Baxter International plans to form a new global innovation and R&D center in Cambridge, Mass., for Baxter's biopharmaceuticals business, which is expected to become a separate, independent global company known as Baxalta in mid-2015.
The business selected the Cambridge biotech community as the primary location for its global innovation and R&D operations after a global search. The new location will position the company to enhance patient care by advancing and building its robust innovation pipeline, which is centered on core areas of hematology and immunology and through technology platforms like gene therapy and biosimilars.
The company expects to bring together approximately 400 R&D employees at the innovation center, as well as its business development, oncology and biosimilars teams. The R&D positions that will relocate to the new center currently are based in California and Europe. The new company will maintain certain R&D operations at its location in Vienna and will have its corporate headquarters in northern Illinois.
"Critical elements to our success as an independent biopharmaceuticals company will be our ability to accelerate innovation, optimize R&D productivity and deliver on our promise to patients. Joining this unmatched biotech community is an important step," said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter BioScience.
"Our new innovation center will increase R&D collaboration and efficiency, connect us directly to a rich pool of talent in new and emerging biotech areas and strengthen our ability to drive programs forward in cooperation with current and future partners," said John Orloff, M.D., vice president and global head of R&D for Baxter BioScience.
The company expects to open the first phase in leased space later this year and will continue to transition work to the new facility over the next two years to ensure continuity of current programs.