HOUSTON — It was a banner achievement for MD Anderson Cancer Center. Top biotech investors had licensed some of its research to launch a high-profile cancer diagnostic and therapeutics company, backed by more than $80 million.

As Codiak BioSciences was being formed in 2015, though, Ferran Prat, MD Anderson’s senior vice president for research administration and industry relations, raised the notion of keeping the company local and planting its headquarters here in Houston, he said. The investors informed him that, no, Codiak would make its home in the Boston area.

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