Incyte is opening an R&D command center, staffing up in Geneva

Incyte CEO Hervé Hoppenot

With close to two dozen clinical-stage programs underway and plans to add more, Incyte ($INCY) is moving to set up a research shop in Geneva, Switzerland, to oversee all of its R&D efforts on the continent.

Incyte--which has a big focus on oncology R&D with a secondary effort in anti-inflammation--has snagged 9,000 square feet of space in Geneva, which is home to a small but thriving biotech community in its own right. The city is also centrally located in the heart of Europe, which is one of Switzerland's biggest selling points when it sets out to woo companies like Incyte, which has far-reaching plans on the continent.

Incyte's head of investor relations, Mike Booth, says that the company will be hiring 15 new staffers to man the new research office, which will play a key role in an R&D operation that now employs 350 to 400 people, out of a total of 600.

"Incyte has a broad and growing pipeline of proprietary, wholly-owned products, and we expect that this new facility in the center of Europe will enable us to create the infrastructure needed to support our global drug development programs, and to bring additional, potentially life-changing medicines to patients with cancer," says CEO Hervé Hoppenot in a statement.

The company did not immediately respond to a query from FierceBiotech on its staffing plans.

Incyte lists 23 different clinical programs on its website, with programs underway for Jakafi as well as a slate of experimental drugs like INCB39110, the c-MET drug capmatinib and the anti-inflammatory therapy baricitinib. Incyte is also very big on immuno-oncology combination studies, with pair-ups in the clinic for its IDO1 drug epacadostat (INCB24360) with Merck's ($MRK) Keytruda, Bristol-Myers' ($BMY) Opdivo, Genentech's MPDL3280A and MEDI4736, which is made by AstraZeneca ($AZN) and MedImmune.

- here's the release