August 20, 2019

A Sweet Spot for Growth and Development: Internship Challenge part of FloDesign Sonics success story

Brian Dutra and Brian McCarthy, both Western New England University alumni, interned at FloDesign Sonics at what was very much the startup days for the company, which today aims to apply its acoustic cell processing to industrialize cell therapy manufacturing in order to reduce cost and improve patient accessibility.

“As a company, we didn’t know what we wanted to be when we grew up,” said Brian D., who is now a Senior Engineer at FloDesign Sonics. “It was a unique and exciting time to gain a lot of hands-on experience right from the beginning.”

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August 13, 2019

High Throughput: EpigenDx in Hopkinton Providing Internship Opportunities for 10 years

EpigenDx, located in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, is one of a handful of companies to have provided internship opportunities all 10 years of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s (MLSC) Internship Challenge. For small and medium-sized companies, like EpigenDx, the program has been essential to developing and retaining talent.

“We rely on our interns to fill real, much-needed roles,” said Ann Meyer, who serves as Associate Director of Operations for the company. “We’ve been fortunate enough to offer many of our interns full-time positions, but it has also been a real source of pride to see interns come through, gain experience in our lab, and move on to other roles in similar-sized or larger companies.”

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August 7, 2019

Defining a Student’s Career Trajectory

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a leader in encouraging its students to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities provided through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) Internship Challenge. The MLSC’s flagship workforce development program connects employers with students through an online platform and subsidizes intern stipends for small to mid-size life sciences companies. The numbers demonstrate this clearly with more than 330 internship opportunities for WPI students facilitated through the program over the past ten years.

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July 12, 2019

Sustainable Opportunities: KnipBio

KnipBio, Inc., located out of the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) at UMass Lowell, operates in a unique space of the life sciences sector. The company’s aim is to pioneer advanced nutritional solutions for animal feeds from low-cost and sustainable feedstocks using innovative biotechnology. Earlier this year the company received the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine for its KnipBio Meal aquafeed ingredient for salmonids and other finfish species.

The developments taking place for KnipBio in the aquafeed market are exciting for the company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Larry Feinberg, Ph.D. He also appreciates the resources provided to him by M2D2 and the life sciences ecosystem he sees developing in Lowell.

“I’m pretty bullish on the Lowell story,” said Dr. Feinberg, who is also proud to regard KnipBio as a champion of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Internship Challenge program. “When I talk to my peers in other states, I am always taking about how great Massachusetts is, and the Internship Challenge is one of the prime examples I highlight.”

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July 10, 2019

Internship Challenge providing professional experience opportunities: Quinsigamond Community College

“You can have the greatest educational marks, but companies want and need to see the professional experience.”

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) Professor of Biology and Coordinator of its Biotechnology Program, Benjamin Benton, does not pull punches when discussing the importance of students, at QCC or any two-year or four-year institution, gaining professional experience while earning their degrees.

“There could be no doubt that you have the hard skills, but companies now want to see experience in the professional setting,” said Professor Benton. “They want to present a student with a job opportunity and      for the student to understand the expectations for that role and the approach and attitude needed in a workplace setting.”

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July 8, 2019

The Internship Challenge Business Model: Enable Life Sciences

Worcester-based life sciences company building team through MLSC Internship Challenge

Enable Life Sciences aims to offer a wide array of technical capabilities within the life sciences space. This includes data driven research for immune profiling and immune cell activation to support the company’s clients engaged in immunotherapies.

For entrepreneur Rachit Ohri Ph.D., when he founded the company, he was looking to oversee a small, but talented and motivated team, matched with a business approach of establishing a fee-for-service model to attract and retain clients. The MLSC Internship Challenge was the perfect opportunity to build up the Enable Life Sciences team.

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June 20, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards for Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs

Five women-led, early-stage life sciences companies selected to receive non-dilutive capital and access to executive coaching network


Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready, and MLSC Vice President
for Industry Programs & Relations Jennifer Griffin with this year’s MassNextGen winners.

 

CAMBRIDGE – June 19, 2019 – Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the 2019 winners for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen), a competitive program to support women entrepreneurs in early-stage life sciences companies. All five companies will receive $87,500 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year. In total, $437,500 will be distributed to awardee companies this year.

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June 3, 2019

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center launches new Seed Fund to catalyze life sciences innovations in underserved regions

New program to provide pre-seed/seed up to-$250K convertible notes to early-stage life sciences companies in Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, Amherst, and Pittsfield

Springfield—Today, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced the launch of its new Seed Fund to catalyze life sciences development and innovations in under-served regions. Through this program, the MLSC and its partners aim to leverage and increase the visibility of regional strengths across the Commonwealth by highlighting opportunities in innovative technologies and individual regional resources. Individual investments will be up to $250,000 in convertible notes with up to $1 million of capital investment available to support life sciences companies in Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, Amherst, and Pittsfield.

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May 2, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration announces new STEM District initiative to support educational equity in life sciences education and training

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awards 5 grants for STEM equipment and supplies totaling nearly $1.14 million to school districts of Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield

Lawrence— Today, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced nearly $1.14 million in STEM equipment and professional development funding to be distributed across 36 public middle schools and high schools in the five school districts of Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield. The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito during an event at Lawrence High School, where she was joined by Lawrence school officials, representatives from all five awardee districts, and other life sciences and educational stakeholders for the announcement event.

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May 2, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Job Creation Incentives for 27 Massachusetts Life Sciences Companies

Incentives will create 1,200+ life sciences jobs throughout Massachusetts, including 460+ jobs in manufacturing; 76% of total investment supports expansion outside Greater Boston

WALTHAM— Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $20 million in tax incentive awards to 27 life sciences companies. The awards were approved by the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), and will create more than 1,200 new jobs across the Commonwealth. The tax incentive awards will support life sciences job growth in 19 different Massachusetts communities, the majority of which are located in or expanding outside of Boston and Cambridge.

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May 1, 2019

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Awards Funding to Projects to Enable Biomanufacturing Innovation

Life Sciences Center awards $2.82 million to capital projects that support biomanufacturing innovation; Capital call part of robust, collaborative effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness of delivering therapies to patients

WORCESTER— Today, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced $2.82 million in funding through a new capital program focused on supporting the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by catalyzing biomanufacturing innovation. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy made the announcement during remarks at the 4th Annual Advanced Biomanufacturing Symposium held at WPI.

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April 29, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration announces $30 million in capital grant funding to support life sciences sector

11 projects to receive funding to sustain the Commonwealth’s competitive edge in advancing human health and connecting communities across Massachusetts to the innovation economy

Waltham – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced $30.95 million in capital grant funding to support the state’s global leadership in the life sciences sector. In total, 11 projects across Massachusetts will receive funding through the MLSC’s Competitive Capital Program to support advances in human health, accelerate innovation in the areas of clinical and translational research, and expand the capacity of life sciences development and job growth across the Commonwealth.

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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.

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