- This week, Bayer announced its plans to open a new life sciences center in Cambridge, MA in order to better partner with the large number of biotechs located in the area. Other pharma giants like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer have opened similar innovation centers in the Boston area over the past several years.
- Titled the East Coast Innovation Center, the regional hub will help the German drugmaker build out its R&D presence in the area. It already works with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
- While details of the office's size and scope have not yet been disclosed, Bayer has set up other similar centers before. In addition to its San Francisco Innovation Center, Bayer has innovation offices in Berlin, Beijing, Osaka, and Singapore.
Massachusetts is a hotbed of investment and expertise in the life sciences arena. The sector added 60,459 new jobs in 2014 and added an estimated $7.29 billion in economic growth to the region. In addition to the heavy presence of major research universities and hospitals, the state government has also sought to foster the industry. In 2008, former Governor Deval Patrick (D) enacted a $1 billion, 10 year plan to boost life sciences in the area.
"We want to be a partner of choice in the industry – one that collaborates effectively with not only scientists from the great research hubs in the U.S., but also clinicians, patient advocates and other key players essential to bringing novel medicines to market," said Habib Dable, head of Bayer's U.S. pharmaceuticals division.
Bayer already has local partnerships with CRISPR Therapeutics and Dimension Therapeutics. Its work with CRISPR is geared towards blood disorder and heart disease therapies, while it is collaborating with Dimension on gene therapies for hemophilia A.