SHANGHAI — Harbour BioMed opened its first office in a Shanghai industrial park in 2016, with a team of eight people. Just two years later, it has become a global biotech company, with offices in Boston and Rotterdam, Netherlands, and more than 150 employees. Here in China, they’re spread among three new labs, and a new office is under construction in walking distance to a cancer hospital. Even so, in Harbour’s original lab, scientists work shoulder to shoulder, sharing limited bench space.
That sort of explosive growth is not all that remarkable here: This is China’s Kendall Square, the epicenter of the country’s biotech industry, where scaffolding sprouts like weeds.
Harbour is only one of more than 500 biotech companies that have flocked to a 10-square-kilometer cluster known as “Pharma Valley,” with roughly 30 companies opening in each of the last two years, according to a drug company in the park.