Client stories

Biopharma company reshapes its global footprint

From strategy to execution and implementation, company modernizes its real estate portfolio to achieve new strategic goals


A refreshed portfolio strategy bridges legacy and innovation


North America, Europe and Asia


15 million sq. ft.


22 total transactions since 2020

With a legacy of innovation since the 1800s, a global biopharma company rallies around its mission to bring life-saving medicines to people with serious diseases. Over the last several years, that has meant consolidating its broad product portfolio to more focused solutions while expanding into promising new therapeutic areas, including cell and gene therapy.

As the organization began reinventing itself as a cutting-edge biopharma company, leadership realized that it also needed to rethink its real estate footprint.

Reinventing legacy real estate for a new future

The company’s portfolio included many legacy facilities that did not support the new strategic focus. In some cities, the company faced a surplus of locations due to mergers and acquisitions or operating structure changes. Additionally, older campus environments made it difficult to attract the best and brightest talent. At the same time, the company needed to invest in new manufacturing facilities in select geographies to achieve growth in the cell and gene therapy market.

It was time to reimagine the real estate portfolio for the future. The company needed offices, research centers and manufacturing facilities in the right locations to attract talent, support its supply chain and manage cost pressures. For help implementing its new vision, the company turned to JLL.

Comprehensive support for a global portfolio shift

As one of the company’s preferred service providers since 2015, JLL brought a variety of competencies to help roll out the strategic vision for the real estate portfolio, from site selection and transaction management to lab services and occupancy planning.

One major goal for the real estate team was to sell a significant multi-functional campus in a northeastern city. With the help of JLL, the company stepped up with a creative approach to rebrand the site as a multi-tenanted campus. They planned to lease or sell the entire campus while initiating redevelopment alternatives. Through this dual strategy, they secured a long-term lease with an anchor tenant, proving demand for the location and ultimately selling the property to an investor.

The campus sale represents one of the company’s several successful sales managed by JLL. The Transactions Management team has also renewed leases for the company and supported its expansion into vibrant new facilities designed to attract talent. As the company closes on transactions, it often turns to JLL’s Project and Development Services team for project management support, from managing move-outs to overseeing new office buildouts.

Meanwhile, the company has partnered with JLL to grow their cell and gene therapy expertise throughout Europe and Asia. For each investment, JLL assembles a team from across the biopharma company to agree on the criteria necessary for location selection, including access to talent and supply chain as well as incentives that may be available. That group typically includes representatives from real estate, human resources, engineering, tax, legal, supply chain, operations and government affairs. JLL’s location selection team then reviews each site against those criteria.

The continued evolution of the biopharma company’s real estate footprint has introduced challenges for its facilities management teams, which must adjust services and staffing in response to site acquisitions and dispositions. As the company’s integrated facilities management (IFM) and lab services partner in North America, JLL demonstrated it’s agility in providing scalable solutions meeting the specific needs of building occupants. From delivering workplace services such as office space cleaning and occupancy planning to supporting their scientific community in regulated spaces with lab material management and GxP-compliant maintenance management.

A real estate portfolio designed for innovation

The company continues to make progress in rolling out its real estate strategy, designed to support its mission to drive scientific breakthroughs. Since 2020, JLL has been instrumental in the transition of more than 20 of the company’s global real estate assets, including the sale of several large and complex campuses. The team also helped revitalize a number of legacy campuses, allowing the company to bolster the communities where it does business.

With a large team providing support across the extensive biopharma real estate portfolio and facilities for several years, JLL has connected pillars across the organization, offered historical knowledge and helped maintain a culture of excellence in facilities management. Additionally, JLL’s expertise in sustainability, workplace strategy, and diversity, equity and inclusion has inspired the company’s real estate team as it looks to the future.

Looking ahead to the future of biopharma

The right real estate locations for attracting talent and managing global supply chains will continue to shift as science evolves and new therapies emerge. As the biopharma company reshapes its global real estate footprint, JLL remains a preferred partner to support location strategy and site selection, divestitures, and ongoing management of its existing portfolio and facilities. By supporting where the company is heading, JLL is helping it to fulfill its mission to deliver life-saving medicines to patients.

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