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Location, location, location.

May 24, 2012
Two tweeted articles caught my attention today related to some content in previous posts.
Boston BIO 2012 Boston BIO 2012@BostonBIO2012
Promedior plans move to #Boston by end of summer – via @MassHighTech
The company will relocate to Boston from Malvern, PA.  “Bruhn, who’s worked in the Boston area for years, said Cambridge is known as a global hub of biologic, protein-based drug development (as opposed to chemical-based pharmaceuticals), and the company hopes to take advantage of the knowledge base here, she said….There’s almost not a better place to be a biologic company.”

Life Science Leader Life Science Leader@LifeSciLeader
Interesting question to ask a #pharma company “HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT THE DECISION TO LOCATE IN NORTH DAKOTA?”
“The company was founded at UCLA but Los Angeles isn’t the greatest place for lab space, and North Dakota had built a new lab set on the UND campus in Grand Forks. So the company decided to start its lab there. Now we have a beautiful lab, and that’s where we have our company operations. And then we have myself, the CEO, in the Boston area; my head of R&D, John Hennessey, who worked for 20 years at Merck in vaccine development, is in Philadelphia. Our head of Corporate Development Tuomas Holmberg lives in the San Francisco area. It means there’s a fair amount of travel for us, but it works extremely well — this semi-virtual model.”  From NovaDigm’s website; “Based in North Dakota with additional research activities at LA BioMed, NovaDigm has received funding from Domain Associates, a leading health care venture capital firm, and collaborates with multiple government agencies.”
So, relocation for both.  Promedior in its entirety.  NovaDigm is semi-virtual, with a presence in LA and management team in life science hubs of Boston, Philly and San Francisco.
Quick exchange on this very topic a few days ago with Bruce Booth.  Used with his permission; “Often the logic of moving a company to a core biotech cluster like Boston/Cambridge is certainly a good idea.”
It’s certainly something that should be considered.  It may not always make sense.  But it may in many situations.
If I had my druthers, we’d grow life science companies from the ground up here in the ‘ville.  And they’d stay here.  But, from a practical standpoint, we might have to look at alternatives.  In some cases.  I point out again the quote from Suzanne Bruhn; “There’s almost not a better place [than in Boston] to be a biologic company.”  Do we have any biologics companies in Louisville?  Why yes, we do.
I’d also like to know if Domain’s investment decision in NovaDigm was impacted positively by the company’s model, with executives in areas outside of North Dakota.  I’ll see what I can find out on that.

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