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Millennium Pharmaceuticals/Takeda Oncology

Takeda Oncology (originally Millennium Pharmaceuticals) contributes to the rapid rise of housing, rental, and living costs in Cambridge and other parts of the Boston area, while advancing the capitalist, neoliberal approach to health and biomedical research for which Cambridge has become known.

Millennium/Takeda, like other big pharma companies, leases land from MIT. Cambridge Community members have opposed this expansion of big pharma companies like Millennium/Takeda into their city. As the Boston Globe reported in 2012:

"The explosive growth that has made Cambridge one of the country’s foremost life sciences and technology hubs is meeting resistance from some residents who complain that commercial development is overwhelming city neighborhoods. That opposition has already scored one major victory: stalling a proposed 246,000-square-foot office and lab complex near Central Square that would house drug maker Millennium Pharmaceuticals. And now more development could be in question as residents have submitted a petition to City Hall to 'downzone' a number of parcels around Central Square, including the planned Millennium site, making them less suitable for large-scale development."

As Nancy Ryan from the Cambridge Residents Alliance told the Globe, "There’s a sense that commercial development, particularly related to these hot bio- and information technology industries, is moving from Kendall Square, up Main Street, and right into Central Square." 

Like other big pharma giants, Millennium/Takeda has worked to build up a portfolio of patent holdings over life-saving and life-improving medications. Through these patent holdings, Millennium/Takeda has been able to make massive profits by holding the costs of their medications high, while undertaking legal fights against attempts by Global South nations to produce the medications generically in order to make them accessible to their peoples (a process some analysts have termed "medical apartheid").

Millennium/Takeda maintains numerous other links to the Boston area. Millennium/Takeda was co-founded by Eric Lander, an MIT/Harvard professor who also co-founded the Broad Institute and who has served as a science policy advisor to the Obama-Biden and Biden-Harris administrations. Millennium/Takeda has licensed various "intellectual property" products from MIT.

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