Research and development facility
Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma has announced plans to relocate its wholly-owned US subsidiary Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) in December 2017.
Located in Massachusetts, AIRM is being relocated from Marlborough to Westborough Technology Park in Westborough. The new facility will serve as AIRM’s headquarters, enabling the company to carry out biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D).
Astellas is investing approximately CHY14bn ($124m) in the new AIRM building.
Construction for the project started in September 2018 and is scheduled for completion in January 2020. The required funding will be jointly managed by AIRM and W.P. Carey.
The new facility is expected to employ more than 250 people upon commencing operations.
AIRM entered an 18-year triple net lease agreement with W. P. Carey for its new building in February 2018.
Westborough Technology Park is as a corporate park that is designed to house technology companies. It is situated at the intersection of Route 9 and Interstate Route 495, and can be easily accessed from the Massachusetts Turnpike interchange.
AIRM’s new facility will be a two-storey building featuring a glass atrium. The building will be renovated and converted into a state-of-the-art life sciences facility capable of accommodating up to 300 employees. The facility will also feature a 10,000ft² vivarium.
The new production facility will support Astellas’ R&D activities in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy. It will enable the company to meet the commercial demand for production and ensure the smooth supply of clinical trial materials in regenerative medicine and cell therapy.
The facility also has the provision for future expansion.
W.P. Carey will provide funding of up to $56m for construction activities.
The project is one of nine that are approved by the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) to participate in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). The EACC provides companies with resources to expand or relocate to Massachusetts under the EDIP.
The Town of Westborough has approved a 15-year tax increment financing (TIF) and a five-year personal property tax agreement worth approximately $198,000 for the development of the facility under the EDIP.
MB Real Estate, True Partners Consulting, MassEcon, and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center provided assistance in the areas of property, labour and incentives for searching location for the development of the facility.
AIRM is Astellas Pharma’s main arm for regenerative medicine and cell therapy research in the field of ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas globally. It is supported by Astellas Pharma’s Japanese research team.
The company has strategically opted ophthalmology as the priority therapeutic area for its sustainable growth. It primarily focuses on the development of therapies for various eye disorders, which do not have standard treatment available, such as retinitis pigmentosa, dry age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt’s macular degeneration, and diabetic macular oedema.
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