News from the life sciences and technology communities north of Boston
November 2022
After a months-long search, Biogen announced today Christopher Viehbacher as its new chief executive. Viehbacher served as CEO of Sanofi for six years and was instrumental in the company's $20 billion deal for Genzyme in 2011. Viehbacher will succeed Michel Vounatsos, who led the company since 2017 and announced his planned departure in May.

In a statement, Viehbacher said, "I am inspired by Biogen’s mission and untapped potential and look forward to working with the dedicated Biogen team to build an even stronger company for the benefit of patients, stakeholders and investors.” Read more in Endpoints News.
We look forward to welcoming Animol Discovery to the vibrant life sciences cluster in Woburn. Animol is a drug discovery company that leverages the powerful combination of machine learning and DNA-encoded chemical libraries to build a proprietary pipeline of highly innovative pharmaceuticals for veterinary patients. In a move from downtown Boston, the company has leased a 6,500 SF lab and office suite at 12 Gill Street. Andrew Calabrese, Ph.D. is Animol's scientific co-founder.
Construction is complete for Myro Therapeutics' 4,400 SF lab and office at 200 Boston Avenue, Medford, the first in a new cluster of small lab suites. Myro's mission is to develop first-in-class and best-in-class small molecule drugs for neuroimmune, demyelinating, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Jin Wang, Ph.D. is the company's co-founder and CEO.
Vaxess Technologies, headquartered in Cambridge with a GMP manufacturing facility at Cummings Park in Woburn, has raised $27 million in Series B funding. Coverage in Bloomberg radio's Baystate Business and The Boston Globe highlights the company's innovative microneedle patch as a way to deliver vaccines at home in the future. The company is enrolling soon for its next clinical trial.
Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe
"We were told many times along the way that we should forget vaccines and go focus on low volume, high margin products….COVID has changed this dramatically. We have gotten inbound calls from venture funds that five years ago would not touch vaccines, and they are now interested."

Co-founder and CEO
Vaxess Technologies
In technology news, a Woburn startup is developing a new kind of rechargeable battery that delivers the performance of lithium ion cells at half the cost.
The Boston Globe reports that Alsym Energy (82 Cummings Park, Woburn) is developing better, cheaper batteries that don’t contain lithium or cobalt — scarce and expensive metals mostly controlled by China. Mukesh Chatter (in photo below by Barry Chin of The Boston Globe), is co-founder and CEO.
Real Isolates LLC (48 Dunham Ridge, Beverly) has been issued a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a method used to extract cannabinoids and other compounds from cannabis smoke. The extracted oil created by this method is sold and licensed under the brand name Smokenol. It is rich in common and rare cannabinoids and enables a new category of oral, topical, and inhaled cannabis products.
196 Boston Avenue, Medford - 6,113 SF
Coming April 2023 | 4,030 SF Lab | 2,083 Office
Cummings is pleased to present move-in-ready lab and creative office space at the Boston Avenue life sciences campus in Medford. With ample free covered parking on site and an MBTA bus stop, the property offers suburban convenience with an urban feel, close to Tufts University and the new Green Line extension.
The office provides a contemporary workspace with white-washed high open ceilings, linear pendant LED lighting, and a renovated kitchen. Lab features include:
  • Tissue culture room
  • Vinyl composite tile flooring
  • Island casework with shelving
  • Three 6’ chemical fume hoods   
  • Independent make-up air unit
  • Independent rooftop exhaust fan
  • Point-of-use acid neutralization tanks
  • Tempered emergency shower/ eyewash stations
Asymchem is partnering with BioXchange to host a "Brews & Bio" event at Revolution Hall in Lexington. Join for networking with life sciences colleagues while enjoying local flavors, craft cocktails, and microbrews. The event is free, with RSVP required to attend. Tuesday, November 15, 5:00 - 8:00 PM. Register.
Join MassBio and expert guests for a members-only presentation on "Understanding How the Inflation Reduction Act Impacts the Ecosystem." Joe Boncore, CEO of MassBio, will be joined by Alan F. Eisenberg,
vice president, global public policy & government relations, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; Erin Hertzog, partner, Foley Hoag; Delman Lebel, head of US government affairs and policy, Alexion Pharmaceuticals; and Duane Schulthess, CEO, Vital Transformation LLC. This will be an in-person and virtual event. Tuesday, November 15, 8:00 - 10:00 AM. Register.
Join leaders and members from medtech organizations in Massachusetts to hear 12 medical device startups pitch their innovation to a panel of industry experts at the M2D2 IMPACT Cycle 4 Accelerator Pitch-Off. Wednesday, November 30, 4:00 – 8:00 PM at UMass Lowell iHub. Register.
The Annual Holiday Party is MassBio’s most anticipated mixer of the year. This premier event gathers more than 700 guests from MassBio's member companies. Bring a colleague or make a few new friends while celebrating the holiday season. The event is free for MassBio members; pre-registration is required. Thursday, December 8, 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Hyatt Regency, Cambridge. Register.
Aisha Francis, Ph.D. (right) president of Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology, hosted (left to right) MA secretary of housing and economic development Mike Kennealy, Mass Life Sciences president and CEO Kenn Turner, Mass Ventures development manager Sienna Leis, and Vertex SVP and chief risk and compliance officer Damian Wilmot for the annual President's Council event. The panel discussion focused on expanding the diverse talent pool in the life sciences industry. 
In a recent Boston Business Journal Viewpoint, Jared Auclair, Ph.D. offered perspective on the issues that require continued investment to help Massachusetts continue its leadership in the life sciences. Auclair is vice provost research and development and director bioinnovation at Northeastern University, and co-lead of BioConnects New England, a multi-state coalition.
In his op-ed, Auclair outlines four priorities: augment research with manufacturing facilities, create better access through better transportation, build community awareness about biomanufacturing, and maintain international leadership in life sciences.
ICYMI - On October 20, Partners In Health (PIH) announced Dr. Jim Yong Kim as chancellor of University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Rwanda, a position previously held by Dr. Kim’s friend and PIH co-founder, the late Dr. Paul Farmer.

Dr. Kim previously served as president of the World Bank and of Dartmouth College. A global figure, he was recognized as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

UGHE is a PIH initiative launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Rwandan government, with catalytic funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Cummings Foundation. During a recent phone call, Dr. Kim told Cummings Foundation he hopes to serve as chancellor for many years to come.
Shoebert the seal stole hearts and made headlines around the country when he took up residency in September 2022 in a small pond at the Cummings Center office and technology campus in Beverly. Enjoy this video recap of his time on the North Shore of Boston. For more on our marine visitor, check out
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