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Walsh tells life sciences executives he’ll work to expand the industry in Boston and the region

Mayor  Walsh spoke at a MassBio event.
Mayor Walsh spoke at a MassBio event.

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Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in his first address to executives from one of the city’s fastest-growing industries, said Wednesday he would push to expand the life sciences sector in Boston but also work with other communities to fuel growth in the region.

“We are home to the best hospitals and universities,” Walsh told about 280 people jammed into the Omni Parker House ballroom for a breakfast hosted by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. “We have Vertex on the waterfront. We have Dana-Farber expanding in Longwood. And we need to continue that growth and expansion, not only in Boston, but in the region.”

Walsh’s tone contrasted with that of his predecessor, Thomas M. Menino, known for his aggressive Boston-first posture. Two years ago, when Cambridge considered changing zoning for several parcels near Central Square to discourage development there — including a planned expansion for Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. — the former mayor let Millennium know it would be welcome in Boston. (Cambridge officials ultimately decided to let the company’s expansion go forward.)

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