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French pharmaceutical company, Ipsen, seeks to grow its operations in North America, following its decision earlier this year to relocate its operations from Basking Ridge, New Jersey to Cambridge, Massachusetts, a biotech hub.
The biotechnology company announced the relocation of its North American headquarters to Kendall Square in Cambridge last June, saying it will complete the move in 12 months. However, Ipsen will continue to have a core presence in Basking Ridge.
With the relocation to Kendall Square, Ipsen is focused on launching at least one new product or indication annually for one of its three areas of focus – oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases.
“It is in these indications that Ipsen is planning to deliver on that plan for annual product launches. Supported by the work that will be performed in Kendall Square, the company said it will remain as nimble as a biotech as it works with a sense of urgency to bring innovative products to market sooner and into the hands of the patients who need them most,” it was reported.
To achieve this, Ipsen plans to add 200 more people to the 600 employees already in North America.
Since June, the company has employed 100 people, with two thirds of those employed at the new Cambridge facility.
Ipsen was expected to receive $1.2 million in tax incentives from Massachusetts, in exchange for its pledge to create more local jobs.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker expressed his excitement at Ipsen’s decision to relocate to the state, saying his administration was committed to supporting strategic investments in life sciences, research and development.
“Massachusetts continues to be a global leader in the life sciences industry and we welcome Ipsen’s planned growth in employment and investment that will spur continued innovation, collaboration and economic growth,” Baker said.
The tax incentive was contained in a $500M, five year life sciences tax that Baker signed into law in June. The law was initially expected to be signed at the BIO International Convention, where Ipsen announced its decision to relocate, but the bill did not get to the governor in time.
Of note is that Ipsen had already occupied offices in Cambridge, a manufacturing site and office space that houses its Global External Innovation and Partnering, and Research and Development activities.
“By bringing the North America headquarters into Cambridge, Ipsen has built a fully integrated biopharma in the heart of the biotech hub and expects to capitalize on the area’s biotech ecosystem to spur growth,” the Biospace website reported.
Ipsen expects to take advantage of Cambridge’s biotech ecosystem, which they hope will support the company’s “accelerated growth, raise its profile and visibility as an employer and partner of choice.”
When announcing the move to Cambridge, Ipsen North America Chief Executive Officer Richard Paulson said the company was entering “a new era of innovation and growth for Ipsen as a leading global biotech company. By bringing our headquarters to Cambridge, we will build a sustainable innovation engine to advance opportunities for our employees and our overall business.”
As part of its plans for growth, Ipsen entered into an agreement with BioLabs to open a life science co-working facility within Ipsen’s new global hub in Kendall Square. Ipsen announced that the “shared laboratory space, called the Ipsen Innovation Center – BioLabs will be a fully equipped 15,000 square-feet combined office and laboratory facility dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and startup companies developing the next generation of therapeutics for patients.”
The facility, which is expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2019, will be used as an innovation center and also for educational programs.
Ipsen’s Chief Business Officer Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch was quoted saying the opening of the innovation center enables the company to support the “biotech ecosystem that plays such a vital role in discovering innovative new therapies.”
As part of its growth strategy, Ipsen joined the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) in October, which is part of its efforts to place external innovation and partnerships at the forefront of its growth strategy.
The Cambridge facility is Ipsen’s third global headquarters, after similar centers in France and the United Kingdom.
Ipsen employs more than 5,400 people at its facilities in about 115 countries across the world and sells more than 20 different drugs, including treatments for cancer, rare diseases and neurological conditions. Its North American presence also includes an office in Canada.