 positions will be required to have an annual salary of greater than $80,000, The Oregonian reported.


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