Gilead to boost West Coast production muscle after revealing New Jersey layoffs

As Gilead Sciences slims down on the East Coast, the company is plotting manufacturing moves out West.

The biotech has closed a deal for 27 acres of undeveloped land near its existing facility in Oceanside, California, which it will use to stand up additional manufacturing in the area, Joydeep Ganguly, Gilead’s senior vice president of corporate operations, said in a statement. The company’s current Oceanside outfit supports clinical manufacturing and process development for Gilead and Kite Pharma, the exec said.

Gilead didn’t say how much it paid for the 27-acre parcel, nor what it plans to invest in its new Oceanside site. The company was mum on construction timelines and potential hiring plans, too.

The deal is “interrelated” to an upcoming layoff round in New Jersey as Gilead looks to focus its manufacturing in California, a company spokesperson told Endpoints News.

On the opposite side of the country, Gilead is gearing up to lay off more than 100 staffers at Immunomedics’ former headquarters in Morris Plains, New Jersey, the company recently disclosed in a New Jersey Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice.

The company aims to relocate the New Jersey site to a new, larger space in the nearby Morris Plains area, a Gilead spokesperson told Fierce Pharma earlier this week. The new site is “still being finalized” and will take the form of a corporate office with no manufacturing, the company’s spokesperson added.

The 114 layoffs in the Garden State are set to take effect starting in April.

It’s been a busy week for Gilead. Aside from its New Jersey-California shuffle, the company has reported positive, albeit unclear, results for Trodelvy in pretreated HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. The drug delivered a “statistically significant” improvement over chemotherapy in progression-free survival, but Gilead stopped short of saying whether that benefit was “clinically meaningful.”

“There is a broad range of views on what is ‘clinically meaningful’ in this population,” Gilead said in a securities filing. “We are evaluating the data and will explore potential pathways with regulatory authorities to bring Trodelvy to this group of patients.”

After that episode, RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams told investors to keep low expectations for the potential label expansion until Gilead can publish a final analysis of gold-standard patient survival data in 2024.