Gilead calls off Oceanside manufacturing expansion, uproots biologics development team

Gilead Sciences is halting the expansion of its biologics site in Oceanside, California, and is moving the existing team's responsibilities to its Foster City campus in the same state, a spokesperson confirmed. 

The move is based on Gilead's desire to bring members of the biologics development and manufacturing team closer to the company's R&D unit, which is based in the Bay Area in Foster City, the spokesperson said.

“Over the next few years, the majority of our Gilead Biologics teams in our Pharmaceutical Development & Manufacturing organization, most of whom are currently in Oceanside, CA, will transition to Foster City,” the spokesperson said.

The move will begin this year and conclude by 2027 “at the latest,” according to Gilead, with business operations continuing “as usual" for the time being.

Oceanside and Foster City are about an 8-hour drive apart. The company did not specify how many employees, if any, would be laid off as a result of the move. 

Gilead completed the purchase of an additional 27 acres of land in Oceanside in 2022, with plans at the time to build a new biologics facility in the Southern California city. But in light of the staff consolidation, "those plans will not be continuing," the spokesperson said. 

Gilead-owned Kite’s viral vector manufacturing work is not included in the transition and will remain in Oceanside. Kite Pharma is the cell therapy-focused division of the California drugmaker.

Meanwhile, Gilead's spokesperson said there are no plans to close an existing 70,000-square-foot biologics site in Oceanside, which Gilead purchased from Genentech in August 2011.  At the time of the purchase, the site was designed to help make biological compounds for toxicological, phase 1 and phase 2 studies. 

Gilead initially used the facility to manufacture the monoclonal antibody simtuzumab, which was being developed to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, among other diseases. Gilead terminated a phase 2 study testing the drug in that indication in January 2016 due to a lack of efficacy. The pharma also planned to use the facility to manufacture another antibody that at the time of the purchase was in preclinical testing.