Clinical development will be the focus of a newly opened Research and Development Center that significantly expands Allergan’s footprint in the US state of New Jersey.

The Irvine, California-based company originally established a small office in Bedminster, NJ in 2008. The 93,000 sq ft R&D Center in Bridgewater is a big step up from that, though, with “several hundred” employees expected eventually to be working at the site.

Allergan’s more aggressive move into the state was eased by a grant of up to US$14.9 million over 10 years under the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Business Employment Incentive Program. 

“With our robust pool of highly skilled workers in the pharma and biotech sector, New Jersey offers the talent and the location to help advance medical research,” commented local Congressman Leonard Lance.

“Improving our economy is our number one priority, and Allergan’s move - and the jobs it brings with it - make this a win-win for the company and our state’s residents.”

Roche retreat

The local economy took a sharp hit in June when Roche unveiled plans to close its 80 year-old research and development site in Nutley, New Jersey, with the loss of some 1,000 jobs.

Roche is consolidating its research and early development activities at existing sites in Germany and Switzerland, which will focus on oncology, virology, metabolism and neuroscience.

More R&D investment

David Pyott, Allergan’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company would “continue to increase our investment in R&D to fuel innovation”, with expenditure likely to top US$1 billion in 2013.