AstraZeneca to set up its European hub in Barcelona's Estel building

AstraZeneca to set up its European hub in Barcelona's Estel building
Estel office building, Barcelona

AstraZeneca, the British pharmaceutical company, has announced that its new European hub will be located in the Estel building in Barcelona. The pioneering project in Europe expects an investment of 800 million euros over five years, in addition to hiring 1,000 people.
The arrival of the hub in the Catalan capital, scheduled for 2025, is mainly aimed at research into treatments in the areas of oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, respiratory and immunology, and vaccines and immunotherapies. The initiative boosts the city's role in scientific research. It also promotes public-private collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya and Barcelona City Council, which are working to make the city a strategic point in the sector.
The president of AstraZeneca in Spain, Rick R. Suárez, appointed future head of the centre, said: "Spain and Barcelona have established themselves as key hubs in the field of innovation and life sciences; their biomedical ecosystem represents great opportunities for collaboration, both with the public and private sectors, to scale our commitment to the development of disruptive strategies, such as genomics or cell therapy, and to digital transformation and data science".
The Estel building, dating from 1972 and designed by the architect Francesc Mitjans, is significant in the transformation of Barcelona. Located on Avinguda Roma, it was the former headquarters of Telefónica until the company vacated the building in 2011. It is currently owned by the German management company Freo and the US fund Bain Capital Credit.  AstraZeneca has signed a pre-agreement to lease two floors of the building, which means about 5,000 square metres on each floor.
Freo and Bain Capital bought Estel for 120 million euros in December 2021 from Sunrich, the former owner of the property, which sought to develop three hundred luxury homes. Bain Capital has invested more than 890 million euros in order to renovate it to house function rooms, restaurants, terraces and gyms, among others. The building as a whole covers more than 51,600 square metres, making it one of the largest office buildings in Barcelona.

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