AstraZeneca’s Alexion to get new Boston headquarters

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/JAG IMAGES
© GettyImages/JAG IMAGES

Related tags Alexion Astrazeneca

AstraZeneca is building a new HQ for Alexion in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, a life sciences hub.

The pharma giant acquired the rare disease group in July last year for a massive US$39bn.

The new Alexion HQ will be a strategic R&D center for AstraZeneca, said the Anglo-Swedish company, bringing together around 1,500 R&D, commercial and corporate staff into a single purpose-built space.

The campus will comprise 570,000 sq. ft (52954.7 sq. m) of R&D and commercial space, with room for expansion for the future, it added. The site is scheduled for completion in 2026 and will be located close major academic, pharma and biotech institutions.

AstraZeneca is working with BXP on development of the complex: it is looking for the site to have the highest level of certification in terms of energy and environmental design.

Alexion’s R&D center of excellence will remain in New Haven, Connecticut. It recently signed a lease to expand that campus as well, with double the lab floor space planned for the end of 2023. In March this year, Alexion announced the creation of a new development facility in Barcelona, where it will carry out R&D work. Gonzalo de Miquel, VP global medical affairs, respiratory and immunology at AstraZeneca, will head the new lab.

FDA approval 

Alexion is focused in complement biology, with the complement cascade pivotal to the innate immune system. This plays a crucial role in many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases across multiple therapy areas: such as hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, cardiology, ophthalmology and acute care. 

Last week it announced it has secured a supplemental Biologic License Application (sBLA) approval for Ultomiris (ravulizumab-cwvz). The drug was approved by the S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).

The regulatory move marks the first and only approval for a long-acting C5 complement inhibitor for the treatment of gMG, a rare, debilitating, chronic, autoimmune neuromuscular disease that leads to a loss of muscle function and severe weakness. The diagnosed prevalence of gMG in the US is estimated at approximately 90,000.

Growth prospects

On completion of its acquisition of Alexion last July, AstraZeneca predicted that the rare disease business would deliver double-digit average annual revenue growth through 2025: highlighting rare diseases as a high-growth therapy area with rapid innovation and significant unmet medical need.

Over 7,000 rare diseases are known today, and only approximately 5% have treatments approved by the US FDA. Demand in medicines for rare diseases is forecasted to grow by a low double-digit percentage in the future.

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