Investors to tap GSK's research site for new billion-dollar life sciences campus — report
Two investors, armed with substantial financial backing, are taking advantage of 33 acres of land at a Big Pharma R&D hub to build a new life sciences campus.
A report in The Times and retweeted by GSK came out early Monday, saying that investment firm UBS Asset Management — a subsidiary of Swiss private megabank UBS — has partnered with property investor Reef Group to invest up to £900 million, or $1.08 billion, to buy up 33 acres of land at one of GSK’s R&D sites, located in Stevenage, UK.
Another report from London business newspaper City AM noted that the investors want to make the site the second-largest “sector cluster” after Cambridge University. Construction begins in 2023, with UBS estimating the development will be worth close to $1.8 billion once done.
A GSK spokesperson told Endpoints News that the pair of investors was selected to work on the new development. Dubbed the Stevenage Campus, it will provide commercial and lab space for different life sciences companies, and subject to logistics, some yet-unspecified “elements” of the campus will be open by 2025.
This development has been in the works for a while, with the pharma announcing almost a year ago that it would put 33 acres up for sale. At the time, GSK said all it would take is someone to invest more than £400 million, or $552 million. GSK also said that the land could be developed into about 100,000 square meters of floor space.
GSK’s existing facility, which now sits on 59 acres and down from 92, was to remain unaffected by the development plans, aside from widening a public road to improve access to the site.
This is the newest development for GSK when it comes to its headquarters and facilities. The pharma practically abandoned its iconic digs in Research Triangle Park and Philadelphia last October after being spurred by the overall reduced need for office space, a trend felt across multiple industries.
“Our new offices will emphasize team connection, dynamic workflows and recognize a preference for greater flexibility to work from home,” a GSK spokesperson told Endpoints at the time.
And speaking of other upcoming big changes at GSK, its consumer healthcare unit is set to spin out and officially form Haleon in just under two weeks, as the pharma convenes a general meeting at London’s Heathrow Airport tomorrow.