Astellas Pharma Inc. announced a nearly $13 million investment into two innovation incubators operated by LabCentral, a premier U.S.-based laboratory facility for next-generation biotech startups. Astellas has infused over $1 billion into the Boston-area life science cluster in its ongoing efforts to find ways to accelerate the discovery and development of potential breakthrough therapies in areas of unmet need.
The Boston Hub
The Boston metropolitan area (Greater Boston) is home to nearly 1,000 biotech companies, ranging from small startups to billion-dollar biopharma companies. The region is home to some of the world’s most elite universities and research centers—home to a large network of scientists and clinical investigators.
Astellas will invest $12.5 million to become the only pharmaceutical/biotechnology company among five Founding Sponsors of a new incubator, which will feature a core lab space where companies can easily conduct process development studies and a non-GMP pilot plant, being developed by LabCentral at 238 Main Street in Cambridge, Mass. The investment announced at a ceremony with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and various elected officials provide support to start-up companies and entrepreneurial founders seeking to create scientific innovation in areas of unmet need such as cell and gene therapy. The new incubator is expected to be operational in 2021.
“Astellas has a long-standing commitment to the Boston-area life sciences ecosystem, where world-class talent is dedicated to turning innovative science into value for patients,” said Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., President and CEO, Astellas. “Our presence in the greater Boston area comprises over 200 professionals across several locations driving innovation in regenerative medicine, immuno-oncology, mitochondrial function, genetic regulation and beyond. Accelerating early-stage scientific innovation in areas such as cell and gene therapy is a strategic focus for Astellas, and is superbly aligned with the mission of LabCentral to serve as a launching-pad for cutting-edge biotech and life sciences start-ups.”
Astellas also today announced it will invest at least $450,000 over three years to become a Gold Sponsor of LabCentral’s existing incubator located at 700 Main Street in Cambridge.
By supporting these incubators, Astellas can select, support and access innovation from leading start-ups creating healthcare solutions in its areas of focus.
Since 2010, Astellas has invested more than $800 million in, and committed nearly $500 million more to, Massachusetts-based innovation through the acquisitions of Ocata Therapeutics, Inc., Mitobridge, Inc. and Potenza Therapeutics, Inc., as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art headquarters for the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) in Westborough, Mass. The new facility, expected to open in 2020, will enable AIRM to accelerate research and development in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy.