May 17, 2020

Pfizer is set to relocate its headquarters to The Spiral

Pfizer
Pfizer
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Pfizer
Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer has signed a 20-year lease for The Spiral, an office skyscraper being built by Tishman Speyer, at Hudson Yards of Manhatt...

Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer has signed a 20-year lease for The Spiral, an office skyscraper being built by Tishman Speyer, at Hudson Yards of Manhattan. The company will occupy 15 floors and will begin moving colleagues there in 2022.

“Pfizer’s history in New York City began in 1849, and we are proud to continue our commitment to the city with our move to The Spiral in Manhattan,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chief Operating Officer. “In relocating our headquarters, we sought to provide our colleagues a modern, state-of-the-art headquarters that would foster greater collaboration and innovation in a vibrant neighbourhood in Manhattan.”

In addition, Pfizer made a contribution of $500mn to the Hudson Guild, a multi-service community agency serving those who live, work, or go to school in Chelsea, with a focus on those in need. Pfizer’s donation being disbursed over five years will support Hudson Guild’s ongoing programs and services to low-income residents of Chelsea and the West Side, including free and low-income pre-k, afterschool programs, college prep, career services to young adults, mental health counselling recreational activities and meals for older adults. This is on top of an arts and theatre program.

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Ken Jockers, Hudson Guild Executive Director, stated, “The whole community benefits when companies like Pfizer step up with meaningful support. It strengthens our ability to strategically meet the needs of our constituents.”

Pfizer is currently in the process of selling its headquarters property on East 42nd Street, which it has occupied since 1961.

Construction will begin on The Spiral in June this year. Costing $3.7bn, the building has been designed by Bjarke Ingels and will span 1,031ft. featuring a cascading series of landscaped terraces and hanging gardens, the terraces will ascend, one per floor, in a spiralling motion to create a unique, continuous green pathway that wraps around the façade of the tower and supplies occupants with readily accessible outdoor space, according to a recent press release.

The six-story base of the building will also include a lobby with ceiling heights of up to 28ft and main entrances on Hudson Boulevard East and 10th Avenue.  The base also will include approximately 25,000 square feet of first-class retail. 

 

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Jul 28, 2021

5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene

COVID19
Genomics
AI
biotechnology
3 min
5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene
Johannes Bhakdi, CEO of Quantgene, tells us about their approach to identifying new COVID-19 variants

Quantgene is a US biotech company that uses AI and the cloud to do genomic testing. It was founded in 2015 to focus on cancer - integrating advanced genomics and molecular diagnostics systems with the cloud and AI systems. 

CEO Johannes Bhakdi tells us Quantgene is the first COVID-19 testing company to fully integrate variant identification - we find out more. 

Given the new Delta and Lambda variants, is the coronavirus mutating at a faster rate than most viruses?
 
The reason SARS-COV2 is mutating on a perceived higher rate is not that the individual viruses mutate at a higher rate, but that the base population infected with the virus is vastly higher. The absolute rate of global mutations is a direct function of how many people have the virus at any given point in time. Since this is a global pandemic, and tens of millions have been infected, we see more mutations. 

That makes it more unpredictable, because any single mutation that has an evolutionary advantage - like the Delta variant - can then take over and spread even faster.  

What is the usual process for testing and analysing viral mutations? 

The most effective tool for analysing mutations is Whole Viral Genome sequencing. It allows you to read out the entire genome of the virus. Once the wet-lab sequencing is complete, we use this information to map it against what is called a "reference genome", meaning the classic SARS-COV2 genome. This allows us to then see any differences between the investigated sample and the baseline genome of SARS COV2. 

We then use these differences to map them against a database of known mutations, like the Delta variant. That way we can see if we are dealing with any known variant, and if we have a new variant at our hands, as well as determine what this new variant does to the spike protein and how likely it is to be a problem with antigens and vaccines, based on the changed protein structure. This last step is not easy and not clear-cut, and there is some speculation into the determination of how problematic the mutated proteins are. 

 What does Quantgene do differently?  

At Quantgene, we are focusing on solving problems for our clients - may it be employers, movie productions or governments. That means we ensure that our client gets the COVID protection they need in the fastest possible time frame and at the highest precision possible - mostly at or below market prices. 

We are bringing together technologies like RT-PCR testing and mutation profiling/sequencing, as well as advanced bioinformatics and computational resources to ensure high-quality results are being delivered seamlessly. 

We are also adding important components such as real-time cloud software and medical services to it. Simply put, we turn the COVID problem into a one-click seamless solution that works better than others, so companies and government clients don't have to deal with laboratories, medical or software providers who point fingers at each other and fail to deliver in time and with high precision. COVID is too dangerous and important to risk falling short.     

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