Biogen Idec holds dedication for new RTP building

Biogen Idec marked Thursday the opening of its new five-story building in the Wake County side of the Research Triangle Park that’s expected to free up space for needed additional laboratory space.
Nov. 29, 2012 @ 07:49 PM

Biogen Idec marked Thursday the opening of its new five-story building in the Wake County side of the Research Triangle Park that’s expected to free up space for needed additional laboratory space.

The Massachusetts-based biotechnology company generates revenue from three primary products: the multiple sclerosis treatments Avonex and Tysabri, and Rituxan, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment.

In the Research Triangle Park, the company manufactures bulk drug substances for Avonex and Tysabri, and also makes substances for drug candidates still in testing.

The additional five-story, approximately 190,000-square-foot office building on Davis Drive is predominately an office building, and is expected to house 500 employees initially.

About 300 workers in the company’s patient services unit, which offers patient support services, moved to the new building from offices at the Imperial Center in Durham on Emperor Boulevard.

Another 200 workers are moving from another building within the company’s park campus.

Machelle Sanders, vice president of manufacturing and the general manager at Biogen Idec’s Research Triangle Park campus, said the company has 550,000 square feet between six buildings at the campus.

There are about 1,000 employees who work at the site, she said. Mike McBrierty, a spokesman for Biogen Idec, said that when the company broke ground on the building in April of last year, the company had about 850 workers in the Triangle area.

“Those would be -- the vast majority -- new hires,” McBrierty said of the difference.

McBrierty said the company has needed additional laboratory space to support additional manufacturing capacity for commercialized products, as well as for products that are still in testing.

The new building is expected to allow for the needed laboratory expansion in support of the increased manufacturing activities.

On Thursday, the company held a dedication for the new building that included Gov. Beverly Perdue and Biogen Idec’s CEO George Scangos.

For the third quarter of this year, the company reported net income of $398.4 million , which was up 13 percent compared with the same quarter last year.

Biogen Idec common stock was trading at $150.3 at the market’s close on Thursday, up by 84 cents from the price at the previous close.