Ipsen moves U.S. headquarters to Kendall Square

Kendall Square (Tim Pierce/Public domain)

Ipsen is moving its U.S. headquarters to Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The French drugmaker is the latest in a series of European companies to pick the biotech hotspot as their U.S. base.

Paris-based Ipsen established a toehold in the city in 2014 and went on to boost its presence last year through a $1.25 billion deal with Merrimack. Now, Ipsen is moving its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to Kendall Square, positioning it to add more than 200 people to its Cambridge workforce in the years to come.

The arrivals will move into a building already occupied by an Ipsen external innovation team, which will serve as its new U.S. headquarters. Another team will continue to work out of the Cambridge manufacturing site Ipsen picked up in the deal with Merrimack.

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Basking Ridge, New Jersey, is the loser in the reorganization. Ipsen will retain a 30-person back office team in the area, The Boston Globe reports, but the headquarters will move up to Cambridge over the next 12 months. Once the process is complete, Cambridge will sit alongside Paris and Oxford, U.K., as one of Ipsen’s three hubs.

Ipsen, like many European companies before it, has zeroed in on the Boston and Cambridge area as the ideal launchpad for its efforts to establish itself as a partner and employer of choice for biotechs and life science researchers.

“We wanted to be in the most innovative square mile in the world,” Richard Paulson, chief executive of Ipsen’s North American operations, told the Globe.

Large and small drugmakers alike have reached similar conclusions, leading to the concentration of companies in biotech hotspots such as Cambridge and Oxford. With Ipsen having bases in both the cities, it is well placed to keep tabs on opportunities as they arise.