January 14, 2020

‘Data is King’: Massachusetts Life Sciences Center convenes gathering on future of imaging and data science

Stakeholders gather at the Broad Institute for dialogue on the role of data science in life science innovation

The role of data science in life science innovation is rapidly growing and evolving. The information explosion, combined with emerging algorithms, has the potential to reduce the drug discovery timeline, improve patient experience, and provide clinicians with better diagnostic tools. During this time of digital transformation, the potential exists to derive value from a wide variety of data sources, including next generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, electronic health records, images, and consumer wearables.

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January 8, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Leadership Transition at Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

Travis McCready stepping down from role after more than four years as president and CEO of Life Sciences Center; Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Timothy J. McGourthy appointed acting president and CEO

Waltham — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a leadership transition at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). Travis McCready, after more than four years of successful leadership of the quasi-public agency, is stepping down from his role as president and chief executive officer of the MLSC, effective as of January 8, 2020. Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Timothy J. McGourthy will assume the role of Acting President and CEO of the MLSC.

“I am grateful for the leadership and partnership Travis brought to the Center and the life sciences sector more broadly,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “In recent years, the Commonwealth has further solidified its national and global leadership position in life sciences research and development, innovation, and job creation, all while broadening the industry’s geographic footprint across Massachusetts.”

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December 19, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Expansion of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives in Worcester

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joins state and local officials for unveiling of ‘MBI Champions Wall’ to recognize construction progress on life sciences incubator’s expansion

Worcester— Today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) President and CEO Travis McCready, leaders from the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), and state and local officials at the site of MBI’s expansion to celebrate construction progress of the redeveloped facility, which will double the operational capacity for the life sciences incubator. The gathering also served as an opportunity to unveil the “MBI Champions Wall” which recognizes the numerous stakeholders who have contributed to the success and growth of the Central Massachusetts’ life sciences cluster.

“The Worcester success story keeps on building,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “MBI has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of this success story. This Administration’s investment in MBI is one of several key initiatives we strongly believe will 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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December 11, 2019

Multiple chains of opportunity: Internship Challenge key to New England Peptide’s growth strategy

New England Peptide aims to provide custom peptide and antibody products and services, enabling their clients to bring their own products to market. The company’s client base extends from coast to coast in the United States. The Gardner, Massachusetts-based company has also shipped peptides to more than 30 different countries.

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November 25, 2019

Reveal Pharmaceuticals Moves Forward

Most individuals know someone who has had, or themselves had, a contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CE-MRI) scan. CE-MRI scans offer crucial medical insight for many medical conditions, ranging from cancer detection, staging, and surveillance to stroke to cardiovascular diseases. Millions of CE-MRI scans take place each year.

Current MRI contrast agents all contain gadolinium, a rare earth element that can be toxic. Contrast agents illuminate differences in soft tissue and therefore enable accurate diagnosis from the images. While the use of contrast agents has been in practice for decades, a focus has crystalized on the accumulation of the heavy metal in patients, and its potential risks within their brains and bodies. Gadolinium is known to cause devastating nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in people with kidney disease; research on gadolinium’s long-term impact in other patients is ongoing. The most vulnerable patients include children, people with kidney disease, and those who need repeat scans for screening, surveillance, management, or clinical trials.

Reveal Pharmaceuticals, under the leadership of Vera Hoffman, aims to offer a safer alternative.

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October 17, 2019

240 teachers across five Gateway Cities set to participate in STEM Week 2019 following summer of professional development training

Not-for-profit organization i2 Learning administered professional development workshops in Attleboro, Everett, Peabody, Methuen and Westfield, made possible in part by $50,000 in MLSC funding

Waltham—Through a partnership between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and not-for-profit organization, i2 Learning, 240 middle school teachers in the Gateway Cities of Attleboro, Everett, Peabody, Methuen and Westfield, will facilitate a course during Massachusetts STEM Week 2019. Ahead of STEM Week, taking place October 21-25, these educators completed two days of professional development workshops in hands-on, project-based learning in STEM courses, ranging from Kinetic Sculpture to Urban Farming and Surgical Techniques. The MLSC provided $50,000 in support of the professional development workshops administered by i2 Learning.

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October 3, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $5 Million Grant to LabCentral for New Facility to Support Expansion of Local Bio-Manufacturing and Life Sciences Technical Talent

Grant to fund infrastructure build-out and purchase of lab equipment for LabCentral 238

CAMBRIDGE — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced a $5 million grant to LabCentral to fund a new resource for the life sciences industry and the local bio-economy with LabCentral 238, a fully functional life sciences laboratory with a focus on scale-up bio-manufacturing comprising approximately 100,000 square feet. The announcement was made during a gathering at the current LabCentral space at 700 Main Street in Cambridge during a speaking program that also featured remarks by Assistant Secretary of Technology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Damon Cox, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President and CEO Travis McCready, LabCentral Co-founder and President Johannes Fruehauf, Astellas, President and CEO Kenji Yasukawa, and other local and state leaders.

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September 9, 2019

Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announce $6.7 million in grant awards to data-driven life sciences capital projects

Nine projects receive funding for cross-sector projects focused on imaging, cancer, neuroscience, and drug discovery/clinical trials

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced $6.7 million in capital funding to nine data-driven, cross-sector projects focused on imaging, cancer, neuroscience, drug discovery and clinical trial design. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement during remarks at MassBio’s Digital Health Impact Forum in Boston.

The MLSC is funding approximately $750,000 per project, for a total of $6.7 million. Moreover, non-profit and industry partners on these projects have committed more than $13 million in matching funds. The funding was provided through one of MLSC’s newest capital programs, Bits to Bytes, which is designed to provide grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting the generation and analysis of large datasets to answer pressing life science questions, and to attract and train data scientists in the Commonwealth.

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September 3, 2019

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Awards Funding to Support Early-Stage Growth Across Major Sectors

MLSC’s Milestone Achievement Program awards more than $1.9 million to 10 companies representing all major life sciences sectors

WALTHAM— Today, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced more than $1.9 million in funding to support 10 early-stage life sciences companies in Massachusetts. The funding is through the MLSC’s Milestone Achievement Program (MAP), which addresses the needs of early-stage life sciences companies by providing grant funding to execute critical, value-creating technical milestones. The 10 awardees are located across six Massachusetts communities with every major life sciences sector represented among the companies.

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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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