RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Even though Biogen’s headquarters are in the Boston suburb of Cambridge, the global biopharmaceutical company’s ethos of community reinvestment continues to enrich North Carolina.

Inside new GBS center at Biogen’s RTP campus. (NC Biotechnology Center photo)

That was again evident last week when Biogen marked the opening of its first-ever Global Business Services (GBS) Center by announcing the addition of 150 new, local jobs during the next two years.

That’s in addition to its current 1,450-strong workforce and more than $125 million that the company has invested in its RTP campuses just since 2016. It’s now the seventh-largest company in RTP. Globally, Biogen has more than 7,000 employees.

Governor Roy Cooper, Congressman David Price, local dignitaries and Biogen leadership including Susan Alexander, EVP, chief legal officer and secretary, kicked off the celebration with remarks and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The GBS employees “will find more effective ways to connect the company’s team members and services around the world in key areas, such as finance, human resources and information technology,” the company said. The new GBS Center is a $5 million upgrade to the former Eisai pharmaceutical campus Biogen purchased in 2015 across Davis Drive from its 23-year-old RTP site. The two RTP campuses encompass more than 280 acres.

During the past year, Biogen also invested some $25 million to open its oligonucleotide synthesis manufacturing (OSM) facility to produce a new type of medicine known as anti-sense oligonucleotides (ASOs). Biogen’s OSM is the first ASO facility in North Carolina.

Biogen, of course, is not exactly in the business of community largesse, even though the Biogen Foundation donated $1.2 million to North Carolina non-profits in 2017 alone. Its exceptional corporate citizenship is, instead, a fortunate outgrowth of good people whose primary professional mission is even more lofty: producing game-changing therapies to treat neurological disorders.

But even as Biogen has been a global leader in producing drugs to treat multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, Alzheimer’s disease and other debilitating diseases, it continues to garner accolades and awards for its culture of care, including its support of science, mathematics and technology education with pre K-12 education programs for NC students.

The company has provided professional development programs to hundreds of middle and high school teachers, and welcomed more than 5,400 middle and high school students to its NC Community Lab for hands-on experience in a corporate research environment.

Biogen and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center have worked closely together for 23 years in a partnership that has proven to be a win-win for the company and the community.

Biogen is not alone among life science companies doing more than required to maintain business leadership at North Carolina facilities while contributing to the state’s growth and stability. But Biogen, by many, many measures, is an outstanding corporate citizen.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center