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Gilead to open London headquarters

Mayor Boris Johnson makes announcement as part of trip to Boston, US

Gilead Sciences

US pharma company Gilead Sciences is to expand its presence in the UK with a new commercial headquarters in London.

The new base represents an increased investment of $19.6m by Gilead and will double its UK workforce to 600, of which 400 will be based in London.

Gilead's existing presence in the country includes an office for international operations in Uxbridge and an R&D centre in Cambridge.

The investment is a further sign of growth for Gilead which has been buoyed the past couple of years with the new hepatitis C treatments Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir), both of which made multibillion dollar revenues in 2014.

The company's UK ambitions were recently boosted with the decision by NICE to recommend Sovaldi for NHS reimbursement, although its use is likely to be delayed until August to allow NHS England to implement funding measures.

Gilead's investment was announced by London mayor Boris Johnson as part of a trade visit by a delegation from life sciences investment group MedCity to Boston in the US, where Gilead is based.

Johnson also announced an investment by another Boston-based company Mobiquity, which support mobile health developments in healthcare and has a client roster including Pfizer, Merck & Co and AbbVie. Mobiquity intends to launch a $20m European headquarters in the city.

The mayor said: “Gilead and Mobiquity's moves to London further underline the growing importance of the life sciences industry in the UK as we look to ensure that this crucial sector becomes a key contributor to the capital's growth and health.”

London has seen several investments from major pharma companies in recent years with firms attracted by the city's strong scientific base and connections to Cambridge and Oxford as part of a 'golden triangle' of research.

Merck & Co announced in November last year that it intends to invest £42m to create a new licensing hub in the city and to boost research in south east England.

In addition Pfizer has established a new gene therapy unit in London to research rare diseases and the city is home to one of several Johnson & Johnson innovation centres that have been created to improve collaboration in R&D.

Article by
Thomas Meek

9th February 2015

From: Research, Sales

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