Shire to build US rare disease R&D hub

Shire is to build on it rare disease expertise with a new specialised R&D centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The rare disease “innovation hub” will be based next to an existing Shire facility in Kendall Square, with the lease beginning in the third quarter of 2018, and staff moving in the following quarter.

Shire will create a cross-disciplinary campus, with teams in research, clinical development, medical affairs, business development and other related functions.

There will also be close collaboration with external partners to accelerate research into rare diseases and highly specialised conditions.

Shire’s chief executive, Flemming Ornskov (pictured), also noted that the R&D base is close to the major hospitals, research institutions, universities, of Massachusetts’ “thriving biotechnology community”.


Already employing more than 3,000 people in Massachusetts, Shire also has a base in Lexington.

Shire will decide who will be located at Kendall Square, and plans to create a further 400 jobs in Massachusetts.

The upbeat announcement from Shire follows a disappointing set of Q3 results, where sales of around $3.45 billion fell short of the expected $3.56 bn.

Higher than expected costs for the $32 billion takeover of Baxalta pushed the company into a quarterly loss of $387 million.

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