NYC coup: Roche picks Big Apple site for new R&D home

Roche is moving its whittled-down East Coast R&D group from New Jersey to a new life sciences complex in the Big Apple, which beat out some fierce competition for one of the biggest U.S. economic development deals in biotech in play this year. 

Roche ($RHHBY) announced several months ago that it is winding down operations at its sprawling research complex in Nutley, NJ, home to 1,000 staffers. But the pharma giant planned to move 200 researchers who survived the cutbacks into new digs somewhere else in the region. Today The New York Times revealed their new home: The Alexandria Center for Life Science at 29th and First in Manhattan.

The move marks a major coup for New York City, which has struggled to build a biotech hub in the city to complement the world-class medical science work being done at some high-profile institutions. And Roche officials told The Times it was the presence of those prestigious academic centers--a major draw for the world's Big Pharma research groups--that won the day for Manhattan. 

New York's win is New Jersey's loss. The state has lost a considerable portion of its research jobs in recent years as Big Pharma has completely upended its R&D empires in top-to-bottom restructurings. The big winner at Roche, though, is its West Coast operations at Genentech, which has emerged as the dominant R&D group in Roche's U.S. operations. 

- here's the story from The New York Times

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