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Astellas decides to retain 90 OSI jobs on LI

Astellas U.S. Llc made official Tuesday its decision to keep 90 of the 240 employees at its subsidiary, OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., based on Long Island.

As expected, Astellas will close OSI's Melville headquarters by next June and move its remaining employees to the Broadhollow Science Park at Farmingdale State College. That will be where Astellas bases its small-molecule oncology research, the company said Tuesday in a statement.

Before Astellas, itself a subsidiary of Astellas Pharma of Japan, bought OSI for $4 billion in May, OSI planned to leave Long Island for Ardsley in Westchester County. OSI manufactures the lung cancer drug Tarceva.

"It's good news for Long Island," said Kevin Law, the new president of the Long Island Association, the region's largest business group. Not only is the company retaining its presence on Long Island, but it will serve as a draw for other companies at the science park, Law added.

Noting that OSI was formed as a result of research begun at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Law said the region's economic success will depend on continuing to commercialize research there and at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University.

Astellas officials did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday about plans for their Melville building, designed by noted architect Richard Meier and originally opened in 1994 as SwissAir's U.S. headquarters. The airline went bankrupt and moved out in 2002.

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