Gilead Sciences’ Commitment to NJ
When Gilead Sciences cut the ribbon on a new state-of-the-art facility in Parsippany-Troy Hills earlier this month, the Foster-City, California-based biopharmaceutical company showed a commitment to New Jersey as its East Coast hub for the development of 10 or more transformative medicines by 2030.
The 96,000-square-foot office building, with a capacity of 500 employees, houses corporate, medical, and regulatory affairs, operations, engineering, quality, supply chain, commercial, and general administrative functions. Representing one of Gilead’s largest investments in a U.S. site outside of Foster City, it follows the company’s 2020 acquisition of Morris Plains-based Immunomedics, a leader in next-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology focused on hard-to-treat cancers.
“New Jersey was appealing to us because of the talent, not only the focus on oncology but also the STEM focus from local universities and schools producing the kind of people we hope not only to staff currently, but build our bench strength in,” says Jill Massey, vice president, global medical strategy and operations at Gilead Sciences and the New Jersey site lead.
The new facility includes a variety of spaces, from conference rooms, a community hub and other collaborative areas, to quiet, closed-door rooms for individual focused work. In an effort to “keep patients front and center,” each conference room has been named after a person impacted by a Gilead medicine. And the company is encouraging employees to “nourish their whole selves at work” with amenities like an onsite café, fitness center, pickleball courts, golf simulator and yoga/Pilates room.
“We recognize post-pandemic is not going to look like pre-pandemic in terms of workspaces and that we have to blend the home working environment with the office working environment,” Massey says, pointing to family room type areas where employees can discuss ideas on comfortable seating with large TV-like computer screens. “Not a single one of us is as innovative as all of us, and we think connectivity and collaboration are necessary for innovation to emerge. Also, a lot of people are interested in amenities that allow people to balance their well-being with their work life in the same site.”
Gilead’s partnership with the Parsippany community was also announced at the ribbon cutting ceremony, including a $250,000 grant to Students 2 Science, a local organization dedicated to fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce through hands-on STEM experiences. The grant will help expand Students 2 Science programs, making them accessible to 1,650 underserved students from Morris County School Districts.
“We are grateful to our local partners in Parsippany who helped us deliver this project in record time as we were moving from one site to the next,” Massey says. “The talent is the number one reason we’re here–we wanted an innovation hub where we could easily recruit people–but also the partnerships from the local ecosystem.”
Founded in 1987, Gilead operates in more than 35 countries and is known for advancing medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. And while the new facility represents an innovation center for all its medicines, the focus is primarily around oncology and leveraging access to local talent as well as patient advocacy organizations, academic institutions and experts, according to Massey.
“We’re building our culture here to focus on three specific communities: the patient community, and making sure we’re bringing their voice into all the innovation we’re developing here; the Parsippany community, and supporting our newfound neighbors as much as they supported us while we were developing the site; and the Gilead community, ensuring we’re paying attention to the well-being and inclusive environment we’re trying to create as a company and that our workplace reflects that,” she says. “Those are the things we’re driving from our outpost position here – our East Coast hub – that all align and tie back to Gilead’s corporate vision.”
Courtesy of NJ Business