CAMBRIDGE—For drug maker Boston Biomedical Inc., the third time was the charm.
The seven-year-old company initially scheduled the opening ceremony for its new headquarters at 640 Memorial Drive, where it moved from Norwood earlier this year, on a February day that coincided with a winter blizzard. The rescheduled date in April was in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, so the ceremony had to be put off again.
It finally happened Tuesday when Boston Biomedical chief executive Chiang Li introduced visiting leaders of its Japanese parent company, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, to more than 50 guests assembled for the opening. Li acknowledged that he was nervous before the state, local, and industry officials and representatives of his landlord, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joking he’s had more experience cancelling major events than hosting them.
“Moving to Cambridge for Boston Biomedical is a significant milestone in our corporate history,” said Li, who was also named to head the parent company’s new DSP Global Oncology Center in Cambridge and Osaka, Japan. “We are finally located in the epicenter of innovation.”
Masayo Tada-san, president of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, said Boston Biomedical’s development of cancer stem cell inhibitors—including an oral colorectal cancer treatment in late-stage clinical trials—put it in the forefront of a new generation of cancer-fighting therapies. “With this headquarters and facility, we will accelerate Boston Biomedical’s efforts,” he said.
Dainippon Sumitomo purchased Boston Biomedical last year, paying $200 million upfront and promising nearly $2.5 billion in milestone payments if its two leading drugs are approved and achieve blockbuster status—ringing more than $1 billion each in annual sales. The Japanese drug company also owns Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Co. in Marlborough, a maker of antipsychotic drugs to treat depression and bipolar disorder, which it acquired for $2.6 billion in 2009.
“These days I believe Japanese investors are the very best partners for companies around the world, and here in the United States, that want to grow,” said former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who spoke at the ceremony. “And the reason is they take a longer view... and keep their eyes fixed on the end game.”