LabCentral 238 Gears Up for Fall 2021 Opening to Meet Biotech Startup Demand for BiomanufacturingAugust 04, 2021 | By Maggie O’Toole
Massachusetts has long been a hub for biotech and life sciences innovation, but even with the historic challenges of 2020, we saw one of our best years yet, with the highest amount of venture funding on record and a 110% year-over-year increase in the number of companies going public, according to MassBio. In fact, the LabCentral 2020 Impact Report revealed that seven biotech companies (or 33% of the 21 total IPOs of Massachusetts-based biotech companies in 2020) got their starts within the LabCentral network and are now valued at $8.3 billion collectively.
As the number of local biotech startups progressing to more mature stages continues to increase, our excitement about the opening of our newest offering, LabCentral 238, is also growing. We announced plans for LabCentral 238 in October 2019 with the goal of serving this very segment – startups in advanced stages that require scale-up biomanufacturing capabilities to design and test the processes for their compounds.
The 100,000 sq. ft. facility marks our third location, extending our pipeline of facilities designed to serve a broad spectrum of biotech startups and entrepreneurs. We started with LabCentral 700 to support early-stage startups, added LabCentral 610 to facilitate the needs of growing companies and now LabCentral 238 will provide the resources for scale-up biomanufacturing.
As we approach the opening, we’re seeing continued interest from the community on all fronts. Here’s a snapshot of LabCentral 238 key updates, from the opening timeline to funding, resident and sponsor support, as well as hiring opportunities:
Facility opening timeline:
- With construction of the facility moving along as planned, we expect to open the initial phase of the building to our first residents in November 2021.
- We’ll celebrate phase two of the grand opening with a formal ribbon-cutting event in the Spring of 2022.
New residents & sponsors:
- Biotech startups are eager to take advantage of the sophisticated biomanufacturing capabilities within LabCentral 238. We currently have six companies confirmed for move-in during November and are now meeting with prospective companies for our phase 2 opening in Spring 2022.
- Those moving into 238 are focused on a diverse range of research, including gene therapies, mRNA, protein and antibody therapies, cell therapies, and regenerative medicine platforms for oncological, fibrotic, ocular, autoimmune and rare diseases.
- The facility is backed by both state and private funding. We’ve received $22.4M in sponsorship commitments to date, with new sponsors Thermo Fisher Scientific and Waters Corporation joining existing sponsors Astellas and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC).
- At LabCentral, we’ve grown to nearly 55 employees, and the opening of 238 will create even more opportunities. We’re aiming to hire new staff across a range of areas, including site operations and facilities and lab management, among others.
- You can view some of our current job openings for the new building, as well as positions for our other locations here. Ultimately, we expect the new facility to support nearly 20 LabCentral employees.
Given the past year and the many challenges the Covid-19 pandemic posed – from health concerns to supply chain disruptions and construction delays – we couldn’t be more excited to see LabCentral 238 moving from plan to reality and opening on schedule. We’re proud to have imagined and now created this facility that will provide a crucial step in helping scientists and entrepreneurs bring their most innovative ideas to fruition and will also generate more opportunities to work in this field.
Stay tuned for more updates on the progress and opening of LabCentral 238!