Biogen Idec's ($BIIB) plans to move executive offices back from the Boston burbs to the city of Cambridge, MA, took a step forward yesterday, with Alexandria Real Estate Equities ($ARE) breaking ground on what is expected to be a $500 million science and tech complex. The project's progress keeps the biotech giant on track to ditch its gleaming new campus in Weston, MA, for the new digs in Kendall Square in 2013.
The move is expected to put Biogen's business operations in closer proximity to its R&D activities, which are already housed in Kendall Square. Biogen CEO George Scangos put the moving plans into motion after taking the reins at the company last year, and he told FierceBiotech in an interview in July that the relocation is part of a larger effort to make the company more efficient and better at exchanging ideas. Biogen, the world's largest maker of drugs for multiple sclerosis, will occupy the first building in Alexandria's new complex.
Kendall Square has been a hot place for biopharma expansion, and its rise as one of the world's top centers for biotech has come as companies have made cutbacks at other sites in the U.S. and Europe. The long list of major drugmakers with key facilities in the Boston area now includes Sanofi, Takeda, Novartis and AstraZeneca, to name several.
"The proximity to academic researchers, teaching hospitals and other biotech companies fosters the collaboration and exchange of scientific ideas that breeds innovation," Scangos said in a statement. "We're looking forward to bringing all of our Massachusetts employees back together in this one location, and I believe it will help build the kind of culture and teamwork that is critical to our success as a company."