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FDA approval spurs Vertex move to Boston waterfront

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The approval of Vertex’s Pharmaceutical’s hepatitis C treatment triggered one the biggest real estate deals in Boston’s history and is expected to spur the economic turnaround of the waterfront’s industrial area, according to a report in The Boston Globe.

Construction of two buildings totaling more than a million square feet and costing about $800 million is scheduled to begin on Fan Pier as soon as this week and be completed by 2014.

City and business leaders say the arrival of Vertex’s headquarters and about 1,500 employees from Cambridge will attract similar businesses to the area.

Fan Pier has just one building now, but plans call for an eight-building complex. Vertex said it will lease 1.1 million square feet of office and lab space over the next 15 years in two of those buildings. The company’s expansion plans were secured when the FDA approved Incivek, the first drug developed solely by the company. Analysts project the drug could see annual sales of at least $1 billion.

The deal is considered a milestone for Boston officials, who have long sought to lure a major biotechnology company from Cambridge, where many of the state’s key life sciences firms are based.

Some Vertex employees will begin moving to the waterfront this fall, into an existing building at One Marina Park Drive.

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