The FINANCIAL — Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on June 25 announced important next steps in the evolution of the company’s R&D organization, including plans to expand its presence within hubs of scientific excellence and innovation with the opening of a new state-of-the-art research site in Cambridge, Mass. in addition to the ongoing expansion of the company’s R&D Discovery site in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The new facility in Cambridge, which will be located at 100 Binney Street in Kendall Square, is expected to open in 2018. The ongoing site expansion in the San Francisco Bay Area adds 61,000 square feet of laboratory and office space at the Woodside Technology Park life science campus and is expected to be completed in 2016. Consistent with evolution of the R&D organization’s strategic focus, which was previously announced in 2013, the company also announced on June 25 its plans to discontinue discovery research efforts in virology. This decision does not impact the company’s promising ongoing clinical development program in virology, nor does it impact the company’s marketed products in virology, according to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
“In addition to investments in central New Jersey, our new location in Cambridge and our expanding presence in the San Francisco Bay area positions the company and our scientists in the heart of vibrant ecosystems of world class science, innovation and business opportunities, which offer ideal environments for fostering external collaboration,” said Francis Cuss, MB BChir, FRCP, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Ultimately, our goal is to continue to accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge and insights into the next wave of potentially transformational medicines for patients with serious diseases.”
Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco, Calif. Sites
In Cambridge, Bristol-Myers Squibb scientists will focus on the company’s ongoing discovery efforts in genetically defined diseases, molecular discovery technologies and discovery platform chemistry in state-of-the-art lab space. In addition to relocating up to 200 employees from its Wallingford, Conn. and Waltham, Mass. sites, and a limited number from its central New Jersey locations, the company expects to recruit scientists from the Cambridge area. As part of this transition, the Waltham site is expected to close in early 2018. The existing site in Wallingford will also close in early 2018 with up to 500 employees relocating to a new location in Connecticut. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. have a signed letter of intent for the Cambridge location and expect to sign a lease in the near future.
The Woodside Technology Park life science campus in the San Francisco Bay Area serves as Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Discovery hub for researching breakthrough cancer immunotherapies. With additional square footage leased, Bristol-Myers Squibb will fully occupy two of the three buildings at the campus totaling 194,100 square feet and will provide additional capacity to conduct biologics drug discovery research. In addition to relocating approximately 40 Bristol-Myers Squibb scientists from its Seattle, Wash. site, the company will also recruit scientists from the Bay area. The site expansion is expected to be completed in 2016.
R&D Strategic Focus
Consistent with the evolution of the company’s R&D strategic focus, which was announced in 2013, the Discovery organization will discontinue its research efforts in virology. This includes early research in hepatitis B (HBV) and HIV. Bristol-Myers Squibb has made significant contributions to the science in HIV, HBV as well as hepatitis C and has contributed to transforming the way patients with these diseases are treated. Approximately 100 Discovery positions will be eliminated as a result of these changes.
The decision to discontinue Discovery research in virology does not impact the company’s promising ongoing development programs in virology, which includes the HIV attachment inhibitor BMS-663068, the HIV maturation inhibitor BMS-955176, beclabuvir and the anti-PD-L1 compound BMS-936559, or the company’s marketed virology medicines, including Baraclude (entecavir), Reyataz (atazanavir)/Evotaz (atazanavir and cobicistat) , Sustiva (efavirenz), Atripla (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), Daklinza (daclatasvir) and Sunvepra (asunaprevir). Bristol-Myers Squibb also remains committed to the registration and commercialization of Daklinza around the world. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Discovery organization will continue to focus on research in immuno-oncology as well as heart failure, fibrosis, genetically defined diseases and immunoscience.