Talking Points

Here’s what you might have missed from the week in business

Partners Healthcare will now go by Mass General Brigham.
Partners Healthcare will now go by Mass General Brigham.David L. Ryan/File/Globe Staff


Partners HealthCare will now be known as Mass General Brigham

Partners HealthCare, the state’s largest hospital system, will change its name after 25 years to Mass General Brigham. The new brand name will reflect Partners’ greatest assets, the academic medical centers Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Partners executives have spent the last several months evaluating a new name and announced their decision Wednesday morning. Dr. Anne Klibanski, Partners’ chief executive, told employees the new brand is part of a strategy to work as a more unified health system. “As we move forward with a common vision of our health care system and its priorities, we will rebrand our system and build on the reputations of our world-class academic medical centers,” Klibanski said in a memo.The memo indicates that Mass. General and the Brigham would keep their individual hospital names. It’s unclear if the company will seek to change the names of its many community hospitals, which include North Shore Medical Center, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Cooley Dickinson Hospital. In addition to being the state’s largest health care provider, Partners is the biggest private employer in Massachusetts, with some 75,000 employees.




Universities, hospitals, corporations team up to build life sciences center

A group of leading Boston-area universities, hospitals, and corporations will create a new center for bio-manufacturing and innovation in or near the city, Harvard University said Monday, and hopes to have the facility up and running by 2022 or even 2021 in an effort to protect the area’s leadership in the life sciences. That leadership is threatened by severe bottlenecks in bio-manufacturing, said Harvard officials, who spent two years canvassing experts on what Massachusetts needs to do to keep promoting biotech in both academia and industry. Bio-manufacturing refers to growing vast quantities of human cells, including genetically engineered ones and those produced from stem cells; strands of genetic material that can be used to treat diseases; and other biological molecules. A bio-manufacturing facility opened at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2018, but the $35 million, 30,000-square-foot cell-manufacturing space became oversubscribed almost immediately. Dana-Farber is among the initial partners in the planned facility, for which the organizers have $50 million in commitments to cover design, construction, and early operation. The others include, besides Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, GE Healthcare Life Science, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.




Vertex to expand in the Seaport

One of the business pioneers of the Seaport District appears ready to grow in a new corner of the burgeoning neighborhood. Vertex Pharmaceuticals is poised to lease a building under construction in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Industrial Park, the biotechnology company said this week. A lease has not been finalized, but Vertex and development firm Related Beal are in advanced talks for 256,000 square feet of space at Innovation Square, a lab and office project Related is building on Tide Street. Vertex would use it as a research and manufacturing facility for genetic and cellular therapies, a key part of the company’s push into treatments for diseases beyond cystic fibrosis, which has long been its main focus. Earlier this year, the drug maker bought Watertown-based Exonics, which is developing gene therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Semma Therapeutics, which is working on medicines for type 1 diabetes. Vertex also is moving forward in clinical trials of gene editing treatments.




A.C. Moore to close all its stores, including 12 in Eastern Massachusetts

The company that owns the A.C. Moore chain of arts supply stores is leaving the industry and is planning to shut down all of its estimated 145 stores, which includes 12 in Eastern Massachusetts and on Cape Cod. At the same time that Nicole Crafts announced its departure plans, it also said the operator of the Michaels chain of arts and crafts stores will assume the leases in as many as 40 current A.C. Moore locations. The companies did not immediately lay out a timetable for the A.C. Moore closures, nor did Michaels identify the stores it will be taking over, remodeling, and then reopening next year. Nicole Crafts chief executive Anthony Piperno said in a statement that the stores will remain open for the time being, but the company will no longer accept online orders as of Monday.



Mobile sports betting to begin in New Hampshire in January

The path is now clear for mobile sports betting to begin in New Hampshire in January. The New Hampshire Executive Council approved a contract on Monday between Boston-based DraftKings and the New Hampshire Lottery. A deal in the future with another sports betting operator such as FanDuel is not out of the question, but DraftKings emerged as the winner of a competitive bidding process in which New Hampshire preferred DraftKings’ app, implementation timeline, and the 51 percent gaming revenues it will hand over to the state. In the spring, municipalities will decide whether or not to open physical sports books in their towns. New Hampshire sports bettors will have to be 18 years or older, and they will not be permitted to bet on New Hampshire college teams or on any college games being played in New Hampshire. DraftKings will open an office in the Granite State.




WBUR names Belmont native new CEO and general manager

For Belmont-raised Margaret Low, it’s a doubly sweet homecoming. WBUR-FM said Monday that the former NPR executive, who most recently ran The Atlantic’s events business, would take over in mid-January as its CEO and general manager. It’s a high-profile hire for the Boston radio station after a period of turmoil. Low, 61, has spent much of her career in Washington, D.C. Now she is returning to the region she moved away from shortly after college, and to the public radio world she left in 2014 after a 25-year stint with NPR. WBUR said that Low’s extensive news skills combined with business success at The Atlantic magazine’s events division made her the ideal choice to lead the station as it confronts challenges in the fast-moving media industry. Low also will have to manage the station’s sometimes contentious relationship with Boston University, which owns WBUR’s broadcast license and whose decisions have at times frustrated management and staff. Her hiring comes eight months after WBUR parted ways with general manager Charlie Kravetz, who significantly expanded the station during his eight years at the helm, including its move into podcasting and the opening of CitySpace, its local programming venue. Kravetz was highly regarded but took a hit for his handling of Tom Ashbrook, who was forced out as host of the nationally syndicated show “On Point” after a review found he had created a hostile work environment. Kravetz’s departure followed a February vote by about 100 workers to unionize amid complaints about the work environment.