SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) today announced that the company is consolidating its U.S.-based research scientists at the company's existing San Francisco state-of-the-art R&D center, which is located adjacent to the UCSF research and medical campus in Mission Bay. With the consolidation, research scientists from Nektar's Huntsville, Alabama research site will be relocating to San Francisco. Nektar's San Francisco R&D Center at Mission Bay opened in November 2010 and includes 102,000 square feet of biology and chemistry lab space, as well as Nektar's corporate headquarters. Under a ten-year sub-lease with Pfizer which was signed in March 2010, Nektar received free rent through July of 2014 for the newly constructed biopharmaceutical lab space.
"Bringing our highly productive U.S. research team together in San Francisco will greatly increase our efficiency and further enhance critical interaction between research, clinical, and product strategy teams as we continue to generate new drug candidates," said Howard W. Robin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nektar Therapeutics. "Nektar's R&D Center in Mission Bay is located in the heart of a growing hub of leading biopharmaceutical companies and surrounded by world-renowned scientific research institutes and medical facilities."
Nektar will continue to operate its 105,000-square-foot manufacturing and process development facility in Huntsville, Alabama that manufactures proprietary PEGylation compounds for its own clinical pipeline, as well as Nektar's pharmaceutical partners. The facility supplies polymers for UCB's Cimzia®, Roche's PEGASYS®, Pfizer's SOMAVERT®, Amgen's NEULASTA® and Affymax's peginesatide, among others.The consolidation plans announced today will result in no change to the company's most recent financial guidance provided on the February 29, 2012 webcast conference call to review the company's 2011 financial results. An audio replay of that conference call will remain available the company's website www.nektar.com in the Investor Relations Section under Financial Calendar & Presentations. About Nektar Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on its PEGylation and advanced polymer conjugation technology platforms. Nektar has a robust R&D pipeline of potentially high-value therapeutics in oncology, pain and other therapeutic areas. In the area of pain, Nektar has an exclusive worldwide license agreement with AstraZeneca for naloxegol (NKTR-118), an investigational drug candidate, which is being evaluated in Phase 3 clinical studies as a once-daily, oral tablet for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation. This agreement also includes NKTR-119, an earlier stage development program that is a co-formulation of naloxegol and an opioid. NKTR-181, a novel mu-opioid analgesic in development to treat chronic pain, has completed Phase 1 development and is being prepared for Phase 2 development. In oncology, NKTR-102 is being evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical study for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and in Phase 2 studies for the treatment of ovarian and colorectal cancers.