Worcester, MA – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) kicked off the expansion of MBI’s Biomanufacturing Center by breaking through a wall in the existing space.
The expansion will add 10 new Biomanufacturing Labs to support early-stage clinical companies in process development and early-stage manufacturing. The facility will also include 10 new support offices on a second floor overlooking the labs. The MLSC invested $3 million from its Research Infrastructure program to help fund the expansion, which is estimated to cost approximately $5 million.
“Investments in innovation and expansion are essential to the continued growth of the Commonwealth’s life sciences sector,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts remains a global leader in health care and continues to produce the products, devices and therapies to save lives. MBI, with the support of the Life Sciences Center, is demonstrating the progress and achievement happening right here in Worcester.”
The initial StartUp & ScaleUp projects, which opened in mid-2020 and included 28 lab spaces, were fully occupied within 10 months and have already served 26 companies that have raised nearly $150 million and created 111 jobs in the past two years.
“One of the top priorities for the Life Sciences Center is sustaining Worcester’s success and the growing Central Massachusetts life sciences cluster,” said MLSC President and CEO Kenn Turner. “Worcester serves as a model for our Commonwealth on how we can endeavor to build out the life sciences on a regional basis. Right at the center of this cluster is MBI. We are very proud to partner with Jon Weaver and his team and support MBI’s growth and bold vision.”
MBI also announced that it has purchased the 50,000 square foot building and an adjacent 7,000 square foot building from the Coghlin family as part of MBI’s long term commitment to fostering the life sciences industry in Central Massachusetts. The unique StartUp & ScaleUp model at MBI bridges the gap between incubator and commercial market spaces for early-stage, growing companies, freeing up space in the incubator for new, promising companies to enter the pipeline. By adding additional capabilities to support early clinical stage companies, the expansion will help more startup companies bring products to patients and build on Worcester’s growing biomanufacturing market.
“This project will allow MBI to support companies from concept to clinical trials. The StartUp & ScaleUp model allows emerging companies to focus on job creation and bringing their products to market in a space designed to support their needs at this stage in the life cycle,” said Jon Weaver, President & CEO of MBI. “This model also helps emerging companies continue to establish roots in Worcester’s world-renowned life sciences cluster.”
“MBI’s 17 Briden Street project has been a jobs engine for Central Massachusetts and has helped foster numerous early-stage biotech companies in the City and across the state,” said Representative John J. Mahoney (D-Worcester). “My colleagues and I in the legislature are pleased to be able to support projects like this that help serve as a bridge for companies until they are ready to expand into Worcester’s Reactory Biomanufacturing Park and other new biotech developments, creating new jobs here in Worcester.”
“Across our innovation economy, the Baker-Polito Administration sees growth as an equity issue paired with a regional approach to ensure the benefits of the life sciences are experienced throughout Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as Co-Chair of the MLSC Board of Directors. “MBI’s growth demonstrates the impact of this strategy. It also represents the power of public-private partnerships to unlock new opportunities that create jobs, spur economic development, and strengthen burgeoning areas of our economy such as biomanufacturing.”
Fidelity Bank is financing the purchase of the building and sponsored the groundbreaking kick-off.
“By partnering with Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives to fund these projects, we are able to do our part to lower the barriers of success for emerging companies in the life and health sciences industry,” said Joseph Silva, Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Lending Banking Officer, Fidelity Bank. “It is our hope these new facilities will help start-up biomedical companies toward achieving Fidelity Bank’s mission of helping get our clients where they want to be.”
Construction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. MBI has already received interested from companies to occupy four of the ten new spaces. Timberline Construction has been selected as the General Contractor with CI Design performing the architectural work. Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) & Kelleher & Sadowski brokered the building sale.