BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Following months of waiting and many discussions between the company and area officials, employees from the Daiichi Sankyo offices, formerly located in two separate locations in Edison and Parsippany, have officially moved in to their new workplace in Basking Ridge.  

The global pharmaceutical company completed its transition into its newly renovated location at 211 Mt. Airy Road, Basking Ridge - the former Avaya, Inc. headquarters building - on June 18.

Daiichi Sankyo had announced its decision to open its U.S. headquarters in Basking Ridge this past April. According to the company, the new headquarters opened with about 700 employees.

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Along with bringing a worldwide business presence, the newly installed corporation celebrated its grand opening with international flavor earlier this summer. To break in the new digs, company heads and staff members invited officials and other members of the public to commemorate their arrival on June 27.

Breaking open the sake barrel

The special occasion was celebrated with a variety of Japanese traditions, including Kagami Biraki, a traditional Japanese ceremony to break open a large sake barrel with wooden mallets.

The Basking Ridge site was chosen because of its geographically neutral proximity between the two former buildings, according to the company's spokesperson. It also meets the needs of the company’s steady growth industry. 

“We have had a very warm welcome into Bernards Township,” said Kim Wix, who is Senior Director of Public Affairs for Daiichi Sankyo. “We have already had the pleasure of meeting and working with a variety of local resources, including the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP). The SCBP has been particularly helpful in connecting our employees directly with local services, businesses and recreational resources," she added.

"Uniting our New Jersey-based personnel into a single location not only makes us more efficient, but it will also further strengthen collaboration among teams working across the entire life cycle of our medicines," Wix said in response to questions from TAP Into Basking Ridge.

With more than 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 16,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help people, according to the company. The move is a part of an ongoing effort to realize efficiencies and continue collaboration between the business segments, enabling innovation in its existing and emerging therapeutic areas such as cardiology, oncology, pain and other areas where there are unmet medical needs. 

“Our top objective is to promote investment in critical sites like this site in Basking Ridge. This project shows that this kind of investment in Somerset County, and Basking Ridge in particular, will be successful in attracting great companies like Daiichi,” said Executive Director of the SCBP, Michael Kerwin.

The company invited Bernards Township Mayor Carolyn Gaziano to speak at its “co-location” celebration and share the rich history of Bernards Township with members of Daiichi, as well as what the area has to offer. Bruce McArthur, Township Administrator and Carol Bianchi, Township Committeewoman also participated and talked one-on-one with many of the employees during the event. 

Also participating in the ceremony were Yuko Kimura, Head of Global Coordination, Marielle Cohard Radice, M.D., Executive Vice President Global Head of Development, Ken Keller, President, US Commercial, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Glenn Gormley, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Executive Officer and Global Head, Research & Development Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. Chairman of the Board and President Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

“Such a multi-national company as Daiichi Sankyo is, adds vibrancy to the township and area," McArthur  said. "It is a diverse workforce, where frequent Asian travel takes place into and out of the facility. This helps hotel occupancy, and restaurant traffic. The employee inflow also energizes local businesses – restaurants, day care enrollment, health care providers, etc.,” McArthur said.  

The Township Administrator  later said he has high hopes that employees will ultimately relocate to the area once they discover how appealing and welcoming it is, and they put down some roots.  

Wix said, “The time they spent with us is most appreciated and we look forward to other opportunities. We hope to make a very positive difference in the community and we’d expect our employees have already begun to explore the local restaurants and other nearby businesses.” 

Gaziano later said that the company's arrival is “a great benefit to the town to have a global pharmaceutical company moving in and bringing with it [hundreds of] employees who will be eating in our restaurants, shopping in our stores, and possibly buying real estate.” She also hopes that the company will eventually employ some Basking Ridge residents.

“A variety of business functions are located in the Basking Ridge facility including marketing, human resources, legal affairs, clinical development, medical affairs, IT, finance and supply chain,” said Wix.  

Individuals interested in learning about career opportunities at Daiichi Sankyo should visit LinkedIn, or go to the company’s Careers Site at http://careers.dsi.com/index.php. To learn more about the company’s research and development efforts, visit www.daiichisankyo.com.