ZS Genetics Expands Bay State Presence With Opening of New Facility in Wakefield, Mass., to Expand Workforce in Near Future

Published: Jul 09, 2013

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WAKEFIELD, Mass. – (July 9, 2013) – ZS Genetics, developer of a Third-Generation DNA sequencing platform, and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) are pleased to announce the official opening of the company’s new office in the Greater Boston area. ZS Genetics’ management team, as well as representatives from the MLSC, MassBio and State Representative Paul Brodeur, cut a ribbon today to mark the grand opening of the company’s new facility in Wakefield, Mass. The opening of the Boston-area office and laboratory facility is a significant milestone in the company’s transition from research and development towards product commercialization.

The Wakefield facility brings together employees who currently work remotely and also provides sufficient expansion space to accommodate the company’s anticipated growth. “This facility represents a new chapter in the life of this company. We are very pleased to have found what we believe to be an ideal location. Our world-class scientists finally have the facilities and resources to bring the technology closer to the commercialization stage,” said Bill Ward, President of ZS Genetics.

The new office will also bring in new opportunities for ZS Genetics. “Massachusetts is a hub for life sciences and technology expertise. Having access to the talent and resources available in the Boston area was a critical factor in our decision to locate here,” noted William Glover, Chief Executive Officer of ZS Genetics. “We are moving into this facility with a dozen employees and will be looking to expand our workforce in the near future.”

“In Massachusetts we invest in the life sciences because we are choosing to shape our own future,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “I congratulate ZS Genetics on their new facility and look forward to the jobs and economic opportunities they will bring.”

Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.

“Congratulations to the ZS Genetics team on the grand opening of their first ‘bricks and mortar’ office,” said MLSC President & CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister. “We are thrilled that ZS Genetics selected Massachusetts as its new home and are confident they will find the partners and resources they need to continue to succeed here in the Commonwealth. They are in good company, as part of a bioinformatics sector that is growing rapidly across the Commonwealth.”

ZS Genetics’ 10,000-square-foot space includes office and cubicle space for employees, as well as facilities for a chemistry lab and a DNA sample preparation lab. The labs are scheduled for completion in September at which time those ZS Genetics employees who are currently working in leased facilities will join their colleagues in Wakefield.

“On behalf of the industry here in Massachusetts, congratulations to ZS Genetics, a company who has seen success through investments in great science and great talent,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio, the biotech trade association representing 620+ life sciences companies and organizations. “We are excited to join the Governor and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center in congratulating ZSG on this big step forward.”

The company’s team has grown substantially over the past several months to 10 employees as the company has added key personnel required for building the “alpha” version of its sequencing system. Among the new staff at the Wakefield facility are two premier scientists ZS Genetics has hired to lead critical areas for the next phase of product development: Dr. Suhaib Siddiqi is a renowned chemist who has joined ZSG to lead one of the R&D teams. Several weeks ago, Dr. Larry Scipioni came on board to take responsibility for running the microscope labs.

The facility will house state-of-the-art equipment, including two electron microscopes, to develop the company’s platform. The second of the two, a Nion, was recently acquired and underwent installation and commissioning in the second half of June. President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Ward said, “Building out a space to this level of quality in just 64 days was an incredible challenge. We deeply appreciate all of those whose hard work made it happen.”

“I am so pleased to welcome ZS Genetics to Wakefield, and I congratulate the company on this state-of-the-art facility,” said State Senator Katherine Clark. “This is one more example of our community and our Commonwealth leading the nation to great advances in the life sciences by investing in innovation.”

ZS Genetics’ facility in Wakefield (left), DNA sequencing room (right)

ZS Genetics’ new office is located at the following address:

9 Audubon Road

Wakefield, MA 01880

About ZS Genetics

ZS Genetics is a privately held Massachusetts start-up that has developed the components and Intellectual Property for the Third Generation of DNA sequencing. This patented approach combines the power of electron beam microscopy with proprietary nucleic acid labeling processes to read DNA sequences directly from images. ZS Genetics’ long-read, single-molecule technology offers the prospect of significant advancements in genetic analysis, with implications in the DNA sequencing and diagnostics market. For more information, visit www.zsgenetics.com.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a 10-year, $1-billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The MLSC’s mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition. This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.

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