News from the life sciences community north of Boston
April 2022
Two significant leadership changes were announced this week, with pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna each naming new chief financial officers.

David Denton joins New York-based Pfizer from retail giant Lowe's. He previously served as CFO of CVS, driving the acquisition of Aetna. Fierce Pharma notes that given the company's COVID-19 vaccine success, the appointment could signal major future deals.

Cambridge-based Moderna welcomes Jorge Gomez as CFO on May 9. He comes to Moderna from Dentsply Sirona Inc., and spent 13 years at Cardinal Health. Read more in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
Cummings recently enjoyed two visits from MassBio to its Beverly and Woburn campuses. On March 29, MassBio CEO Joe Boncore, president and chief operating officer Kendalle Berlin-O'Connell, and other members of the MassBio leadership team spent time in Beverly for a Fireside Chat with North Shore Technology Council. In addition to sharing insights during an informative lunchtime discussion, MassBio was joined by Massachusetts policymakers for a tour of North Shore InnoVentures, and visited other growing MetroNorth life science companies.
Chris Ilsley (top photo, left) provides a tour to Joe Boncore, Kendalle Berlin-O'Connell, Rep. Jerald Parisella, Sen. Joan Lovely, and other supporters of the life sciences industry. Jason Holder, founder and CSO of Endolytix (in lab coat, right), discusses the company's growth with Joe Boncore and Ben Bradford, vice president of economic development and workforce for MassBio. Jack Regan, founder and CEO of LexaGene (center), provides an up-close look at the firm's rapid pathogen detection technology.
Last week, the MassBio team visited Cummings' Woburn biotech cluster. Feng Xuan, co-founder and CTO of Spear Bio (group photo, front) and Peter Abbink, head of research and development for Batavia Biosciences, provided tours of their new facilities at Cummings' Landmark TradeCenter 128 campus.
Rilas Technologies recently announced plans to expand its purification and analytical capabilities as well as incorporate a brand-new incubator center with access to a full suite of Rilas services. Located at 400 West Cummings Park in Woburn, the incubator space will include a 3,000 SF shared lab space with an enclosed cell culture pod, as well as a designated 1,500 SF shared office space next to Rilas' separate analytical and purification lab.

Laszlo Varaday is the company's president and CEO.
Vaxess Technologies (Cummings Park, Woburn) announced production of the first GMP batch of MIMIX technology vaccine patches for its upcoming Phase 1 seasonal influenza clinical trial. The company's new GMP facility in Woburn successfully produced a proprietary silk fibroin microneedle patch loaded with influenza vaccine antigen.
"Greenfielding the Woburn facility and the production of this clinical-grade material demonstrates the ability of Vaxess to advance the MIMIX technology to true drug candidates. This is a key step in our quest to produce shelf-stable, patient-friendly vaccine products in seasonal flu and other prophylactic disease areas."

Co-founder and CEO
Vaxess Technologies
Last week, Akston Biosciences (100 Cummings Center, Beverly), a developer of new classes of biologic therapeutics, announced that the first volunteers were dosed in India for a Phase II/III clinical study of AKS-452, its low-cost, shelf-stable protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines. India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) approved the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, initiated by Ahmedabad-based Veeda Clinical Research Limited, whose data will be submitted in an application for Emergency Use Authorization. Akston CEO Todd Zion, Ph.D., has been invited to present at the World Vaccine Congress.

"This clinical trial represents an important step in the development of protein-based COVID-19 vaccines."

Co-founder, president and CEO
Akston Biosciences

Available for Pre-lease: Lab Opportunities in Medford
Pre-leasing now: lab suites from 2,000 to 25,000 SF. Contact or 781-932-7039 for more information. Features:
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Example renderings
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Miss being able to network with colleagues in the life sciences industry? Check out virtual networking events hosted by BioXchange on Grapevine Network. Wednesday, April 27, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Register.
In-person Biosciences Forum: Fireside Chat with Dr. Ed Kay, CEO of Stoke Therapeutics moderated by Tracy Curley, president and CFO of iSpecimen. Thursday, April 28, at 5:00 PM at 300 TradeCenter in Woburn.

Dr. Kaye will share his experiences as an executive in the biotech industry as it faces innovation, commercialization, and financial opportunities and challenges. Learn about Dr. Kaye's leadership journey through this critical and everchanging industry. $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Register.
MassBio's annual State of Possible Conference celebrates how the life sciences make the impossible possible. MassBio taps today's brightest minds for engaging conversations on the latest developments in the industry, key insights from the past year, and building a better future for patients around the world. This year's conference explores the theme "The Massachusetts BioPharma Ecosystem in the Post-Covid Era." Thursday, May 5 at 9:00 AM. Register.
Further signaling the north of Boston suburbs as a vibrant life sciences cluster, two significant organizations recently announced plans to open facilities in Burlington. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Vericel Corporation have received approval from the Planning Board to locate at 25 Network Drive. The primary mission of Broad Institute is to empower a revolution in biomedicine to accelerate the pace at which the world conquers disease. In an article in Daily Times Chronicle, Sarah Cottet, senior director of facilities for Broad, acknowledged Burlington's "amazing ecosystem of discovery."
The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded $5.4 million in 2021-2022 Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants for Expanded Training Capacity & Employment Program Performance. Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) received $500,000 in funding to provide training and placement services to prepare 80 unemployed and underemployed participants for lab technician, lab technologist, and biological technician positions. GMGI will partner with Synlogic and RAN Biotechnologies (100 Cummings Center).
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