Allergan to open R&D site in Kendall Square

Kendall Square
Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Tim Pierce/Public domain)

Allergan is setting up an R&D group in Kendall Square. Headed by Don Frail, the Kendall Square group will work to connect Allergan to venture capital groups and startups in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, hot spot.

Leading drug developers such as AbbVie, Eli Lilly and Pfizer have congregated in Kendall Square to get closer to the many biotechs that call the area home. Allergan has held off on establishing a presence in the location for longer than many of its peers but has now decided to add a Kendall Square site to its R&D network.

Allergan is putting Frail, its senior vice president of research and external scientific innovation and nonclinical and translational sciences, in charge of the site. When the site opens later this quarter, Allergan, like its peers before it, hopes proximity to innovative startups will boost its prospects. 

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“Our new, strategic presence in Kendall Square will allow us to more easily interact and engage with venture firms and startups in the area," Allergan chief R&D officer David Nicholson said in a statement. "I am confident that our new location in Cambridge, along with Don's deep expertise will accelerate the evaluation of scientific opportunities and further deliver on our Open Science model and the next wave of potentially transformational medicines.”

The creation of the Kendall Square office will allow Frail to relocate back to Massachusetts. Frail was based out of Boston before he joined Allergan and moved to Irvine, California, in 2014. Following the move back to the East Coast, Frail will continue to lead the Irvine team while working out of Kendall Square.

The external scientific innovation and nonclinical and translational sciences team Frail leads will stay back in Irvine, which will remain the focal point of Allergan’s R&D activities. Frail expects the Kendall Square site to “serve as a portal to [Allergan’s] other R&D sites” in New Jersey, San Francisco and elsewhere. 

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