August 2021
Summer has not slowed the pace of life sciences and technology expansion in the greater Boston area. The latest Cummings Life Sciences Update features news of new and growing companies in Massachusetts' MetroNorth region, as well as a new SPAC deal as GreenLight Biosciences goes public. Read on for biotech and cleantech news from our campuses and beyond.
Synthetic biology company GreenLight Biosciences (200 Boston Avenue, Medford), plans to go public to advance its RNA manufacturing platform.

As reported in The Boston Globe this morning, the company agreed to merge with Environmental Impact Acquisitions Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal that values GreenLight at $1.2 billion.
Founded in 2008, GreenLight started by developing agriculture products, and now focuses on technology to produce RNA inexpensively and at scale to enable products to be affordable and accessible across the globe. A COVID-19 vaccine candidate is among the products in its pipeline.
"We believe that GreenLight's breakthrough platform can create advanced therapies, vaccines, and crop-protection products that address - quickly, directly, and specifically - some of the most significant problems facing the world today."

Andrey Zarur, Ph.D.
CEO and co-founder, GreenLight Biosciences
GreenLight first moved to Medford in 2009. It has since grown to a 45,000-square-foot facility at the Cummings biotech campus at 200 Boston Avenue.
Dr. Jack Regan, CEO and founder of LexaGene (500 Cummings Center, Beverly), offered four key insights on preventing the next pandemic in the latest issue of The Pathologist. Read more about how open-access, multiplex testing can prevent future outbreaks.
"Our inability to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has largely been due to the lack of sufficient surveillance and diagnostic infrastructure - including better point-of-care testing."

Jack Regan, Ph.D.
CEO and founder, LexaGene
The Pathologist, July 20, 2021
Spear Bio will relocate from Boston Post Road in Weston to 100 TradeCenter in Woburn, where a custom lab space is being designed and constructed by Cummings' in-house team. Serving the growing trends of wellness self-testing and telemedicine-based diagnostics, Spear Bio has developed a reagent-based technology for ultrasensitive protein detection. CEO Michael Natan, Ph.D. co-founded the company with Feng Xuan, Ph.D. and Peng Yin, Ph.D.
Nth Cycle (100 Cummings Center, Beverly), has a custom buildout underway for its new 12,000-square-foot lab and office. A recent graduate from North Shore InnoVentures, Nth Cycle has developed new technology that supports battery recyclers and miners. This electro-extraction transforms the outputs of electronics recycling, and waste from existing mines, into high-quality critical minerals ready for use again. Megan O'Connor, Ph. D. is CEO and co-founder.
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Earlier this summer, the Cummings organization hosted an intimate dinner with renowned global health expert Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, M.D., Ph.D., former minister of health for Rwanda and current vice chancellor of University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), also located in Rwanda. Dr. Binagwaho currently serves as a senior advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization and as a member of the Rockefeller Foundation board of trustees. She serves on a number of international working groups and task forces in global health for the United Nations as well as independent organizations.
Dr. Binagwaho is pictured with Cummings Foundation founders Joyce and Bill Cummings. Also participating was Andrey Zarur, Ph.D., co-founder, president, and CEO of Greenlight Biosciences.

The engaging evening included discussions of UGHE's rapid growth and innovative programs; the goal of making medical advances available to all nations, not just wealthy ones; and the rebuilding of the good health of the global bee population.
The Cummings in-house design and construction team recently completed a Woburn lab facility for Absorption Systems.
Genomic Expression Helps Employees Get Back to Work with COVID-19 PCR Testing Program
Genomic Expression, a North Shore InnoVentures incubator company co-founded by Gitte Pederson and Morten Lorentz Pederson provides RNA diagnostics to monitor health, detect disease, and design next-generation cures.
The company offers a saliva-based COVID-19 PCR testing program that enables screening of asymptomatic individuals. Unsupervised self collection allows organizations to limit the risk of infection among employees.

Genomic Expression's testing program includes a dashboard to monitor who is vaccinated and when to test, as well as consent. The program delivers test results from a saliva sample within 24 hours to both employee and health care provider.

A collaboration between Genomic Expression and Yale University/Saliva Direct has been formed to prove that saliva is just as effective a sample type as the nasopharyngeal (NP) swab test, and does not require a healthcare worker to administer it. Learn more on the company blog.
On July 23, Woburn incubator C2I held a panel discussion on "Start-up Space in Life Sciences - Figuring Out Where You Belong." Panelists included Martha Farmer, Ph.D., founder of North Shore InnoVentures in Beverly (lower left) along with other industry leaders. View a recording of this highly engaging program on YouTube, and tune in at 44:17 to hear Dr. Farmer discuss how the partnership between NSIV and Cummings helps early-stage biotech firms develop at affordable rates.
North Shore Technology Council: Beverages, Biosciences, and Board Virtual Networking Event - Thursday, August 26, 5:00 - 5:45 PM. Register.

MassBio Regional Mixer: Beverly - Thursday, September 9 at 5:00 PM at Channel Marker Brewery, 95 Rantoul Street, Beverly. Register.

Biotech Week Boston - Presented digitally and at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center September 20-30. Read more.

MassBio Hybrid Forum: Ecosystem Workforce Challenges and Opportunities in the "Next Normal" - Wednesday, September 22, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM at MassBio Hub, 700 Technology Square, Cambridge, and virtually. Register.

Save the Date:
Women Who Lead in Life Sciences, hosted by Boston Business Journal (via Zoom) Thursday, October 7, 9:00 - 11:00 AM. Register.
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