Reeves to Menino: Cambridge is the Brains of Biotech

Boston’s mayor, Tom Menino, isn’t known for precise comments to the media (they don’t call him Mumbles for nothing) but something in Tuesday’s Boston Globe struck us as wacky, even for him. In an article about a big new lab that Joslin Diabetes Center is building in the Longwood Medical Area, Jeffrey Krasner wrote: “Menino said the project is a sign that the epicenter of the local biotech cluster may be moving from Kendall Square in Cambridge to the Longwood area in Boston.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” says the always-candid Willy Lensch, an Xconomist and himself a member of the Longwood biotech community. That pretty much summed up our feelings about it, particularly since we spent a shocking percentage of our time this spring competing with local biotech (and other) startups for office space in Kendall Square. But we thought we’d give Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves a chance to respond as well.

Reeves, in an e-mail, was a bit more diplomatic: “Boston remains the important ‘Hub’ in Massachusetts, but there’s no doubt that Cambridge is the ‘brains’ of Biotech with M.I.T, Harvard, Biogen Idec, Genzyme, Novartis, and Vertex all headquartered in Cambridge.” Damn straight, Mr. Mayor.

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