- French drugmaker Ipsen will relocate its U.S. headquarters to Cambridge, Massachusetts from northern New Jersey, consolidating its North American operations in a city known as a hub for biotech and life sciences companies.
- Ipsen, which sells cancer medicines as well as consumer healthcare products, already operates two sites in Cambridge's Kendall Square that are responsible for manufacturing, R&D and external partnering.
- The move is a win for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), a state-funded agency tasked with luring investment from the life sciences industry to Massachusetts. Ipsen worked with MLSC during its decision making process.
New Jersey has been the historic home of major drugmakers like Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson. Yet, for others, the lure of the Boston and San Francisco biotech clusters is a strong incentive to relocate closer to life sciences talent and money.
Boston and San Francisco have become entire ecosystems, boasting top research institutions, venture firms and a steady drumbeat of new companies starting out — all within several dozen miles.
In announcing its decision, Ipsen noted several of these factors as helpful in its goal to raise its profile as an employer. The company gave no timeline for its plan to add 200 jobs as part of the move.
Over the next 12 months, Ipsen will shift its U.S. headquarters from Basking Ridge, New Jersey to Cambridge. The French drugmaker already operates a manufacturing site and offices in Cambridge, so it has an established infrastructure upon which to build.
The MLSC helped Ipsen with the move. The agency claims to have provided over $700 million in grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives and workforce programs in Massachusetts since 2007.
For its part, the Garden State's industry organization, BIONJ, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, are doing their best to revive the attractiveness of the region. This effort includes a free portal, launched at the BIO International convention, providing access to research from New Jersey-based universities, including Princeton University.
The state's efforts have had some success in the past. In 2016, Allergan announced it would consolidate its U.S. corporate headquarters in Madison, New Jersey.