Takeda to further cement presence in Cambridge, MA biopharma hub with 600,000-square-foot R&D center
In the nearly eight years since Christophe Weber tapped Andy Plump as the new R&D chief at Takeda, the two top execs have been on a mission to elevate the company into a top-15 global giant, with a pipeline to match. And now they’ve set out to create a sprawling, 600,000 square-foot R&D and office HQ to complement this vision and fly their multinational flag over the heart of the Cambridge, MA biotech hub.
Takeda has inked a 15-year lease with BioMed Realty at 585 Third Street in Kendall Square. According to the company, the facility will allow the company to create a purpose-built R&D facility with upgraded technology to support its efforts.
For Plump, it’s an important turning point at this stage of the journey. In an email to Endpoints News, Plump noted:
This new real estate development is an important milestone that reflects the progress we’ve made transforming Takeda R&D and developing our exciting pipeline over the last half decade. We have a phenomenal opportunity to design and build laboratories of the future with state-of-the-art technologies. Unifying our Cambridge R&D presence to a single location in Kendall Square will bring us closer together as an integrated R&D organization and closer to our business colleagues—which is critical as we continue to advance our science to patients.
According to Takeda, starting in 2025 the company will have an approximate base lease term payment of $1.48 billion to be paid over 15 years. After that, Takeda has the option to renew the lease twice for 10 years each at market rates. Takeda did not receive any local or state government assistance for the new building.
Wednesday’s move comes at a time when Takeda has taken another recent step to building up its gene therapy platform, as the company signed off on a $2 billion deal to snap up Code Biotherapeutics’ platform in February.
The company will also expand its existing space at 650 East Kendall, across the street from this new build-out, to include two additional floors, making Takeda the sole laboratory and office tenant in that building.
The move will also have Takeda shift all its R&D capabilities into a central hub and campus in Cambridge, unifying Takeda’s R&D operations and co-locating with businesses and other operations. Takeda will eventually transition teams from Central Square to Kendall Square but will maintain a presence in Lexington, MA to keep a suburban location.
“We were intentional in selecting 585 Third Street as this building will offer us close proximity to top life sciences talent while enabling us to further enhance office collaboration and R&D space to support scientific discovery for patients worldwide,” said Julie Kim, president of the US business unit and US country head, in a statement.
Construction at 585 Third Street is scheduled to begin next year, with plans to occupy the building starting in 2026.
Takeda planted its flag in the Cambridge area when it acquired Shire several years ago. The deal sought to give Takeda a big concentration in the area and expanded on Shire’s move to concentrate its forces in Lexington and Cambridge.
Takeda also finds itself in a busy part of town not just for biotechs, but big pharma companies. In April, AstraZeneca announced that it will open a new, custom-built space in Kendall Square, bringing together 1,500 R&D, commercial and corporate staffers and serving as the headquarters for Alexion.