Kendall Square’s North Plaza Renamed to Honor Rare Disease Pioneer Henri Termeer

March 7, 2018

Rare Daily Staff

One of the celebrations of World Rare Disease Day occurred in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Kendall Square’s north plaza has been renamed to Henri A. Termeer Square in honor of the former Genzyme CEO, an architect of the biotechnology industry and someone who showed that the pursuit of rare disease therapies could be the basis of a viable business model.

Termeer died suddenly in May 2017 at the age of 71.

At the ceremony held February 28, speakers included Governor Charlie Baker, Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, Termeer’s daughter Adriana, as well as others. A video of the tribute is available online.

“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’.”

To commemorate Henri’s life-long legacy in serving the rare disease community and for his trailblazing entrepreneurial leadership, the Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee has commissioned sculptor Pablo Eduardo to create a life-size sculpture of Termeer that will be installed in the Henri A. Termeer Square in 2019.

Below is a video from the Henri A. Termeer tribute site where Termeer discusses hope.


March 7, 2018
Photo: Henri Termeer

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