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News from the life sciences and technology communities north of Boston

May 2024

Harvard startup Nabla Bio has secured $26 million in Series A financing. Nabla develops AI and wet-lab technologies that enable the rational design of developable, selective, and functional drugs against previously undruggable targets. The company also announced strategic collaborations with AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb Company, and Takeda, worth more than $550 million in upfront and milestone payments, plus royalties.

In a press release, co-founder Surge Biswas said, “We are unlocking new opportunities to build highly selective drugs against validated, but hard-to-drug targets with a degree of structural precision not previously possible.” Frances Anastassacos is co-founder of the company. Read more in Endpoints News.

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We are pleased to welcome Active Surfaces to the clean tech and innovation cluster in Woburn. The company is the latest startup to join the Emerging Tech Center at 34 Commerce Way.

Founded by Shiv Bhakta (L) and Richard Swartwout (R), and spun out of MIT, Active Surfaces is pioneering the next generation of solar technology with its lightweight, flexible solar panels that can be integrated into virtually any surface. 

Earlier this week, the company announced it has raised $5.6 million in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round. The round was led by Safar Partners, a prominent deep tech venture capital fund.

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Cummings was delighted to host leaders from climatetech incubator Greentown Labs recently for an opportunity to visit some of the Greentown graduates in Woburn. The group first stopped at ZwitterCo (12 Cabot Road) for a tour of the company's R&D and manufacturing facility. ZwitterCo is addressing the global challenge of water scarcity by developing breakthrough advancements in filtration to make it practical for industries to recycle water and enhance product recovery.

Group photo, left to right: Peter Ingarra, vice president of sales, ZwitterCo; Kevin Knobloch, CEO, Greentown Labs; Aisling Carlson, senior vice president of partnerships, Greentown Labs; Jake Cotter, global vertical marketing manager, ZwitterCo; and John Halsey, vice president and head of leasing, Cummings Properties.

The visit also included a tour of Emerging Tech Center at 34 Commerce Way, where the Active Surfaces team is getting settled in its new lab and office space.

Photo credit: Shawn Black

The 2024 Battle of the Bio/Tech Bands was a big success. At this ninth annual event, nearly $150,000 was raised and donated to selected charities. Congratulations to the winner, LifeSize (Cytiva), and the band's chosen nonprofit, Susan G. Komen, which will receive $75,000 to support life-saving research. The remaining funds will be divided between Supernova's (Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc./AstraZeneca) and The Archivists' (Inozyme Pharma) chosen charities - Children's Services of Roxbury, Inc. and GACI Global. Each organization will receive $37,000. Kudos to the event organizers, supporters, and volunteers!

Congratulations to US Lab Partners (100 Cummings Center, Beverly) on its first anniversary. Founded by Demet Aybar, CEO (center in photo), the company provides strategic consulting for lab operations, facilities management, and environmental health and safety. Two hundred guests gathered for US Lab Partners' anniversary celebration and fundraiser at Empire Boston, supporting Life Science Cares and Biobus.

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Does your pharmaceutical company need support in analyzing existing operations and implementing the necessary operational, financial, and marketing strategies to improve business development, market share, revenue growth, and cash flow?

Compass Point Advisors (100 Cummings Center, Beverly) specializes in leveraging companies' core competencies to intelligently capitalize on business growth and market expansion opportunities. In particular, it focuses on next steps after successful clinical trials, leading to successful manufacturing and distribution.

James Nagle leads the Compass Point Advisors team. With 25 years of experience, including corporate roles at CutisPharma, Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Healthcare Corp., his specialties include business development, market expansion, and product launches, as well as scaling companies from start-up to multi-million dollar valuation for private equity acquisition. Contact James to discuss your life sciences company's unique needs.

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Next week, North Shore Technology Council will release the “Northeast Massachusetts Innovation Economy Workforce Report,” a new study examining the trends and workforce needs of the technology sector conducted by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. Following an overview of the study findings, a panel of experts across industry, academia, and government will share their insights.

Tuesday, May 21, 9:30 AM - noon at EBSCO Hall, 5 Peatfield Street, Ipswich. Register (free).

C2i (299 Washington Street, Woburn) invites the community to join a Vendor Exhibition Day from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Wednesday, May 22. Enjoy networking, lunch, and the opportunities to learn about the latest technologies and sign up for instrument training sessions. Register.

Join Enterprise Bank, Middlesex 3 Coalition, and UMass Lowell for a discussion on navigating the transformative AI while advocating for responsible deployment strategies that address both the promise and the pitfalls of these emerging technologies.

Wednesday, June 5, 8:30 - 10:15 AM, Coburn Hall Conference Room at UMass Lowell. Register.

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Growing out of Incubator?

One laboratory suite remains at Cummings' Emerging Tech Center at 34 Commerce Way in Woburn. It features new-construction labs along with a common lounge, huddle rooms, and shared conference room.

Lab Suite B-130 - 1,700 SF


View Floor Plan
  • Two 6’ fume hoods
  • Make-up air and dedicated exhaust
  • Two lab sinks with point-of-use acid neutralization tanks
  • Two eyewash stations
  • Double-door entry
  • Vinyl-faced ceilings
  • Epoxy-painted walls
  • Dedicated storage

Interested? Call or text John Halsey at 781-983-2214 or email sales@cummings.com.

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We welcome your feedback on this newsletter and invite readers to share company news, personnel changes, product launches, funding updates, events, and more. Contact Sue Howland, client engagement manager, at svh@cummings.com to offer your news for upcoming newsletters. We look forward to hearing from you.

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