US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer could make a hostile bid for AstraZeneca as early as today.
Its £63 billion takeover offer was rejected after the UK company said it "substantially" undervalued the business.
That has forced Pfizer to consider its next move, with industry experts believing a hostile bid - which would aim to bypass the AstraZeneca management and target shareholders directly - could come soon.
Last week, Pfizer insisted it was committed to building a research and development hub in Cambridge which was planned by AstraZeneca.
The £300m base at the Cambridge Biomedial Campus would house about 2,000 researchers.
But a hostile bid would trigger increased calls for the offer to be referred to the competition authorities and would also heighten union fears over jobs if the takeover was successful.
Dr Robert Winter from the Eastern Academic Health Science Network promises "huge benefits" across the region after drugs company Astra Zeneca announced plans for a new £300 million global research headquarters in Cambridge.