CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee announced today the planned renaming of the North Plaza at Kendall Square in Cambridge MA, prominently situated opposite Genzyme Center and delineated by Linskey Way, East Kendall, Athaneum and West Kendall, to ‘Henri A. Termeer Square’ in honor of an industry titan and founding father of the biotech industry. Mr. Termeer unexpectedly passed away in May of last year at the age of 71. The renaming ceremony will take place on Rare Disease Day, February 28, 2018 - which also happens to be Henri’s birthday - to celebrate his legacy and many contributions to the rare disease patient community and a thriving industry that he helped build. The ceremony will feature prepared remarks from patient Linda Rubenstein, Henri’s daughter Adriana, Governor Charlie Baker, Cambridge Mayor McGovern, Executive VP and Head of Sanofi Genzyme Bill Sibold, former Head of Sanofi Genzyme David Meeker, and Committee Co-Chairs John Maraganore and Robert Coughlin.
“Henri Termeer, the former long-term CEO of Genzyme prior to its acquisition by Sanofi, was arguably the most impactful leader in the history of the biopharmaceutical industry, who harnessed cutting edge science and innovation to better the lives of patients afflicted with rare genetic diseases,” said John Maraganore, CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Termeer Tribute Co-Chair. “He was a forward-looking thinker whose principles, intuition, community-mindedness, and unwavering commitment to patients transformed the biotech industry.”
“Henri forged the path for building a sustainable rare disease business, creating a template for patient impact, new company formation, and social responsibility in a field previously ignored as too small to matter,” said Robert Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio and Termeer Tribute Co-Chair. “The goals of the Termeer Tribute Committee are to honor his many incredible contributions to the industry by developing and supporting initiatives focused on community and mentorship, and we’re very pleased to launch this effort with the renaming of Kendall Square’s North Plaza as the ‘Henri A. Termeer Square’.”
“Henri Termeer was a tremendous pioneer in science, research and innovation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am honored to celebrate his legacy with the renaming of Kendall Square’s North Plaza and look forward seeing the important work of all those he continues to inspire.”
To commemorate Henri’s life-long legacy in serving the rare disease community and for his trailblazing entrepreneurial leadership, the Tribute Committee has commissioned renowned sculptor Pablo Eduardo to create a life-size sculpture of Henri that will be installed in the Henri A. Termeer Square in 2019.
About Henri Termeer
Henri A. Termeer was a former Chairman, President and CEO of Genzyme Corporation for nearly three decades prior to its acquisition by the French drug maker Sanofi. Henri unexpectedly passed away on May 12, 2017 at the age of 71. He was known for his service to the rare disease community and his unsurpassed entrepreneurial leadership that spurred the rise of an industry dedicated to innovative treatments for orphan diseases. Under his stewardship Genzyme grew from a modest entrepreneurial venture to one of the world's leading biotechnology companies and a pioneer of some of the first treatments for rare genetic diseases. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of Boston's booming biotech industry. In addition to his entrepreneurial engagements, Henri was a beloved mentor and an avid philanthropist.
About Henri Termeer Tribute Initiative
A number of industry leaders have joined forces to form the “Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee” with the mission to commemorate Henri Termeer’s remarkable stewardship of the local biotech industry and his undeterred commitment to revolutionize the care of patients afflicted with rare diseases. The committee, co-chaired by Robert Coughlin, CEO, MassBio and John Maraganore, CEO of Alnylam, has launched a campaign to pay tribute to Henri with initiatives that include renaming of the ‘North’ Plaza in Kendall Square to “Henri A. Termeer Square,” commissioning the renowned sculptor Pablo Eduardo to create a life-size statue of Henri to be installed in the Square in 2019, and establishing a charitable fund honoring Henri’s legacy. For more information or for contributing to the effort please visit www.TermeerTribute.com.