UK’s Xenetic Biosciences will open small drug development office in Massachusetts

Xenetic Biosciences plc, a publicly traded British drug company with a focus on developing treatments for rare diseases, plans to relocate its drug development operations to Massachusetts and hire up to six employees in the Bay State before the end of the year.

The announcement was made jointly by the company, the office of Governor Deval Patrick, and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth.

Xenetic Biosciences said it expects to have about 20 Massachusetts employees by the end of 2013, possibly in a facility in either Waltham or Lexington.

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The decision to relocate its drug-development operations to the Bay State follows the March 2011 visit to the UK by a trade delegation led by Patrick.

In a press release, Xenetic Biosciences said its decision to come to Massachusetts was partly a result of its belief that the state is ideally suited for life sciences companies looking to grow.

Working with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the company is now scouting for Bay State locations. Its likely that Xenetic’s local facility would be in the Waltham/Lexington area, the company indicated.