UPDATED: Ipsen-backed Inspiration Biopharma leaving California for Boston area

Score one for the Boston-area biotech scene. With a newly appointed chief executive from Genzyme, Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals is relocating from Laguna Niguel, CA, to the biotech-rich Kendall Square section of Cambridge, MA. And the move comes amid the company's planned transformation from a development-stage outfit to a commercial provider of bleeding-disorder drugs.

"We're building a fully integrated company,'' Inspiration CEO John Butler, who was previously president of the rare genetic disease unit of Cambridge-based Genzyme, said in an interview with The Boston Globe. "Ultimately, we're a bricks-and-mortar company as of Jan. 1. Going forward, Cambridge is our address. We expect to have two products on the market in the second half of 2013.''

Ipsen's partnership with Inspiration, which is 40% owned by the French biotech, played a role in the relocation to Massachusetts as well, according to the Globe's article. Inspiration recently filed for approval of its experimental factor IX product for hemophilia B patients in Europe, where Ipsen has rights to market the drug. The company is also planning an FDA app for approval of the drug early next year. Ipsen has set up a bioprocessing operation in Massachusetts where the treatment will be made, and the Paris-based biotech has an option to acquire Inspiration which is tied to whether the developer'' two lead bleeding-disorder drugs pan out, the Globe reported.

Inspiration's move to Massachusetts, of course, won't really improve its chances of getting market green lights for its hemophilia products. Yet there's no shortage of biotech talent walking the streets of Kendall Square, where Novartis ($NVS), Biogen Idec ($BIIB), Pfizer ($PFE) and others are building up their existing hubs and adding to their teams of scientists and business groups. And Ipsen recently revealed plans to plow $45 million into and add 100 workers to its R&D operation in Milford, MA. Inspiration is unlikely to have problems beefing up its own work force as it readies for potential commercial releases of its products.

- here's the company's release
- get more in the Globe article

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