Galderma celebrates $22 million R&D center’s milestone

Quintin Cassady, Vice President and General Counsel for Galderma North America; Betsy Price, Mayor, City of Fort Worth; and Miles Harrison, President of Galderma North America, signed a commemorative rendering of the new Galderma R&D, training and office facility. (PRNewsFoto/Galderma Laboratories)

Swiss-based dermatology company Galderma Laboratories LP hosted a topping out ceremony May 10 for its new $22 million research and development center in Fort Worth.

Construction is clipping along on the skin care company’s 100,000-square-foot expansion to its North American headquarters, located on the west side of Interstate 35W, just north of Alliance Airport in far north Fort Worth.

The expansion, scheduled to be completed in first quarter 2017, will add to the 170,000-square foot campus and bring up to 350 new jobs to the current workforce of 300 employees over the next few years. The new positions would carry an annual average salary of $110,000 by 2020.

The new facility, located on the northeast corner of Texas Longhorn Way and Heritage Parkway, will be used to conduct research needed to secure regulatory approval for new Galderma technology and therapeutic products to treat hair, nail and skin diseases, including acne, psoriasis, rosacea and skin cancer. The expanded center also will house training operations, additional office space and a gym.

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Galderma, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle SA, Switzerland, is solely focused on dermatology and skin health. The company’s skin care line includes prescription medications, aesthetic and corrective medical solutions, and over-the-counter cleansers and moisturizers, including its iconic brand, Cetaphil, which was developed in San Antonio in 1947.

Galderma moved from San Antonio to Fort Worth in 1961 and built its North American headquarters at Alliance in 2000.

The company has been on a growth track during the past 20 months, launching nine products under the umbrella of Nestle Skin Health SA, in addition to this major expansion.

The expansion shows Galderma’s commitment to both skin health innovation and the Fort Worth community, according to Miles Harrison, general manager and president of Galderma North America.

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“This new building is a practical manifestation of how we’ve grown,” said Harrison. “It’s a game-changer in that it will allow us to double the number of staff at our North American headquarters, increase our talent and concentrate on our one and only focus: providing for skin health needs at every stage of life.”

Humberto Antunes, CEO of Nestle Skin Health SA and chairman of the board of Galderma Pharma, announced the company’s new R&D center at the annual Mayor’s International Luncheon in October 2015.

Antunes said location, workforce, weather, nearby universities and Fort Worth’s enthusiastic mayor were major factors in the decision to expand its headquarters here.

“Fort Worth is a great place to do business. As your CEO said, and it’s something we all know is true, it’s easier to do business here in Fort Worth than in other places,” Price said.

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Price said the city is proud that Galderma chose to invest in R&D and expand its Fort Worth footprint.

“We’re very excited about this. Galderma is a great partner,” said Price. “You’ve been here a long time in Fort Worth and now in Alliance. Your expansion is just great. You’re bringing great jobs that pay well and help us maintain additional post-secondary degree people here. It’s a tremendous magnate in the medical field and the research our friends at UNT Health Science Center and THR [Texas Health Resources] and all the other hospitals know – Fort Worth is rapidly becoming a medical destination center for research and treatment areas. We have 38,000 jobs in the hospital district and growing. We’re thrilled you’re here.”