Gilead fosters growth with plans for new research center in California hometown

Gilead Sciences is expanding with a new research center that's plotted in headquarters Foster City, California, as it races to develop 10 new transformative therapies.

Coming off the recent acquisition of U.K. biotech MiroBio and a $1.76 billion license option deal with MacroGenics, the Big Pharma needs ample space to collaborate with other teams, which is why Gilead is setting out to construct the new research spot, Flavius Martin, M.D., Gilead’s executive vice president of research, said in a Jan. 17 company post.

The decision to erect the new building was driven by Gilead’s enterprise "master plan," which aims to create an internal research infrastructure that catalyzes the company’s ambitions. The Big Pharma aims to deliver 10 or more transformative therapies across virology, oncology and inflammation by 2030.   

“Our teams are laser-focused on developing and advancing long-acting HIV treatment options, eliminating viral hepatitis and creating transformative therapies in oncology and inflammation,” Martin said. “Growth in certain areas is essential.”

The research investment was motivated by both capacity and capability needs, Martin said. The company’s oncology and inflammation research teams are expected to outgrow the current space in Foster City soon, and there are also new tech capabilities Gilead wants to bring in-house.

Though design plans haven’t yet been finalized, the center is slated to include about 175,000 square feet of digitally enabled lab space. The company also plans on reclassifying over 45,000 square feet of existing office space into lab areas.

Gilead is working to ensure that the new space is socially responsible, with Martin pointing to sustainability efforts already taken on at the Foster City campus, which uses renewable energy along with large-scale solar installations and is one of the few LEED Gold research centers in biotech.