Amid $1B downsizing, Biogen lists Boston-area office space for sublease

As Biogen's sales tumble in the wake of its troubled Aduhelm launch, the company is looking to exit some office space in the Boston area.

Biogen has listed more than 183,500 square feet of office space for sublease at one of its five buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Boston Business Journal first reported. The company listed space at 300 Binney Street on JLL, a commercial real estate and property investment service.

While the entire building has been listed for sublease, the company continues to occupy "parts of the building," a Biogen spokesperson told Fierce Pharma. 

"The sublease is part of Biogen's overall implementation of the 'Future of Work' which is allowing us to optimize our footprint and reduce the amount of space we occupy, taking into consideration new elements such as the hybrid work model," the spokesperson said. 

Biogen's move to reduce office space in the wake of the pandemic follows similar moves by GSK and other major biopharma players.

As of the end of 2021, Biogen owned 508,000 square feet of real estate space in Cambridge, its annual SEC filing shows. The company also leased another 1.16 million square feet in Massachusetts.

But the real estate listing also comes amid Biogen's downsizing efforts in the wake of its controversial Alzheimer's disease drug launch. Despite Aduhelm's FDA approval in June 2021, scrutiny around the data and approval process led to marginal sales for the drug, dashing the company’s blockbuster hopes. 

After Biogen revealed a $1 billion cost-cutting plan in March, the company reportedly employed 301 fewer Massachusetts-based employees in July than it did in September. Last December, Stat reported that the company was planning to lay off as many as 1,000 employees. In May, Biogen said CEO Michel Vounastos would depart and the company began the search for a new CEO.