News from the life sciences community north of Boston
October 2021
In recent biotech industry news, greater Boston's leading life science companies are making moves to address global health concerns. Two local companies have announced plans to improve health equity in Africa by increasing availability and access to vaccines.
Moderna revealed it will invest $500 million to build a factory in Africa to develop mRNA vaccines. Moderna's chief executive officer Stephane Bancel said, "While we are still working to increase capacity in our current network to deliver vaccines for the ongoing pandemic in 2022, we believe it is important to invest in the future. We expect to manufacture our COVID-19 vaccine as well as additional products within our mRNA vaccine portfolio at this facility."

GreenLight Biosciences of Medford will also turn its capabilities to vaccine trials and manufacturing in Africa. Read more about this initiative in our "Clients in the News" section.
Aegle Therapeutics, currently located at 300 TradeCenter in Woburn, is expanding to a lab and office space at 48 Dunham Ridge in Beverly. Aegle is developing a first-in-class therapy using extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, secreted by allogenic bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells to treat severe dermatological conditions, including dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare pediatric blistering disease; burns; and other dermatological conditions. Shelley A. Hartman is the company's CEO.
In additional migration and expansion from Woburn to Beverly, Real Isolates also makes the move to lab space at Dunham Ridge. Chief Scientific Officer Miyabe Shields, Ph.D. co-founded the company with Andrew Westerkamp.

Real Isolates has developed a commercially viable pyrolytic extraction method to harvest cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis smoke. Its SmokenolTM products are now available in stores.
Greenlight Biosciences' (200 Boston Avenue, Medford) ambition to vaccinate the world, and its vaccine technologies, were recently featured in The New York Times Opinion section. The company's founder and CEO, Andrey Zarur, explained how Greenlight is developing its vaccine capabilities and discussed the company's plans for vaccine trials and manufacturing in Africa. If it succeeds in adapting its manufacturing processes for medical products, which have to be much cleaner and more sterile than agricultural ones, lower-income countries could use that method to produce billions of mRNA vaccines.
"It enables you to transfer just one technology instead of dozens. And once you transfer it, the countries have that knowledge forever."

Andrey Zarur, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, Greenlight Biosciences
in The New York Times, September 21, 2021
From left: Manufacturing Caucus Co-chair Senator Eric Lesser, CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals Founder and CEO Salvatore Mascia, Representative Richard Haggerty, and Manufacturing Caucus Co-chair Representative Jeff Roy.
CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals (25 Olympia Avenue, Woburn) announced that the company was selected as a Manufacturer of the Year by the Commonwealth's Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, a group of legislators who aim to support Massachusetts' competitiveness in manufacturing through legislation. The award was presented to CEO Salvatore Mascia at the Massachusetts Manufacturing Mash-Up.
North Shore InnoVentures Incubator Companies Plan for Growth
North Shore InnoVentures incubator company Thiozen, Inc. has announced that it has raised $3 million in seed funding. Thiozen, a pioneer in low-emission hydrogen technology, is developing a unique solution that would dramatically reduce emissions in the energy industry. It generates hydrogen from a high-volume industrial waste stream and water, avoiding the large carbon footprint of traditional hydrogen production. Read the press release.
TerraVerdae Bioworks, a leading performance bioplastics company, announced the global introduction of a new line of PHA-based resins for customer evaluations, marking a major milestone in the company's effort to produce plastic resins that are not just biobased and biodegradable but also help customers meet evolving material needs and sustainability goals. The new resin formulations are available in three versions: for blown/cast films, injection moulding, and thermoforming.
Three Questions with Cummings' Chief Design Officer Jim Trudeau
What is your role at Cummings?

I lead Cummings' 20-person architectural and engineering team, with a special involvement in lab and technical projects. Our internal designers and engineers have not only designed more than 11 million square feet of property, but create hundreds of formal proposals, fit-up plans, and construction documents each year, many for clients with the most challenging technical demands.
What are some things to consider when designing lab space?

With any technical client, experienced lab designers must work together to arrive at an appropriate plan and budget for its needs. We have many startup firms emerging from incubators that are not really sure what to request in their facility, except that they need it fast!
Cummings also works with dozens of mature firms with proven product lines or services that often know what they want and are pursuing better locations or facilities. For both types of prospects, we provide a detailed plain-language scope of work so they understand how their lab, clean room, and HVAC systems will be designed, built, and operate.

To help, we interview the client team, discuss process and equipment needs, review similar facilities, and provide fit-up plans or renderings. We even provide equipment and material spreadsheets for clients to assemble their requirements. Then we review how ongoing growth could be handled in situ.

What are some of the current trends you are seeing?

With Cambridge and Boston labs close to capacity, more recent prospects are searching for suburban space, and they need it very quickly. While Cummings has literally millions of square feet of existing lab and tech facilities, we are still building new space in both brand-new lab-ready buildings and in converted office or flex buildings. To allay concerns about material availability, we pre-purchase HVAC and laboratory casework for our inventory to keep pace with fast-track delivery schedules.
New Small Labs Planned at 51 Dunham Ridge
With several leases recently signed for lab space at 48 Dunham Ridge in Beverly, Cummings is planning the latest cluster of collaborative laboratory suites on the campus. These small and mid-sized labs will range from 1,600 to 5,000 SF each. Slated for delivery in Q2 2022, the new labs start at just $42 per square foot. Learn more at the Dunham Ridge website or contact us.
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Make new professional connections and gain visibility for your life sciences enterprise via this newsletter. If you have news to share, contact Sue Howland at Please forward this edition to additional members of your team or others in your network who would benefit from its informative content, or send us email addresses for colleagues who would like to receive future updates.
Get to Know:
Jin Hong, Founder
Custom NMR Services

Custom NMR Services has been providing NMR data to biotech and chemical companies in the greater Boston area for more than 23 years. The company moved into its current location at 150V New Boston Street, Woburn two years ago and enjoys the proximity to other drug discovery and development companies. Custom NMR Services has helped many companies prepare data packages for regulatory filing and GMP compliance. Jin is shown here with one of the NMR instruments.
Congratulations to Dr. Agnes Binagwaho on being awarded the "UNESCO-L'Oreal International Prize for Women in Sciences." With a passion for both health equity and gender equality, she has had a substantial impact as Rwanda's former minister of health, and she is now helping to shape the next generation of health care leaders as vice chancellor of University of Global Health Equity. Cummings Foundation is proud to have joined with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in providing early funding to establish this global health resource.
Beyond hard science, many disciplines contribute to, or are important adjuncts to, the life sciences. The law is one such specialty, and this timely new primer from the Fletcher School, located at Tufts University's North Medford campus, explores the legal side of global pandemics. The report was funded by a grant from Cummings Foundation.

"'International pandemic law,' as such does not exist. Instead, multiple fields of international law bear upon the management of infectious disease outbreaks. These range from international health regulations and human rights to intellectual property and bio-security law. The purpose of this primer is to provide a concise overview of each branch of relevant international law, as well as the international institutions that are involved in implementing that law." Read more.
Women Entrepreneurs in Health Science, hosted by Derby Entrepreneurship Center in partnership with UMass Lowell and EforAll. Zhiping Weng, Ph.D., co-founder and scientific advisor to Rgenta (300 TradeCenter, Woburn), is one of the featured speakers. Tuesday, October 19, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. Register for this virtual event.
Forum: Jumpstarting Your Startup, presented by MassBio. Wednesday, October 20 at 9:00 AM. (virtual). Register.
Women in Medtech: Women in Engineering: presented by MassMEDIC. Tuesday, October 19 at 9:00 AM. (virtual). Register.

Founder-Led Biotech Summit, hosted by Pillar VC and Petri Bio. This free virtual summit convenes biotech founders, Ph.D.s, scientists, investors, and leaders. Reshma Shetty, co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, is keynote speaker. Monday, November 1 to Friday, November 5. Register.
Have news to share? Please let us know! We are interested in company news, personnel changes, product launches, funding updates, events, and more. Contact Sue Howland, client engagement manager, at to share your news for upcoming newsletters. We look forward to hearing from you.
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