It's Official: Shire Takes Over Ariad's Old Space in Kendall Square

Published: Oct 10, 2017

It's Official: Shire Takes Over Ariad's Old Space in Kendall Square October 9, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

BOSTON – After two months of looking and conducting negotiations, booming Shire plc is ready to expand its physical footprint in the booming biotech hub of Cambridge, Mass.

Shire has inked a contract to take over 230,000 square-feet of space formerly occupied by Ariad Pharmaceuticals , the Boston Business Journal reported. The space was the former headquarters of the cancer-focused Ariad, which was acquired earlier this year for $5.2 billion by Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals . In July 2016, Ariad moved into a new Cambridge-area facility, but held onto some real estate, which it has subleased to other companies, including IBM Watson Health.

In August, the Journal initially reported that Shire, which has been rapidly expanding this year, was interested in taking over the Ariad space. At the time the rumors swirled, Shire did not confirm its interest in the space. However, in August, Chief Executive Officer Flemming Ornskov did tell the Journal that Shire was looking for additional laboratory space in Cambridge, Journal reporter Max Stendhal said in a review with NECN.

Shire has been rapidly consolidating its Massachusetts employees in the Kendall Square area. While Shire’s U.S. operations are currently headquartered in Lexington, Mass., Stendhal said the company has been focused on moving its operations primarily to Cambridge by 2021. Shire has approximately 3,000 employees spread across Massachusetts. By 2019, the bulk of its U.S.-based researchers will be located in Shire’s Cambridge facility and then have its headquarters in the area by 2021, the Boston Globe reported in June.

When Shire’s real estate relocation is completed, the company’s Cambridge operations will primarily be spread across the former Ariad space as well as a facility previously occupied by Sanofi Genzyme , which has moved into another location.

Shire announced it was taking over the former Genzyme space last year. The company said it intends to make that building a rare disease innovation hub. Shire anticipates taking over the 343,000 square feet of space during the third quarter of 2018 with occupancy expected in the first quarter of 2019. The additional space in Kendall Square gives Shire more than 2 million square feet of research, manufacturing and administrative space in that hub of biotech innovation alone.

Shire also gained space in the white hot Kendall Square area through its 2015 acquisition of Baxalta .

When Shire took over the Genzyme space last year, Ornskov said a greater physical footprint in Cambridge puts shire in “close proximity to best-in-class hospitals, research institutions, universities and a thriving biotechnology community.” He said the area allows the company to strengthen its ties with “the early innovators around us to shape the next generation of breakthrough therapies for patients with high unmet needs.”

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