Biogen is offering over 263,000 square feet of office and research space in Cambridge and Weston for sublease in the latest retrenchment of the life science industry’s local footprint.
The pharmaceutical giant is offering its 183,000-square-foot 300 Binney St. complex in Kendall Square, along with 80,000 square feet of its 182,000 square feet at the 133 Boston Post Road offices in Weston.
“These subleases are part of Biogen’s overall implementation of the `Future of Work’ which is allowing us optimize our footprint and reduce the amount of space we occupy, taking into consideration new elements such as the hybrid work model,” spokesman Dan Haro said in an email.
The Boston Business Journal first reported the company’s decision. BioGen executives announced a $1 billion cost-cutting initiative in March, about half of which is related to setbacks for its Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm which was approved by the FDA in 2021.
Biogen leases nearly 1.2 million square feet of real estate in Massachusetts, according to its 2021 annual report, including 800,000 square feet in Cambridge, where its corporate headquarters are located at 225 Binney St.
Vacancies in the 13-million-square-foot Cambridge lab market have increased from 1.2 percent to 2.2 percent in the past year, while local companies have laid off approximately 1,100 employees, according to Newmark research. Declining venture capital investment has curtailed the once-rapid expansion of early-stage companies, which make up a major portion of leasing activity.
Last week’s U.S. Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act will create additional headwinds for the Massachusetts life science industry, industry group MassBio warned last week. The act would allow Medicare to set prices for prescription drugs, potentially resulting in 8,900 in job losses, MassBIO said.
“This policy will negatively impact world-leading small and emerging biotech companies in Massachusetts especially hard,” MassBio CEO Joe Boncore said in a statement. “Because of the hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue, established biopharma companies will have less resources to invest in drug development, guaranteeing they only invest in experimental treatments most likely to make it to market, and investing significantly less in our local biotech companies working on the most difficult and risky science.”