Alexion Pharmaceuticals announced on Tuesday that it is relocating its headquarters from New Haven, Connecticut, to Boston and cutting 20 percent of its global workforce.
Alexion CEO Ludwig Hantson made the announcement on a conference call with reporters and Wall Street analysts.
“We have made the decision to relocate our headquarters to Boston by mid-2018. Boston will provide access to a much larger biopharmaceutical talent pool, and a variety of potential life science partners to further support development initiatives.”
Hantson says about 400 jobs will move to Boston, while the company will maintain a research and development center in New Haven with about 450 employees. Total global cuts would be about 600 positions and would include the closure of a Smithfield, Rhode Island, manufacturing facility.
The move is a blow to Connecticut’s efforts to boost a local bioscience industry. The state had given Alexion a $20 million dollar loan and $6 million in grants. The Department of Economic and Community Development is asking for all the money back – with interest and penalties.
“There’s a reason why we have contract language in these agreements with employers who are using state money to expand, so that if they don’t honor their commitment, we get the money back. And that’s exactly what will happen here,” said Governor Dannel Malloy.
Alexion says state incentives did not play a role in its decision to move to Boston.
It is the latest of several major companies to leave Connecticut, including Aetna, which will move its headquarters from Hartford to New York City next year, and General Electric, which moved its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston last year.