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 around JPY14bn ($124m) in the new AIRM building.
Construction for the project began in September 2018 and is scheduled for completion in January 2020. The required funding will be jointly managed by AIRM and net lease company WP Carey.
Once operational, the facility is expected to employ more than 250 people.
Location of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s new facility
In February 2018, AIRM entered an 18-year triple net lease agreement with WP Carey for its new building.
Westborough Technology Park is a corporate park designed to house technology companies. Situated at the intersection of Route 9 and Interstate Route 495, the park can be easily accessed from the Massachusetts Turnpike interchange.
Details of the new R&D headquarters of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine
AIRM’s 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 facility will support Astellas’ R&D activities in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy. It will enable the company to meet commercial demand for production and ensure the smooth supply of clinical trial materials for regenerative medicine and cell therapy.
The facility also has the provision for future expansion.
Financing for AIRM’s new facility
WP Carey will provide up to $56m of funding for construction activities.
The project is one of nine approved by the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) to participate in the Economic Development Incentive Programme (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 around $198,000 for the facility’s development 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 facility’s development.
Marketing commentary on Astellas Pharma
AIRM is Astellas Pharma’s main arm for regenerative medicine and cell therapy research in the field of ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas worldwide. It is supported by Astellas Pharma’s Japanese research team.
The company has strategically chosen ophthalmology as the priority therapeutic area for its sustainable growth. It primarily focuses on the development of therapies for various eye disorders that do not have standard treatments available, including retinitis pigmentosa, dry age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt’s macular degeneration and diabetic macular oedema.