Harvard, MIT, hospitals and industry create facility for next-generation med development

Nov. 26, 2019

Massachusetts universities, companies and hospitals are partnering up to launch a $50 million center for advanced biological innovation and manufacturing. The center aims to provide space for innovation and methods development adjacent to pharma-grade manufacturing for first-in-patient clinical-trials.

The partnership is aiming to shorten the path from research to clinical application, and to build up a skilled workforce.

According to Harvard, the new center for advanced biological innovation and manufacturing will explore and cultivate innovations in cell and gene therapy, advance biologic innovation and manufacturing and accelerate developments in immunotherapy, cell therapies, gene editing and other technologies that carry the promise of lasting impact on human health globally and boosting the local economy.

Leaders from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, will comprise the board of directors, while other contributing members include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, MilliporeSigma and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The center will be located in the greater Boston area and will be named, along with incorporation, in the new year. The expectation is that this will be an independent, separate nonprofit corporation.

According to Harvard, the center will offer three critical services to the Massachusetts life science ecosystem.  It will provide preferred access to a new manufacturing facility at favorable pricing, reducing the wait and cost for researchers at universities, hospitals and start-ups. The facility will have a shared innovation space where scientists from universities, hospitals and industry can work side-by-side with dedicated staff. The center will provide a platform for workforce development and training in a growing field, where there is a critical need for people with specialized skills.

The modular design of the new facility aims to make it easier for users to adapt quickly to changes in technology.

Read the Harvard report