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Leukemia Drug Troubles Force Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA) To Shrink Size Of Footprint In Kendall Square

8/28/2014 7:00:28 AM

Leukemia Drug Troubles Force Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. To Shrink Size Of Footprint In Kendall Square Leukemia Drug Troubles Force Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. To Shrink Size Of Footprint In Kendall Square

August 28, 2014

By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA), a biopharmaceutical company, is now reporting that it will no longer require as much space as it originally thought for its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. The company is looking to sublease 170,000 square feet in Kendall Square, according to the Boston Globe.

Ariad had originally signed a 15-year lease in January 2013 to utilize about 370,000 square feet of space at Alexandria Center, which is still under construction. However, it seems that the company’s plans have shifted since it was forced to pull its drug, Iclusig, from shelves last fall.

“Given our current size and projected future growth, we now anticipate requiring less space than we had initially planned for,” spokeswoman Liza Heapes told the news source. “Along with our commercial real estate broker, we are seeking to market approximately 170,000 square feet of space in the Binney Street location, keeping approximately 200,000 square feet, which we expect will accommodate our needs as a new corporate headquarters.”
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The Appeal of Cambridge
Although Ariad Pharmaceuticals seems to be backtracking on its investment in real estate in Cambridge, another company is allegedly working to move in on the area: Baxter International, Inc. (BAX).

The biotechnology company, which is currently based in Deerfield, Ill., is rumored to be looking for space right where Ariad is leasing. However, Baxter International will not comment on the rumors.

"As we stated in March, when we announced plans to create two separate, independent global health care companies, the corporate headquarters of both companies will be located in northern Illinois," Deborah Spak told Chicago Business. "Given Baxter's size and scope, as well as our many partnerships and collaborations, there are often rumors circulating."

Cambridge, Mass., appears to be extremely appealing to biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies that do business around the world. Some companies that already have presences in the city include Pfizer and Biogen Idec.

Ariad’s Recent Work
Prior to having to pull Iclusig from the U.S. market due to safety concerns, Ariad was marketing its drug as a form of treatment for leukemia, a type of cancer. The drug was being used for the treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive chronic myeloid leukemia or T315I-positive Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Ariad has a presence in Switzerland, in addition to Cambridge. It defines itself as global oncology company focused on “transforming the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines.”

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