Amgen Sponsors Biotech Incubator in MA to Support Biotech Startups

Published: Dec 24, 2014

Amgen Sponsors Biotech Incubator in MA to Support Biotech Startups
December 23, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Amgen and LabCentral, a shared laboratory space for biotech and life sciences startups, announced today that Amgen has become a platinum sponsor of the lab. Amgen can now nominate up to two life sciences and biotech startup companies each year to reside in LabCentral’s facilities, located in Cambridge, Mass.

"Amgen, with its deep expertise as a developer of biotech-based drugs, is an ideal partner for many of LabCentral's resident companies working on promising new biopharmaceuticals," said LabCentral President Johannes Fruehauf. “We're thrilled that Amgen has joined as our newest sponsor and look forward to working with the Amgen team to support these early-stage entrepreneurs and to help accelerate development of new therapies to improve human health."

The 28,000-square-foot facility is the first of its kind, designed for high potential startups. It has a laboratory and office space for 28 startups with a total of approximately 125 scientists and entrepreneurs. It was funded by a $5 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, with support from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Amgen is excited to sponsor LabCentral as we seek additional opportunities to leverage the power of collaboration that occurs naturally within a world-renowned biotech community such as Cambridge," said Amgen's Senior Vice President of Discovery Research Sasha Kamb. "Given our commitment to early stage research, Amgen's sponsorship with LabCentral enhances our presence within Cambridge and fosters science-driven curiosity and research innovation, which in turn, has the potential to lead to promising new therapies for patients."

Roche Provides Assistance
In November, Switzerland-based biopharmaceutical company Roche announced that it will provide technology and financial support to LabCentral. Roche was officially designated as a gold sponsor.

“Translating life science research into improved ways to diagnose disease is critical to the development of personalized healthcare solutions and better patient care,” said Roche Diagnostics North America President and CEO Jack Phillips. “Today, LabCentral and its resident companies are at the center of some of the most promising healthcare research, and Roche is excited to be a part of their effort to foster this kind of innovation.”

Roche will expand the capacity for LabCentral startups to perform high-throughput DNA studies. This will include a MagNA Pure 96 robotic workstation for the purification of nucleic acids, a LightCycler 96 Real-Time PCR system and automated reagent freezer.

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