Ipsen plans new hires, $45M R&D expansion as it relocates U.S. HQ

Paris-based Ipsen is reorganizing its U.S. operations, shifting its American headquarters  from California to New Jersey, hiring 100 employees and investing $45 million in an upgrade of its R&D facilities in Milford, MA. The moves follow Ipsen's $663 million deal to buy Tercica, an endocrine health biopharma company, in Brisbane, CA back in 2008. Now that operation is being renamed Ipsen as part of the reorganization and expansion in the U.S.

Ipsen already has a big presence in Milford, where its peptide and toxin R&D work, as well as manufacturing, is handled. One of its two buildings on the site will be renovated while a third building goes up to expand their work there. Its R&D staff is working on the hemophilia treatment OBI-1, which Ipsen describes as "a breakthrough B-domain depleted, recombinant porcine factor VIII in late stage development with Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals." Researchers are now recruiting patients for two late-stage trials.

The move from California to New Jersey makes a lot of sense, says Sean McKercher, the president of Ipsen North America. Ipsen decided to undertake a geographic review of its operations, and determined that it wanted to focus on the U.S., among other regions. "The U.S." McKercher tells FierceBiotech, "is an emerging market for us." And New Jersey is a lot closer to the Paris hub, making it easier to coordinate activates with closer time zones.

Ipsen currently sells a pair of products in the U.S. The expansion in New Jersey will focus on adding sales positions as well as new members for the executive team, but McKercher emphasized that its sales force in the field will not be affected at all by the move. He also expects to work closely with Ipsen's business development team on any U.S. pacts, which are likely to be in either the neurology or endocrinology arenas.

"We are confident that investing $45 million in this unique site, in such close proximity to the impressive concentration of scientific skills and talent in Massachusetts, will enable Ipsen to expand its bio-therapeutic technological platforms and pipeline," said Cynthia Sylvestre, who runs the Milford operation.

- here's the Ipsen release