On Monday 21st November 2011, Liftstream’s MD – Karl Simpson, attended the official launch of Celgene’s new UK & Ireland office at Stockley Park. Hosted by Celgene’s Sam Pearce, General Manager Northern Europe and Philippe Van Holle, President of Celgene Europe, the official unveiling was by Rt. Hon David Willetts MP, the UK Minister for Universities and Science. The event was a fantastic celebration of Celgene’s new office facility at 1 Longwalk Road, Stockley Park but also the important role that life-sciences plays in the UK and European economies with the tremendous growth they can bring, including the level of highly skilled science-based jobs it creates. It was great to look back at how Celgene has grown from a small market entrant in 2006 to the sizeable operation it is in Europe today, employing some 800 people.
David Willetts MP commented on the impressive growth of Celgene and said that the coalition government is looking to do all it can to encourage companies like Celgene to do more business in the UK. It seems he was equally impressed by the facilities themselves, making particular reference to the dining facilities offered to staff and how he thought they were even more ‘cool’ than those of Google.
Philippe Van Holle gave a presentation on where the Celgene business is today, the business strategy and how it intends to grow in the future through the pursuit of haematology, oncology and immune-inflammatory therapies. He talked to the strength of the Celgene pipeline and the particularly encouraging outlook in the phase III studies in haematology. Sam Pearce then talked to the way in which Celgene continues to work with patient groups and how 12 Celgene employees (including Sam herself) ran the Berlin marathon to raise funds for UK charities supporting people with Myeloma and MDS.
It was all capped off with a toast, some individually designed cupcakes for the occassion and the traditional ribbon cutting. A great event that was a celebration of all the hard work by Celgene and its staff that has gone into building a strong European company and increasing Celgene’s global presence. The UK office is home to many different functions, not least the UK Drug Safety teams and Global Regulatory Affairs functions, many of which have been recruited by Liftstream since 2006, a great relationship that we continue to invest in making a success. Let’s hope that David Willetts is able to offer companies like Celgene the incentive for placing their considerable investment in the UK and allow the life sciences sector here to thrive.