Goodbye Philly, hello Boston: Shire moves US HQ, 500 jobs
- Seeking to benefit from the unique synergies that Massachusetts offers the biotech community, Shire is leaving Chesterbrook, PA for Lexington, MA. The move involves relocating 500 jobs, all in operations and R&D. There will most likely be some lay-offs.
- Because of the synergies found in the greater Boston area, such as the opportunity to work with academic medical centers and the presence of venture capitalists, there are many advantages for Shire and other biopharma companies in the region.
- To move's cost will partially be offset by the $1.6 billion "break-up fee" that Shire received after AbbVie backed out of a planned inversion merger earlier this year.
Shire is joining a growing community of pharma companies that have a presence in the Boston area, including Pfizer, Novartis, Amgen, and the Genzyme unit of Sanofi.
It's not clear how many employees will have the chance to relocate from PA to MA, but a large proportion will most likely have the option. Currently, Shire has 1,352 employees in Lexington, 971 in Chesterbrook, and 300 contractors.
Shire CEO Fleming Ornskov is one hundred percent future forward in his thinking—and looking for a big pay-off as early as 2016 when the company will reap cost-savings of $25 million per year as a result of the move.