Further concentrating life science powerhouses around Boston, GE Healthcare Life Sciences will open a new U.S. headquarters in Marlborough, MA. It's expected to house more than 500 employees, including at least 220 new hires.
The business will invest $21 million to transform a currently unoccupied space near its manufacturing facility in neighboring Westborough, MA. Both cities are about 30 miles outside of Boston, MA. The headquarters are set to open in spring 2015.
New Jersey is home to many of the major pharmaceutical companies, so the move can be seen as symbolic of a shift away from Big Pharma and toward med tech innovation, which has found a home in Boston, MA. The venture capital arm of General Electric, GE Ventures, has several healthcare-focused partners and is based in Menlo Park, CA.
GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt characterized the company's healthcare business as "gaining share behind several big product launches" at the company's most recent conference call in July. The company's healthcare business had $4.5 billion in revenues during the second quarter, which was flat from the prior year's quarter. It's been busy making acquisitions this year including healthcare workforce management software company API Healthcare for $340 million in cash in February and life science assets from Thermo Fisher Scientific ($TMO) for $1.1 billion in cash in March. GE Life Sciences is a division of GE Healthcare that's focused on life science research tools.
GE ($GE) already employs about 250 people in Marlborough at the former site of Xcellerex, a biopharma manufacturing tech company it acquired in 2012, and at its bioprocessing and diagnostics operation in Westborough, according to the Boston Globe.
"Marlborough continues to be a center for innovation," said the city's mayor, Arthur Vigeant, in a statement. This investment is "is proof that innovation is thriving outside Route 128," he added. Route 128 is a partial beltway around Boston and typically is perceived as a dividing line between the outskirts of Boston and the suburbs.
GE Healthcare Life Sciences is moving from Piscataway, NJ. This, as well as a Princeton, NJ, site, will be shuttered; they employ as many as 450 people, an Xconomy story noted. Many of these people will be offered relocation packages, it said.
The new hires at Marlborough are expected to include a number of skilled positions including lab technicians, biologists, medical doctors, process engineers and customer service representatives. GE Healthcare Life Sciences employs over 11,500 people in more than 100 countries.