March 21, 2019

The Data Challenger: Liz O’Day


Elizabeth “Liz” O’Day, Ph.D., founded Olaris Therapeutics in 2014 with an aim to change the game in how we diagnose and treat patients with life threatening diseases. Through innovative technology and customized algorithms, Liz and her team can understand the metabolomic profile of a patient to determine the most effective treatment option. The fundamental goal or mantra for Olaris is “getting the right drug to the right patient” according to Liz.

Liz is one of the inaugural awardees of the MLSC’s Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen), a five year, more than $2 million commitment to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. The MLSC recently closed its second round application call, receiving 30 applications from women-led life sciences companies.

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February 28, 2019

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awards $25,000 grant to National Society of Black Engineers Boston

Funding to support organization’s ongoing efforts in youth, collegiate, and professional development programming

WALTHAM— Today, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced $25,000 in funding for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Boston Professionals. The funding will support NSBE Boston’s pre-collegiate, collegiate, and professional development initiatives. The NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

“Our ecosystem will only be as strong as our commitment to increase the diversity of engineers, scientists, educators and others who contribute to and benefit from the life sciences sector,” said MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready. “No one entity is responsible for the healthy state of the life sciences or any sector within our innovation economy.  I applaud the work of NSBE for their dedication to our collective commitment to creating opportunities at every level of educational and career development for the next generation of black engineers and STEM professionals.”

The National Society of Black Engineers has a bold vision of encouraging students to pursue a career in engineering, with an ultimate goal of increasing the annual number of black engineering bachelor’s degree recipients to 10,000 by 2025. With this worthy mission in mind, NSBE Boston has shaped its programming to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through professional advancement, youth, pre-college, and collegiate initiatives, and cultural and community-focused initiatives.

“All black students should be able to envision themselves as engineers or scientists,” said Ladi Olaoye of NSBE Boston. “Moreover, there is a national imperative for more black engineers to continue our country’s progress in STEM fields. We are grateful for the funding the MLSC is providing to spark and sustain interest in engineering and technology and provide experiences for students and professionals. This will open new doors and opportunities in academic achievement, leadership, and collaboration.”

More than 160 professional members are currently participating in NSBE Boston programming, which includes monthly career networking and professional development opportunities. NSBE Boston programming through STEM outreach events and initiatives, including participation in NSBE Jr. Chapters, have impacted more than 250 students in grades 3-12. At the college level, NSBE Boston actively supports 15 student chapters all over New England. This translates into 500-plus college student members enrolled in some form of STEM programming.

NSBE Boston, founded in 1988 as the “NSBE New England Alumni Extension”, recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary with the inaugural Boston STEM Benefit, to honor the accomplishments of black innovators and change-makers in the Boston area and to recognize the impact of NSBE Boston on more than 2000 local students and professionals over the last 30 years. Visit NSBE Boston to find out more information.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an economic development investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts, home to the most verdant and productive life sciences ecosystem in the world.  Through public-private funding initiatives, the MLSC supports innovation, research & development, commercialization, and manufacturing activities in the fields of biopharma, medical device, diagnostics, and digital health.  Since its creation in 2007, the MLSC has strategically deployed over $700 million in Massachusetts, through a combination of grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives, and workforce programs.  These investments have created thousands of jobs, and propelled the development of new therapies, devices, and scientific advancements that are improving patient health and well-being in Massachusetts and beyond.

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February 28, 2019

At the Forefront of the North Shore’s Life Sciences Activity


In 1981, a medical device company named Abiomed in Danvers, Massachusetts was at the forefront of designing what would become the modern version of the artificial heart. The company’s drive to save lives led to the very first patient being treated with Abiomed’s implantable artificial heart in 2001.

The company’s mission and vision evolved with the industry’s. Abiomed’s footprint expanded beyond the United States when it acquired a German company, Impella CardioSystems, in 2005. Instead of only focusing on replacing hearts, this acquisition enabled Abiomed to expand its portfolio into technologies that enable a heart attack patient’s heart to rest and recover, so the patient can go home with his or her native heart. Abiomed developed the world’s smallest heart pump and by 2008, the Impella heart pump received its first FDA clearance in the United States.

In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Abiomed was an awardee of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Tax Incentive Program. The program offers tax incentives to companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing in Massachusetts in order to expand life sciences-related employment opportunities and promote health-related innovations in the life sciences.

Since 2007, Abiomed has grown threefold from 350 employees to 1,300 worldwide. In Massachusetts, there are roughly 450 employees at the company’s Danvers headquarters and manufacturing facility. The company’s space in Danvers has also grown in recent years with Abiomed doubling its footprint from 60,000 to 120,000 square feet. Ian McLeod, Abiomed’s vice president and corporate controller, relayed that the company’s ability to create 170 jobs in Massachusetts through the MLSC Tax Incentive Program has empowered the company to build a culture that continues to drive success and innovation.

“The benefits of having our headquarters in Massachusetts have been immeasurable,” said Mr. McLeod. “With a strong and committed education and workforce collaboration, Massachusetts’ pipeline of talent is unparalleled.”

Abiomed offers co-op and internship opportunities to students in the state, partnering with colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth. With the company’s headquarters just twenty miles from Boston, it has developed a young, diverse and well-prepared workforce.

“Having our headquarters in Danvers is ideal,” added Mr. McLeod “In the last two years, we expanded our presence to include a completed innovation center for engineering, manufacturing, and clean room space.”

Abiomed is a well-established pillar in a part of the state that continues to experience a wave of activity in the life sciences and related fields. Commonwealth Diagnostics International in Salem is a fellow MLSC Tax Incentive awardee; biotech and clean-tech startup incubator North Shore InnoVentures is located in Beverly; PCI Synthesis,the largest small molecule CDMA in New England, is headquartered in Newburyport; and this past October, the ribbon was cut on the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute’s new facility to advance marine biotechnology research and expand the regional economy.

Last year alone, the MLSC awarded more than $19 million in tax incentive awards to 23 companies that committed to creating 1,189 net new jobs in the Commonwealth by the end of the 2018 calendar year.  Roughly half of those awards went to support companies who are hiring and expanding outside of Greater Boston. Learn more about the program.

February 11, 2019

Building A Company Around an Idea

If you needed one word to describe the approach of PanTher Therapeutics Co-Founder and CEO Laura Indolfi it would be “proactive”.

Fresh off winning an Amgen Golden Ticket at LabCentral towards the end of 2018, Laura and her team of nearly 10 people between full-time employees and consultants, are taking full advantage of the access to innovative infrastructure made available to golden ticket winners at LabCentral.

Continue reading “Building A Company Around an Idea” »

January 30, 2019

Project OnRamp to Boost Diversity in Biotech and Tap New Talent With 50 Well-Paid Summer Positions For Students From Low-Income Backgrounds

Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Creates First-In-Nation Program to Open Doors to Life Sciences Careers

FRAMINGHAM – January 29, 2019 –  The leading life sciences organizations in Massachusetts today announced the start of Project Onramp, a new program that matches talented, first-generation students from low-income backgrounds with well-paid summer internships. The internships are intended to serve as a stepping-stone to a rewarding career for a talent pool that has typically had difficulty gaining access to the burgeoning life science industry. It will also help growing Massachusetts biotechnology companies fill the additional 12,000 positions estimated to be created by 2023.

Continue reading “Project OnRamp to Boost Diversity in Biotech and Tap New Talent With 50 Well-Paid Summer Positions For Students From Low-Income Backgrounds” »

January 30, 2019

Progress continues on Berkshires life sciences innovation hub

State and local officials gather for topping off ceremony for 22,500 square-foot facility

Pittsfield, MA – January, 29, 2019 – officials with the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) and Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer joined state and other local officials at the BIC construction site for a topping off ceremony to recognize the significant progress made so far on construction of the 22,500 square-foot facility. The brief ceremony included the installation of the final steel beam in the infrastructure of the building. The beam was signed by key stakeholders and partners of the project.

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December 10, 2018

Catalyzing Success and Growth

Massachusetts, as the hub of the life sciences ecosystem, offers an abundance of opportunities and resources for early-stage life sciences companies. From state funding to the world’s leading innovation and talent pipelines, it’s no surprise that Massachusetts has become a breeding ground for early-stage companies to emerge and quickly grow toward commercial success.

Platelet Biogenesis (PBG) is a Cambridge-based company leading the production of functional human platelets from stem cells and developing platelet-based therapeutics. Platelets are the cells in the bloodstream that promote clot formation. They also demonstrate potential to be a crucial therapeutic for those exposed to radiation, which damages the body’s ability to produce platelets, and for many patients undergoing treatment for cancer, who also lose the ability to make platelets. Platelets have a short five-day shelf life, so they are almost always in limited supply.

Continue reading “Catalyzing Success and Growth” »

December 3, 2018

STAT+: Almost No venture capital funding goes to women. Can a pitchfest bring parity to biotech?

By Kate Sheridan 11/29/18

In many ways, the pitch night in Kendall Square on Wednesday was business as usual. Founders presented their young biopharma and medical device companies to investors, promising they could someday take away people’s pain, capture markets — even save lives. Read more…

November 28, 2018

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Sanofi as Newest Partner for Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs

Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative receives $250,000 from Sanofi; Announcement made during event to promote women entrepreneurs in the life sciences industry

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced Sanofi as the newest funding partner for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s (MLSC) Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen), a competitive program for women-led life sciences companies. Sanofi will contribute $250,000 to the public-private partnership. Baker-Polito Administration and Sanofi officials made the announcement during the MLSC’s A Pitch of Their Own event, which promotes women entrepreneurs in the life sciences community.

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November 13, 2018

A Massachusetts Life Sciences Culture

Extend Biosciences, Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company developing a novel drug delivery platform. It is aiming to crack the code on the therapeutic value of peptides and proteins utilizing proprietary platform technology with the potential to revolutionize drug delivery and provide patients a better quality of life.

Continue reading “A Massachusetts Life Sciences Culture” »

November 7, 2018

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and Parsagen Diagnostics hold Accelerator Loan Repayment Ceremony

Women’s health oriented diagnostics company provides $1 million loan repayment with interest through program to support early-stage life science companies in Massachusetts

WALTHAM – On October 31, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and Parsagen Diagnostics celebrated the repayment of a $1 million loan provided to Parsagen through the MLSC’s Accelerator Loan Program in 2015. Parsagen repaid the balance of principal and interest for the loan in April 2018. Parsagen’s repayment to the MLSC totaled $1,412,474.47. The Accelerator Loan Program was created by the MLSC as a funding program intended for early-stage life sciences companies in Massachusetts.

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October 30, 2018

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Expansion of Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

World-class research institute integrates scientific discovery and workforce development to bring biotech hub to Cape Ann

Gloucester – October 30, 2018 – Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) officials, Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, and state and local leaders, to celebrate the ribbon cutting of GMGI’s new facility located on Gloucester’s inner harbor to advance marine biotechnology research and expand the regional economy. This is the world’s first dedicated marine genomics research institute.

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October 24, 2018

MassLive: HCC’s readies 21st century workforce with $4.55M Center for Life Sciences

October 5, 2018

RFP for Brand Messaging and Website Design Services & Vendor Q&A

Deadline: Friday, November 2, 2018

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a brand messaging refresh and website design services to better inform industry and academic stakeholders, the general public and targeted recruitment companies about the benefits of doing business in the state, MLSC programs and initiatives, and the MLSC’s impact on the economy and on patient care.  If your company is interested in partnering with us through this process please take a look at the following RFP and complete the requested information by the deadline.

To access the RFP, please click here.
To access the Q&A, please click here.

September 21, 2018

Berkshire Eagle: Berkshire Innovation Center Groundbreaking Set for Tuesday

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

PITTSFIELD — A ceremony that many thought would never happen is finally ready to take place.

State and local officials will gather at the William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires on Tuesday for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the $13.8 million Berkshire Innovation Center, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has announced.

Continue reading “Berkshire Eagle: Berkshire Innovation Center Groundbreaking Set for Tuesday” »

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