Vertex Terminates Leases on Three Properties in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Terminates Leases on Three Properties in Cambridge, Massachusetts
March 2, 2015
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. (BMR) announced today that Vertex Pharmaceuticals terminated leases on three properties in Cambridge, Mass. As a result, BioMed recaptured about 313,000 square feet of space and will receive a $14 million termination fee from Vertex.

“The deal is a win-win for Vertex and BioMed Realty since Vertex can be relieved of these lease obligations moving forward, and we have great space to meet the growing life science real estate demand in Cambridge,” said Bill Kane, senior vice president of BioMed Realty in a statement. “Tenants requiring 30,000 to 100,000 square feet in Cambridge are struggling to find available lab space, and we see venture capital and IPO activity driving aggregate demand for 1.3 million square feet of new lab space over the next three years in Cambridge.”

BioMed owns more than three million square feet of laboratory and office space in the Boston/Cambridge area, including a facility that Baxter Healthcare’s new spinoff, Baxalta, will be moving into on Kendall Street.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Boston, Mass., was founded in 1989 with $6 million in venture capital. It markets Kalydeco (ivacaftor) for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. It also has two more compounds, lumacaftor (VX-809) and VX-661 in Phase III clinical trials for cystic fibrosis, an influenza treatment, VX-787, in Phase II trials, which is outlicensed to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , and two compounds, VX-970 and VX-803, in Phase I trials for cancer treatments.

It’s not entirely clear why Vertex terminated the contracts for these locations. However, the company has spent a significant part of 2014 consolidating its operations on the South Boston waterfront. It is leasing 291,000 square feet of office space at West Kendall Street in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, and also leases space from Biomed in San Diego.

Vertex recently outlined its 2015 business priorities and announced its 2014 financial reports. “Vertex enters a year where the potential approval and launch of the combination of lumacaftor and ivacaftor, and continued geographic and label expansion for Kalydeco, are expected to significantly increase the number of people treated with our medicines,” said Jeffrey Leiden, chair, president and chief executive of Vertex in a statement. “We enter 2015 with a strong cash position of approximately $1.4 billion, which, when combined with continued revenue growth, will allow us to invest in key internal and external opportunities in CF and other diseases to bolster our pipeline and position the company to advance other transformative medicines in the coming years.”

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