UK welcomes Gilead expansion

Gilead Sciences is the latest US pharma company expanding its presence in the UK, investing $19.6 million in a new London HQ and extending its operations in Uxbridge and Cambridge.

The move means that, by the end of 2015, its UK workforce will have doubled on 2013 figures, with 400 out of 600 employees based in London.

Another US company set to base its $20 million European HQ in London is mobile engagement firm Mobiquity, which has clients including Pfizer, Merck and AbbVie. It will work with Pfizer to develop digital personal health management technologies.

The news follows announcements in late 2014 by Merck and Pfizer that they will establish or expand operations in London – Merck with a £42 million investment in a London licensing hub and R&D, and Pfizer with the setting up of a rare disease Gene Therapy Unit.

Stelios Karagiannoglou, general manager Gilead Sciences UK & Ireland, said: “As a science-led company, we recognise the leading role that London and the UK plays in life sciences research and are delighted to be expanding our presence here so that we can do more to bring new medicines to people who are affected by life-threatening diseases. With many of our customers and stakeholders based in London, or in other cities more accessible from London, the relocation will ensure our UK team can more efficiently connect and collaborate with our partners, and ultimately will support access to innovative new treatments that improve patients’ lives.”

The announcements come as a UK trade delegation is visiting the US East Coast, including London Mayor Boris Johnson and representatives from life sciences cluster MedCity, to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

Dr Eliot Forster, executive chair of MedCity, commented, “The UK and US are well-matched life sciences partners, and I’m delighted to see the traffic across the Atlantic increasing. London and the South-East is in the midst of a sustained period of growth and investment, and that is attracting great people and companies to enrich our region further. Gilead and Mobiquity are excellent examples –different companies with different focuses, both at the forefront of the changing healthcare environment.”


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