Blog Archives

Top 5 News: 5/29-6/5

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MassBio Update: Congrats to Peter Abair, Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs at MassBio on being named MassBioEd’s new Executive Director! Read the Press Announcement

1) Takeda Pharmaceuticals to move U.S. vaccine headquarters to Cambridge area – BBJ, 6/2/15
Takeda Pharmaceuticals announced it will move the U.S. headquarters for its unit devoted to developing vaccines for diseases like norovirus, dengue and seasonal influenza to the Cambridge area.

​2) EMD Millipore set for expansion with $17b takeover  Boston Globe, 5/29/15
EMD Millipore, begun in 1954 as a local filtration company, is poised to become a much larger player in the fast-growing business of supplying life sciences equipment to drug makers and research labs worldwide. The company is set to complete its $17 billion takeover of Sigma-Aldrich Corp. this summer. The deal will boost the company’s global sales more than 70 percent to about $6 billion annually and double its global workforce to 20,000, including more than 1,000 in Massachusetts.

3) National cancer trial to use technology from Waltham company  BBJ, 6/1/15
Does the secret to curing a person’s cancer lie in their DNA?
That’s what scientists hope, and they will use genetic sequencing technology from Waltham-based Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) to look for mutations within a person’s DNA to match them with the best cancer medicine.

4) BU scientist uses existing drugs in fight against Ebola  Boston Globe, 6/4/15
Hoping to develop a drug against Ebola, but lacking the $1 billion to bring a new medicine to market, Boston University infectious disease researcher Gene Olinger turned to a more affordable source of drugs — those already available at his local pharmacy.

5) A year after emerging from coma, Boylston teen to showcase invention on world’s biotech stage  BBJ, 6/4/15
A Central Massachusetts teen is headed to Philadelphia next week to show off his discovery of a biodegradable replacement for plastic before hundreds of the world’s biggest biotech firms. His travel to the conference is being funded by the state’s industry group, MassBio.


Top 5 News Stories 5/3 – 5/9

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1) U.S. FDA approves Merck blood clot preventer Reuters, May 8, 2014

U.S. health regulators on Thursday approved a blood clot preventer developed by Merck & Co for use by patients who have had a heart attack or who suffer from blockages in the arteries of the legs. Link

2) AstraZeneca Says US FDA Approves EPANOVA as Adjunct to Diet Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2014

Research-based biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) said Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved EPANOVA (omega-3-carboxylic acids) as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride levels in adults with severe hypertriglyceridaemia. Link

3) Trends, opportunities and threats in the life science industry: an interview with Bob Coughlin, CEO, MassBio –, May 5, 2014

As President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Bob’s mission is to foster a positive environment that enables each biotechnology company to achieve its full potential in Massachusetts, making the state a world center for biotechnology. Link

4) Eleven Biotherapeutics shows promise with new drug for eye diseaseBoston Business Journal, May 7, 2014

Abbie Celniker, CEO of newly-public Eleven Biotherapeutics, said that while her firm is among a handful of local companies working to fill a fast-growing need for eye disease treatments, it’s one of a very few that’s actually developing a whole new drug. Link

5) Thermo Fisher Opens Chemical Distribution Facility Controlled Environments Magazine, May 8, 2014

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has opened its Doe & Ingalls Northeast cGMP chemical distribution facility to meet demand for compliance, production chemical storage, and supply chain services for the biopharmaceutical, life science, and advanced technology markets. Link


Top 5 News Stories: 1/4-1/10

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Check out the BBJ’s Outside the Box feature on MassBio’s President & CEO Bob Coughlin Link


1) Thermo Fisher reaches $1 billion deal to sell units to GE Healthcare- Boston Business Journal- January 6, 2014

Thermo Fisher Scientific in Waltham will sell its cell culture gene modulation and magnetic beads businesses to GE Healthcare for $1 billion in order to move forward with its acquisition of Life Technologies. Link

2) FDA approves diabetes drug with new approach- Boston Globe- January 8, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a new diabetes drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca that uses a novel approach to reduce blood sugar. Link

3) Wanna trade? Novartis and Merck are reportedly negotiating a $5B unit swap- Fierce Pharma- January 9, 2014

Here’s a plan that would kill two birds with one stone: Novartis and Merck are negotiating a swap, Bloomberg reports. Novartis would trade its animal health and vaccines units for Merck’s consumer health business. Link

4) Millennium is starting work on new lab building in Cambridge- Boston Business Journal- January 8, 2014

By the time it’s finished in just over two years, Millennium Pharmaceuticals’ new building at 300 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge will feature plenty of cutting-edge lab space, including the company’s research and development, drug discovery and cell culture divisions. One thing it won’t feature, however, will be the name, “Millennium.” Link

5) Meet Idera, the Boston-area biotech that saw the biggest stock growth in 2013- Boston Business Journal- January 10, 2014

While much larger biotechs like Alnylam, Celldex and Biogen Idec may have been featured in more headlines in the past year due to stock growth, it was a 20-employee company in the Central Square section of Cambridge that saw its shares rise faster than any other early-stage drug company in the state last year. Link

Top 5 News Stories: 8/24-8/30

Top 5 logo1) Why we’re a magnet of life sciences- Boston Globe- August 25, 2013

Everywhere I’ve been this summer, it seems I’ve met someone who was pulled to Boston by the life sciences industry. The Frenchman with whom I shared a lunch table at a conference, who moved here to work at Genzyme’s Kendall Square office in Cambridge. Link

2) Amgen to add cancer drugs with Onyx purchase- Boston Globe- August 26, 2013

The biotech drug maker Amgen will buy the cancer drug maker Onyx Pharmaceuticals for about $10.4 billion in cash in a deal that will add several cancer drugs to Amgen’s stable and put more new drugs in its pipeline. Link

3) AstraZeneca forges $500M cancer-combo tech buyout for MedImmune- Fierce Biotech- August 26, 2013

AstraZeneca is rolling the dice on a $500 million deal–including $225 million upfront–to buy the early-stage cancer immunology specialist Amplimmune for its U.S. biologics arm MedImmune. AstraZeneca is promising up to $275 million in development milestones. Link

4) Thermo Fisher commits $700K a year to STEM scholarships- Boston Business Journal- August 27, 2013

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced Monday it will put $700,000 a year toward college-level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives. Link

5) Researchers Grow 3-D Human Brain Tissues- MIT Tech Review- August 28, 2013

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria, have grown three-dimensional human brain tissues from stem cells. The tissues form discrete structures that are seen in the developing brain. Link

BIO Buzz: Lifecycle Massachusetts BIO 2013 Recap


We had an exciting couple of days in Chicago at BIO 2013! From press announcements and patient celebrations to cutting edge panel discussions, and plenty of networking opportunities –  The Massachusetts Pavilion did an outstanding job showcasing all that the state has to offer the life sciences industry.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of Lifecycle Massachusetts’ presence at BIO:

Monday, April 22nd

Press Announcement

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Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s President and CEO, Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, announced a new International Collaborative Industry Program (ICIP) with Victoria, Australia, Wallonia, Belgium, Quebec, Canada and Alsace, France. Read more about the program here.

Celebrate the Patient

patient panel

We honored the people who are at the heart of what we do – the patients. Our featured panelists were Deb Beaudette (Pompe patient) and Ron Banks (MS patient) who shared their powerful stories. Deb had the audience laughing with her frank discussion of what it’s like to face a rare disease diagnosis, and Ron inspired everyone with his determination to be a motivator and advocate for additional research and clinical trials. The panel was moderated by Kathleen Coolidge, who works in patient advocacy at Genzyme. Read the rest of this entry