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Foster City, Calif., HQ Will Nearly Double in Gilead’s 1,900-Job Expansion Plan
 
Gilead Sciences will nearly double the office and R&D space at its Foster City headquarters as part of a plan to create 1,900 new jobs there over the next decade, the San Francisco Business Times reported.
 
The world’s second-largest biotech company, based on market value, would increase space at Gilead’s campus just west of the San Mateo Bridge from 629,154 square feet to 1.2 million square feet, with groundbreaking for the first office building as early as the first half of next year.
 
Gilead would raze eight one- or two-story office/R&D buildings, and build up to seven new buildings — up to three eight- to 10-story office buildings, and up to four new two- to four-story laboratory buildings, including manufacturing and pilot production facilities.
 
“We’d like to start construction next year,” Gilead President John Milligan told the newspaper. “It’s more difficult to accommodate people if we don’t do it.”
 
The expansion plans for Foster City come as Gilead has a record number of compounds in its development pipeline, and is boosting its research and development spending.
 
How soon Gilead can start will hinge on the duration of an environmental impact study that will begin next month and should be finished in January or February, Richard Marks, Foster City’s community development director, told the Business Times. He said city officials will review architectural plans and Gilead’s use permit for the first office building, so construction can start quickly after the environmental study’s findings are approved.
 
Gilead, which opened a 63,260-square-foot lab building on the Vintage Park campus last fall, would increase its Foster City workforce from 1,200 in 2007 to 3,100 in 2017, according to its plan. The company first rented, then in 2003 bought 16 buildings in the Vintage Park Business Park. More recently, company growth has pushed it to rent space beyond Vintage Park.
 
Gilead has more than 3,200 employees worldwide and expects to double its workforce in Seattle and Durham, NC, over the next 10 years as well, Milligan told the Business Times.
 

 
Abbott Eliminates 1,000 Diagnostic Jobs; Shuts Pasadena, Calif., Manufacturing Site
 
Abbott Laboratories has disclosed plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs – 1.5 percent of its total work force – over four years by shutting down its South Pasadena, Calif., manufacturing plant and laying off staffers at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Santa Clara, Calif., and its headquarters community of Lake Forest, Ill.
 
Abbott projected the job and facility cuts will save it $150 million before taxes annually – but will cost Abbott $370 million before taxes, of which $150 million will occur this year. The drug and medical device maker said its restructuring will help it reduce spending on its medical test business, and shift its manufacturing activity from the US to Europe, where sales of its diagnostic division have risen faster than the US.
 
Most of the operations will be transferred to factories in Ireland, Brotz said, adding that the company's diagnostic business has been growing faster in Europe than in the US.
 
Also set for this year are the first 100 of the layoffs, Abbott spokeswoman Melissa Brotz told the Associated Press, adding: "We're being proactive here and are looking to make this business stronger by addressing redundancies and excess capacity.”
 
Abbott disclosed its planned cutback in an Aug. 21 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The action is Abbott’s second round of layoffs in less than a year; In December, the company announced plans to eliminate about 700 workers in Temecula, Calif., and another 500 in Galway, Ireland.
 

 
Three Massachusetts Life-Sci Companies Expanding Operations Within the State
 
Three life sciences companies are expanding their operations in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Globe:
  • Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has scheduled a Sept. 8 ribbon-cutting to mark the completion of a $109 million, 115,000-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing plant in Walpole, Mass. Over the next decade, the company plans to add 70 jobs to its current workforce of 525 there.
  • Advance Medical, a unit of Advance Medical Health Care Management Services SA of Barcelona, Spain, has opened a US headquarters in Boston's Fenway neighborhood with a dozen full-time administrative staffers and another dozen part-time doctors, in addition to contractors. Advance Medical plans to double its local employment by year-end.
  • Covidien is seeking more than $1 million in state and local tax subsidies toward its planned purchase of a 115,000-square-foot building in Mansfield, Mass., for R&D and administrative space. Covidien spokesman Bruce Farmer told the Globe the company does not yet have a firm option or agreement to buy.

 
Nevada Cancer Institute Weighs Longer Construction Period for New Facility After Laying Off 47 Staffers
The Nevada Cancer Institute is leaving open the possibility of taking longer than envisioned – absent an uptick in revenues – to hire the 35 to 40 researchers envisioned for its new 150,000-square-foot research building when it opens late next year, the Las Vegas Business Press reported.
 
The institute has blamed a decline in fundraising for its laying off 47 staffers and eliminating another roughly half-dozen vacant positions on Aug. 7. The job cuts come to 15 percent of the institute’s pre-layoff staff.
 
The institute’s board chairwoman Heather Murren told the newspaper the cuts were spread among departments to prevent a contraction of services, adding: “We have tried to find ways essentially do more with less.”

The institute will not delay plans to move into another new 101,000-square-foot support building set to open later this year. The building will allow all of its operations within its own campus, where some two dozen scientists carry out research.

 
Fundraising began to slow during the first quarter, and deteriorated markedly in the second quarter. Murren would not tell the Business Press how performance has matched up against this year's budget, except to say that the total for the entire year could fall below the $43.8 million in 2007.
 
During the first two full years, operations lost $45.1 million, but were covered by $103 million generated by fundraising, including a $15 million grant from the Engelstad Family Foundation toward fighting lung cancer. The institute finished last year with $72.3 million on hand, but elected not to use it and avoid the layoffs – in large part because the terms of its $53.7 million in debt require maintaining a cushion of capital.
 

 
Chaska, Minn., BioTech Center Lands its First Tenant, a ‘Multi-Versity’
 
The Chaska, Minn., City Council has approved conceptual plans for EdCampus, a “multi-versity” or campus of multiple higher-education facilities, as the first tenant of the city’s planned BioTech Center, the Chaska Herald reported.
 
The council’s Aug. 18 unanimous vote clears the way for EdCampus to rise within a four-story, 450,000-square-foot building with 121 customizable classrooms, within a 51-acre site. Up to 5,000 students are projected to attend EdCampus annually. The school is tentatively set to break ground next spring.
 
Interim City Administrator Matt Podhradsky told the Herald the city has made contact with a number of other undisclosed prospective tenants interested in the BioTech Center. He would not confirm talk at a recent Chaska Area Chamber of Commerce meeting that Hilton Hotels was among interested parties, though he acknowledged to the newspaper that a hotel group was “potentially looking at the center in conjunction with EdCampus.
 
“They’re far from committing, but see the synergies,” Podhradsky said of the hotel group.
 

 
Mass. Construction Contractor Completes 15,000-SF Tenant Fit-Up for Life-Sci Marketing Firm
 
Integrated Builders, a Braintree, Mass., construction management and general contracting firm, has completed a 15,000-square-foot tenant fit-up project for Advanstar Communications, a provider of marketing services for the life sciences as well as the fashion and power sports industries. 
 
Integrated Builders worked on Advanstar’s space, at 600 Unicorn Park in Woburn, Mass., with Boston-based architectural design firm Spangnolo/Gisness & Associates. 
 
“We completed this project in less than two months. Our client is very pleased with the final product,” Jay Dacey, president of Integrated Builders, said in a press release.
 

 
Biotech Company Among Tech Tenants Filling Downtown San Francisco Building
 
A life sciences company was among six new tenants that have signed leases for about half the space at the recently-renovated, 81,000-square-foot 717 Market St. in downtown San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times reported.
 
ACT Biotech, a developer of oral cancer drugs, agreed to lease 3,000 square feet at the eight-story, turn-of-the-century building, where owner Ellis Partners has completed a $6 million renovation that included a new lobby, new facade and upgraded finishes.
 
Since then, ACT Biotech joined Responsys, the W2 Group, Sun Run Generations, Allen Interactions, and the lunch eatery Sellers Market on the building’s tenant roster. An additional 10,300 square feet of leasing deals are in the works, the newspaper reported.
 
Ellis Partners bought the then-empty 717 Market in December 2006, adding to its holdings on the busy thoroughfare. Scott Harper and Carter Beim of Colliers International represent the owners.
 

 
Greenfield, Mass., Planning Board Recommends Development of 'Green Technology Campus'
 
The Greenfield, Mass., Planning Board has recommended the city develop a "green technology campus," saying it would be the city’s best bet for economic development, the Springfield [Mass.] Republican reported.

In a written report to Greenfield’s Town Council and Mayor Christine Forgey, board members named two prospective sites for the campus or “eco-industrial park." They are an 80-acre parcel owned by Mackin Construction Co., abutting the existing I-91 Industrial Park off Route 2, and the former Bendix industrial site of 17.3 acres, at the end of Laurel Street, which the city recently acquired after its previous owner failed to pay back taxes.

 
The report includes that the proposed park might "establish Greenfield as a leader in environmental technology ... much as it once was a world leader in the tool and die business."
Businesses the Planning Board wants to see involved include those providing alternative energy, producing sustainable building products, providing alternative fuels, and production of natural foods.

In the office and research cluster, the fields of "medical, biotech, nanotech, fiber optics and computer services" are suggested.

Biotech is high on the list of prospective new uses for the former Bendix property, a priority of city officials. The site was last used by Repal, a Vermont-based company that rebuilt storage and carrying pallets for resale. Repal vacated the site, and the city went after the Illinois-based mortgage holder that took over for Repal, leading to the land-taking.
The Bendix site has natural gas lines feeding it — an advantage over the Mackin site, though the latter is larger and could allow a larger tech park.
 
The planning board also recommended an alternative use to the green tech campus, namely an "arts and entertainment" district downtown, possibly along Main Street from Miles Street west to High Street, to enhance the downtown and bring in more visitors.
 

 
Credit Card Company Prepares to Make Way for J&J’s Ortho Biotech in Horsham, Pa.
 
Credit-card company Advanta is expected to vacate the Horsham, Pa., headquarters of Johnson & Johnson-owned Centocor, where another J&J unit, Ortho Biotech, will shift 260 jobs from its Ortho Biotech unit in Bridgewater, NJ. Advanta is expected to scour sites in Horsham for a new HQ, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported, citing unnamed “real estate sources.”
 

 
Sancilio & Company Opens Expanded Rivera Beach, Fla., Contract Manufacturing Facility
 
Sancilio & Company has opened an expanded 2,000 square-foot contract manufacturing facility adjacent to its pharmaceutical laboratory in Rivera Beach, Fla. 
 
The GMP facility specializes in small batch manufacturing of tablets and capsules as well as packaging and labeling services. The expanded facility — which is FDA registered, and licensed for DEA Schedule 2, 3 and 4 — enables Sancillo’s pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and nutraceutical clients to access a range of analytical services that includes formulation development, quality control, quality assurance and regulatory affairs.

In addition to Rivera Beach, Sancillo maintains operations in Shanghai’s Pudong District, and in Montville Township, NJ.

The Scan

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