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LabCentral Announces $22.4 Million in Committed Funding for LabCentral 238 including New Sponsors Thermo Fisher Scientific and Waters Corporation

February 18, 2021

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LabCentral, the first-of-its-kind shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for high-potential biotech startups, today announced a total of $22.4 million in sponsorship commitments for LabCentral 238, a fully functional life sciences laboratory with a focus on scale-up bio-manufacturing. Thermo Fisher Scientific and Waters Corporation join Astellas and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MSLC) as sponsors. Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) South of Main Street (SoMa) Development in the heart of Kendall Square's innovation hub, LabCentral 238 is currently under construction and is expected to open in November 2021.

Representatives from the Baker-Polito Administration, MLSC, LabCentral, Astellas, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Waters Corporation will be discussing the news in a webcast this morning at 10 a.m. ET (click here to watch live or for a recording of the webcast).

Key Facts:

Serving start-ups at a more advanced stage from LabCentral's current base of resident companies at its existing facilities, LabCentral 238 will bridge the gaps that fast-growing start-ups are experiencing as they design and test the processes for their compounds prior to full-scale GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) production. 

Originally announced in October 2019, LabCentral 238 was started with a Founding Sponsorship from Astellas, a grant from the MLSC and key support from MITIMCo (MIT Investment Management Company). New sponsorship commitments include Thermo Fisher Scientific and Waters Corporation with additional sponsorship commitments expected.

LabCentral already has commitments from two companies to occupy space when LabCentral 238 opens, including one researching gene therapies for rare diseases and another developing a rapid, low-cost molecular diagnostic platform.

Aligned with the new LabCentral Ignite initiative, LabCentral 238 also presents the opportunity to expand and diversify the skilled workforce to support bio-manufacturing and life sciences technical talent for the Massachusetts economy.

Executive Quotes:

"LabCentral 238 continues our mission of creating new facilities and opportunities to accelerate science through public-private partnerships. We welcome our new sponsors as we collaborate to help high-potential start-ups begin their process development activities much earlier and create a new community around bio-manufacturing including the development of a more diverse and inclusive biotech workforce."

- Johannes Fruehauf, co-founder and president of LabCentral

"I applaud our partners at LabCentral for securing additional support for this innovative project that leverages the Commonwealth's investment and further drives the biotech engine of Massachusetts' economy. LabCentral 238 truly represents the power that public-private partnerships have in unlocking new opportunities that create jobs, spur economic development, and strengthen burgeoning areas of our economy such as bio-manufacturing."

- Mike Kennealy, Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary, co-chair of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors

"LabCentral remains an essential anchor institution for the future success of the next generation of start-ups, and our life sciences ecosystem more broadly. Its new facility represents the opportunity Massachusetts has to lead in the bio-manufacturing space, pairing high quality facilities with equally high quality workforce programming that expands biotech jobs in Massachusetts."

- Kenn Turner, president and CEO of MLSC

"Cell and gene therapy represent the next frontier in medical research, with the potential to develop transformative treatments for patients across a wide array of disease areas. We are proud to help guide and develop this next generation of companies and researchers that will inhabit LabCentral 238 as they seek to access the promise of these rapidly evolving fields."

- Yoshitsugu Shitaka, President of Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM)

"The biotech pioneers who progress through LabCentral 238 will transform medicine and improve lives. Our support of them, through technology and mentorship from our own scientists, is a privilege, and we look forward to joining them in their journey from discovery to commercialization." 

- Sandy Pound, VP and chief communications officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific

"At Waters, we're excited about LabCentral's mission and track record supporting scientific entrepreneurs and new frontiers of therapeutic modalities. Through contributing analytical technologies, expertise and access to our nearby Immerse Cambridge collaborative research lab, we are committed to supporting the next generation of biopharma and biotech innovators that will occupy LabCentral 238."

- Rob Carson, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Waters Corporation

Additional Resources:

LabCentral 238 video