Bristol Myers Squibb offices at Cambridge Crossing against the city skyline. Cambridge Crossing is a 43-acre development at the intersection of Cambridge, Somerville and Boston.

Bristol Myers Squibb Massachusetts

Cambridge Crossing: End-to-end drug development in the heart of global biomedical research

October 03, 2023     
Greg Nyhan


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Video Transcript

[Emma Lees] 


It's remarkable that in less than a decade, Bristol Myers Squibb has really established itself as a leading life science presence here in Massachusetts. Our workforce here of world class scientists and innovators are working towards the next generation of medicines right here in Boston's back yard. In our state-of-the art facility here in Cambridge Crossing, we're bringing together a dynamic and diverse set of disciplines to work towards our vision of transforming patient lives through science. 

[Wade Brown]


The site at Cambridge Crossing was built to support end-to-end drug discovery to ensure that the greatest possible innovation can move as rapidly as possible to address the needs of our patients. Cambridge Crossing is an investment in our science as well as the community. We remain here in Cambridge, the center of biotech and pharma across the globe, to make sure that we can collaborate and work with the best in the industry. 

[E. Lee]: 


Our deep understanding of human causal biology is really the foundation of our target-centric mindset that allows us to match modality to mechanism. This has allowed us to build a diverse pipeline that really gets the root cause of disease across many different therapy areas. This pioneering spirit is exemplified by our oncology team within the Mechanisms of Cancer Research Thematic Research Center. The team is investigating novel ways to address cancer-specific vulnerabilities to either enhance or restore the ability of the body to respond to treatment, through trying to understand the root cause of this resistance to existing cancer therapies to come up with the next wave of therapies.  

[E. Lee]: 


In our Immunology Thematic Research Center, scientists are focused on developing transformative medicines that help suppress inflammation, reset the immune system and promote overall balance in the immune response. Our third therapeutic area in Cambridge, neuroscience, is focused on breakthrough science, where disease modification is the goal, including potential first- and best-in-class therapies that can prolong patient survival and meaningfully improve patient outcomes.

[Mike Ellis]:  


Something that's really exciting about being part of the molecular invention engine at Bristol Myers Squibb is one has the ability to work collaboratively with the team and to conceptualize something that's never existed before in history, to then go into the laboratory and create that molecule for the very first time, to evaluate the properties of that molecule and to understand the therapeutic benefit that it may have. And then we have really talented translational development colleagues that can parlay those discoveries into clinical development and ultimately become assets that impact patients’ lives in really profound ways. 

[Robert Plenge]:


This site is particularly important to our research footprint because, one, it is located in the heart of biomedical research across the world and two, it is one of the largest sites that we have within research. It's a pretty phenomenal time at Bristol Myers Squibb here in Cambridge. We can really do end-to-end research and development in a way that's incredibly unique in the industry.  

[Robert Plenge]:




Bristol-Myers Squibb has a very unique approach to translational medicine. We have team members that understand all aspects of the biology. So they take the observations from our clinical trials using biomarkers and translational tools in our patient samples directly, and they can use that information to actually feed back into what we're actually doing in research to inform on the next generation of medicines. 

[Robert Plenge]:


We have as a starting point an understanding of what we call causal human biology. We then pick molecules that are actually matched to a molecular mechanism of action. And so if we link causal human biology, matching modality to mechanism together with a path to clinical proof of concept, all three of those together will ultimately lead to increased probability of success in clinical development. But ultimately doing this with urgency, doing it with passion, doing it with integrity, to deliver medicines that can transform the lives of patients. 





Bristol Myers Squibb scientists in Cambridge are building the future of medicine in Boston’s backyard. This epicenter of innovation unites scientists spanning multiple functions and adds to our global network of trailblazing research and development facilities. Together, they identify and advance meaningful treatments that can transform standards of care for patients.

Bristol Myers Squibb’s state-of-the-art research and development site at Cambridge Crossing encompasses over 480,000 square feet in a 43-acre life science development. Research here expands the boundaries of science, bringing together pillars of discovery, development and data across cancer, cardiovascular, immunology and neuroscience. 

Bristol Myers Squibb’s state-of-the-art research and development site at Cambridge Crossing encompasses over 480,000 square feet.

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Beyond just relevant information about Bristol Myers Squibb's therapeutic areas and innovation, Our stories offer a window into the work our employees do every day for patients.

Learn more about the science, people and community behind Bristol Myers Squibb in Massachusetts.  

This is one of the largest sites that we have within research—about 10 to 15% of our research is based right here in Cambridge Crossing, all in one building.
Robert Plenge, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, Chief Research Officer, Head of Research

The passion of hundreds of scientists in Cambridge, coupled with Bristol Myers Squibb’s broad scope of research and development capabilities around the world, has contributed to one of the most promising pipelines in the industry. Currently, that’s a diverse arsenal of 50+ compounds highlighting multiple modalities.

Every day, these dedicated scientists live and breathe molecular structure, chemistry and biology—and they collaborate to solve scientific problems as they design the next generation of molecules. “These scientists have a passion and dedication to understand what underpins human disease,” says Emma Lees, PhD, senior vice president, Head, Mechanisms of Cancer Resistance Thematic Research Center and Cambridge Site Head for BMS Cambridge. “It’s a wonderful thing to spend your life doing.”

A foundation for seamless end-to-end drug development

What excites me about being part of this company today is that there is a belief that science is the future, proven by the legacy of significant impacts that Bristol Myers Squibb has had on patient outcomes.
Emma Lees, PhD, Senior Vice President, Head, Mechanisms of Cancer Resistance Thematic Research Center and Cambridge Site Head

Dedication to breakthrough discoveries and solutions means equal dedication to new paths of research. A multi-disciplinary, collaborative, translational approach empowers that kind of thinking. From mechanisms of cancer resistance to clinical pharmacology, scientists in Cambridge collaborate closely with small molecule drug discovery and biotherapeutics teams to develop new treatments. These teams attack disease with a continually expanding range of drug modalities, including innovative small molecules.

As one of Bristol Myers Squibb’s major research hubs, Cambridge is home to thematic research centers in cancer, immunology, cardiovascular and neuroscience, with world-class scientists contributing to advancements in chemistry, biologics, pharmacology, toxicology, bioinformatics, translational medicine, clinical science and business development.

Scientific discovery and transformational outcomes cannot happen without a shared vision. For these teams, the possibilities of the future guide what they do today. They imagine what medicine could look like, they explore the opportunities and they create transformational medicines that will shape the next decade and beyond for people living with serious diseases.

Focusing on interdisciplinary translational medicine illuminates the best approaches — whether those might be monotherapies or combinations of therapies — to both refine and define current standards of care. A precision approach uncovers the right pathways and targets for specific patient populations, integrating these insights with appropriate modalities, combinations and sequencing. This leads to maximum therapeutic benefit for patients with serious diseases and a transformational pipeline of promising molecules, first-in-class treatments and best-in-class medicines.

In Cambridge, several disciplines focus on translational research, seamlessly connecting with the thematic research centers to develop potential new medicines for the clinic. Other translational scientists track the effects and doses of new molecules, measuring everything against the original scientific hypothesis. Together with pathologists, translational scientists also look at that patient response to identify the best doses and combinations for registrational trials. 

Predictive sciences are embedded in everything that we do within research and development. This is a group that can take massive amounts of data, whether it's genetic, translational or genomics data, and distill it into therapeutic hypotheses that we can actually act on.
Robert Plenge, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, Chief Research Officer, Head of Research

By combining human genetics knowledge, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Bristol Myers Squibb’s scientists are able to back-translate its industry-leading clinical and translational datasets. 

Bristol Myers Squibb scientists use digital tools to more quickly uncover insights that help them to identify high-quality candidates with transformational potential and increase their probability of success in the clinic.

The Informatics and Predictive Sciences group at Cambridge partners with discovery scientists to better understand the human causal nature of different diseases to improve ongoing research efforts, inform future hypotheses and fuel the next way of discovery. The resulting insights help design better clinical trials, enable quick decisions and increase the probability of success for new medicines in late-stage research. 

Collaboration as a catalyst for sustainable communities 

It's a highly creative, open-minded and collaborative environment. It's an environment that's populated with cross-functional scientists and researchers that truly can interact face to face and together develop hypotheses, then go evaluate those in the labs. So, everything from idea to experimentation, that's happening within Cambridge Crossing.
Mike Ellis, PhD, Senior Vice President, Head, Small Molecule Drug Discovery

Bristol Myers Squibb’s culture of inclusion has cultivated an agile and responsive work environment. Diverse experiences and perspectives drive scientific breakthroughs and transformative results. 

The Bristol Myers Squibb site at Cambridge Crossing includes both lab and office space, which allows researchers to more easily collaborate.

Innovation extends beyond the walls of Bristol Myers Squibb where biopharma, academic and clinical partnerships fuel earlier discovery and development.

We're very fortunate to be part of a broader ecosystem across Boston and Cambridge, which includes hospitals, universities, startup companies, larger companies. There's a tremendous amount of collaboration among all these different groups to ultimately deliver on our shared ambition of delivering new medicines to patients.
Robert Plenge, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, Chief Research Officer, Head of Research

Bristol Myers Squibb’s vision for transforming patients’ lives through science goes beyond the lab and into the community. Community giving, grant-making programs and engagement activities support Massachusetts in the areas of STEM education, health and wellness and human service.

A partnership with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless provides access to comprehensive healthcare. Other collaborations with co-ops, STEM outreach programs and workforce development initiatives open doors to people from communities underrepresented in life sciences. Currently, that includes organizations such as Science Club for Girls, MassBioEd and the Museum of Science.

At Cambridge Crossing, working space is optimized for collaboration, uniting cross-functional scientific teams to work together across the drug discovery and translational medicine continuum.

From leading academic institutions to high school STEM programs, hospital systems to grassroots care organizations, Bristol Myers Squibb has embedded itself in the fabric of Cambridge’s life science community. At the center of this innovation ecosystem is the belief that the future of medicine is created and sustained by strong, inclusive, diverse and equitable communities – locally nurtured and globally connected.

To learn more about the science, people and community behind Bristol Myers Squibb in Massachusetts, visit the Bristol Myers Squibb in Massachusetts page


About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.

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