Gilead Signs Lease to Grow in Seattle, Despite Aztreonam Delay

Gilead Sciences is going ahead with growth plans in Seattle. The Foster City, CA-based biotech company, which bought Seattle-based Corus Pharma two years ago, has signed a long-term lease on 106,000 square feet at 199 E. Blaine St., according to The Seattle Times. The building, being leased by Alexandria Real Estate Equities in South Lake Union, is expected to be completed in 2010, the Times said.

The Gilead crew was dealt a setback last month by the FDA, which said it needed to run another clinical trial to get clearance to sell aztreonam, its inhaled antibiotic for patients with cystic fibrosis. Before the FDA’s rejection, Gilead spokesman Nathan Kaiser told me that the company planned to double the number of employees at the Seattle research center, which specializes in lung diseases. The company currently has 130 employees in Seattle, and plans to double here over the next decade, Kaiser said.

Gilead is the world’s largest maker of AIDS drugs, led by sales of Truvada and Atripla, which combine medicines so patients can take fewer pills each day. It sought to diversify into lung diseases with its $365 million acquisition of Corus in 2006, and into cardiovascular conditions with its $2.5 billion acquisition of Myogen, which gave it Letairis for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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