Neuroscience Consortium

Neuroscience Consortium

Program Overview

The Neuroscience Consortium funds pre-clinical neuroscience research at Massachusetts academic and research institutions. The MLSC in collaboration with Alzheimer Disease Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital brings together company partners with researchers focused on understanding Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases to further research and collaboration in the space. Companies that have participated in the Consortium include AbbVie, Biogen, Celgene, General Electric, Lundbeck, Merck, Novartis, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals (Consortium Members). Nearly $10 million has been committed by consortium members to fund research through this program.

Eligibility & Evaluation

The consortium thrives off both commitments from biotech companies and applications for innovative translational research. Every year Consortium Members pool their resources to fund the identification and validation of novel targets for the symptomatic treatment and modification of these chronic and debilitating neurological diseases. It is required all proposals be anchored in recognized human disease genetics and pathophysiology, or within pathways of known relevance to human disease, and should be translational, rather than exploratory. Examples of such proposals might include research that:

  • Confirms or refutes the involvement of a particular pathway or mechanism in human disease;
  • Identifies new molecular targets, or strengthens the case for a potential target, or rules out a suspected target;
  • Establishes new and improved animal models of human disease in the identified focus areas, with established face and/or construct validity;
  • Develops a method for manipulating or measuring a pathway of known human pathological relevance; or
  • Identifies or validates a biomarker than can be used for drug discovery and/or development.

Applications for the current round of funding are due by Friday, December 8, 2023. Please submit your application to Dr. Brad Hyman, BHyman@mgh.harvard.edu, and Dr. Mark Albers, Albers.Mark@mgh.harvard.edu, with the subject line “MassCATs 11 Application”. The current application can be found here.

Companies that are interested in becoming a Consortium Members should contact MLSC staff to discuss further. Please contact neuroscience@masslifesciences.com.

Impact on the Ecosystem

Launched in 2013, the consortium originally adopted a broad interest in neurological diseases with a focus on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. Following multiple rounds of proposals, a collective focus on Alzheimer’s Disease emerged and now the consortium spends its time and effort on understanding and developing novel solutions for AD. Since inception, the program has garnered nearly $10 million in industry commitments and funded the work of 30 Principal Investigators in Massachusetts. 

Through the work of this program, public resources for neuroscience and Alzheimer’s researchers have been generated. More information on these resources can be found here:

Alzheimer DataLENS provides information on hypothesis-driven and data driven research, allowing neuroscientists to share, browse and visualize comprehensive results from bioinformatics analysis of public omics datasets. It also serves as a tool to organize and share results from MassCATS investigations.

Connect with us to Learn More

Our team is happy to discuss either joining the consortium as a company Consortium Member or applying as a Massachusetts-based researcher. To connect with MLSC staff, please contact neuroscience@masslifesciences.com.  

Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative

Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative

Program Overview

The MLSC is committed to a life sciences ecosystem that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable for all members of this industry. To ensure we continue to shift the paradigm, the Massachusetts Next Generation (MassNextGen) Initiative is building off the success of its first five years with a new iteration to support a larger pool of entrepreneurs with a broad, more inclusive focus.

Awardees of the program will receive a year-long customized package of support, which includes non-dilutive grant funding and access to a network of seasoned professionals from the life sciences ecosystem helping them to refine their business strategies and effectively raise capital. In addition, awardees will highlight their company to sponsors, awardees, and representatives of venture capital firms at the end of the program year in a “pitch” event.

The application period will run from March 18 – June 14, 2024 at 4 p.m. EST.

Eligibility & Evaluation

  • The applicant Life Science company (“Company”) must be located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, registered to do business in Massachusetts, and have the majority of employees in the Commonwealth. A Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State and Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue are required for the submission.
  • The Company must be led by an underrepresented entrepreneur (“Applicant”) that identifies as: Arab American, Middle Eastern and North African American; Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Native Hawaiian; Black, African American, or Afro Caribbean; Female; Hispanic, Hispanic American, or Latinx/Latin; Indigenous, Native American, or First Nation; LGBTQIA+; Living with apparent or non-apparent disability; Neurodiverse; Refugee, Immigrant, or Migrant; Socially disadvantaged; Veteran or another underrepresented group in the CEO or equivalent position (e.g., President).
  • The Applicant must be open to executive coaching, including receiving critique and feedback, and must commit to attending executive and business coaching sessions in MA throughout the year-long program.

Please view the full list of eligibility requirements and evaluation process.

Sponsors

Increasing the number of successful entrepreneurs is in the best interest of the entire life science industry, and as such, this initiative is a public-private partnership between the MLSC and our corporate sponsors.

In 2018, Takeda became MassNextGen’s Anchor sponsor as the first private partner to invest in the program. Their leadership and unwavering support to foster a more inclusive and diverse ecosystem continues with their commitment for this next chapter of MassNextGen.

Learn more about the MassNextGen sponsors and how your company can join the movement.

Resources

Info Sessions

  • April 3, 2024 at 11 a.m., at M2D2 – Register
  • April 24, 2024 at 10 a.m., virtual – Register
  • May 7, 2024 at 11 a.m., at Mansfield Bio-Incubator – Register
  • May 30, 2024 at 11 a.m., virtual – Register

Sample Application

Eligibility Requirements and Evaluation Process

Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions

Business and Executive Coaching Session Format and Topics

Program Handout

R.E.D.: Research Equipment Database

D.A.T.A. (Databases, Algorithms, Tools, and Analyses) Repository

Awardees and Coaches

Awardees
Learn more about the MassNextGen awardees and their company

Executive Coaches
Learn about the life science experts guiding the MassNextGen entrepreneurs

Impact on the Ecosystem

In 2018, MassNextGen launched with one goal in mind, to shift the paradigm to build a diverse ecosystem with equal representation. With the support from sponsors like Takeda, King Street Properties, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Mintz, Mission BioCapital, and LabCentral Ignite, MassNextGen launched as a five year commitment to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs.

In the first six years, the MLSC deployed more than $2.5 million in funding to women entrepreneurs and provided over 200 hours of coaching from the elite executive mentoring/coaching network.

Now with 31 companies in the MassNextGen portfolio, the MLSC funding combined with executive coaching and business mentorship have proven invaluable for these underrepresented entrepreneurs in building their teams and progressing forward with new opportunities. The program continues to see tremendous success from previous awardees, including:

  • 15 companies have raised a seed or series A financing round
  • Companies have raised nearly $170 million in follow-on funding
  • Companies employ in total 75 additional people
  • There’s been nearly 90 coaching sessions
  • Sponsoring organizations have reviewed applications from over 120 early-stage women led companies with an opportunity for follow on discussion

Connect with us to Learn More

If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail MassNextGen@masslifesciences.com.