Alexandria’s success in attracting Roche reflects a shift in thinking in the pharmaceutical industry, which for years put its research workers in the same complexes as its manufacturing plants. Now, drug companies are putting drug development scientists in so-called research clusters, typically around universities, with the theory that more interaction between scientists will spur better research.
Roche announced in June that it would close its manufacturing and research facility in Nutley, N.J., and relocate a research unit in the area. The company considered keeping those 200 or so jobs at a new location in New Jersey, but ultimately chose Manhattan site, largely because of its location in a cluster of other research companies, said Darien Wilson, a spokeswoman for Roche.
The site, she said, would “allow us to be in the midst of that scientific talent.”