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Biopharmaceutical firm to move jobs to Peninsula

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Beth Winegarner
Examiner Staff Writer
July 12, 2006

PDL BioPharma, a biopharmaceutical company that develops therapies for life-threatening illnesses, will move its corporate headquarters from Fremont into 450,000 square feet of space in Redwood City in mid-2007.

PDL BioPharma has signed a 15-year lease at Pacific Shores, a 10-tower corporate campus on Seaport Boulevard in Redwood City. Themove will make them one of the largest biotech companies on the Peninsula, which hosts major players such as Amgen, Genentech and Elan.

The company is bringing approximately 500 employees when they move, according to spokeswoman Ami Knoefler. Many of those employees work on the Peninsula or in San Francisco, and the move is designed to put them closer to home while providing PDL BioPharma the room to expand and develop more products.

“The new site is centrally located in the Bay Area, which means it’s well-positioned for us to attract new talent,” Knoefler said.

The move is expected to create jobs both immediately and as the company expands, Knoefler said, though she could not say how many new positions would be generated.

The company hopes to add three new products to its lineup of treatments for autoimmune diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease by 2010.

Redwood City’s financial team is still analyzing the financial boon PDL BioPharm will bring to the city, according to Economic Development Director Pat Webb.

“It’s always an economic benefit to fill vacant space with people who are working. This will add many new employees and hopefully they will choose to spend some of their money in the city,” Webb said.

It’s also good news for the Pacific Shores campus, which includes 10 towers but has struggled to find tenants. PDL is leasing two of the site’s 10 towers, including a 165,000-square-foot tower that has stood vacant since the site was built in 2000, and another 280,000-square-foot tower formerly occupied by Openwave, according to Brad Van Linge, broker for Cornish & Carey, which handles the site’s leases.

Other tenants include Openwave, Dreamworks PDI, Symantec and MyCFO, Van Linge said.

PDL BioPharm’s transfer to the Peninsula further cements the region as a hotbed of biotech activity.

“What’s bringingpeople to the area is the brain trust,” said Geraldine O’Connell, press secretary for Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-San Francisco, who chairs the California Assembly’s Select Committee on Biotechnology. “There’s a spirit and commitment to progress here.”

Peninsula biotech

PDL BioPharma

Employees: 1,000

Locations: Redwood City (coming in 2007), New Jersey, Minnesota and France

Products: Therapies for hepatorenal syndrome, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disorders and cancer

Amgen

Employees: 18,000+

Locations: South San Francisco, Fremont, Thousand Oaks, six other states and 30 other countries

Products: Protein-based treatments for anemia, blood cancers, thyroid and kidney disease and autoimmune-based arthritis

Genentech

Employees: 10,000

Locations: South San Francisco, Vacaville, Oceanside, Spain

Products: Chemotherapy treatments; therapies for psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma; and products that accelerate tissue growth

Elan

Employees: 2,000

Locations: South San Francisco, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, U.K., Ireland, Bermuda and Japan

Products: Drugs that reduce plaque buildup in the brain

Source: Company Web sites

This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Examiner.

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Written by Beth Winegarner

July 12, 2006 at 10:23 PM

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