MassBio Innovation Services Thriving
Just three years after the release of the 2015 Strategic Report, which identified the need to better align the research community with opportunities for commercialization, MassBio can report making significant headway. By introducing the MassCONNECT mentoring program and the popular Pharma Days, companies can capitalize on the state’s position at the forefront the life sciences industry and leverage the power of the MassBio network to enhance collaboration and accelerate innovation.
Building on MassCONNECT Successes
MassBio Innovation Services’ flagship program, MassCONNECT, is a unique mentoring program that connects entrepreneurs and founders with seasoned life sciences professionals to catalyze and commercialize innovation.
Since its inception in May 2010, MassCONNECT has graduated 40 companies. Despite an extremely challenging economic landscape, eight of those companies have already received funding following completion of the program.
“I see our experience with MassCONNECT as being a turning point in MindChild’s development process,” said Adam Wolfberg, MD, chief medical officer of MindChild Medical, a MassCONNECT graduate from 2010. “MindChild went from being a very early-stage, slightly naïve group of inventors and – I think because of the MassCONNECT program – turned into a startup company that is now very well-funded and well on its way to success.”
Most recently, MassCONNECT graduate Johannes Fruehauf, PhD, used connections made through the MassCONNECT network to secure partners for LabCentral, a new shared lab space designed to facilitate the creation of startup biotech companies in Kendall Square. Through MassCONNECT, Johannes met Charles Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), which later signed on as a founding partner of LabCentral.
Scaling up Pharma Days
In 2013, MassBio is will host more of the popular Pharma Days programs than ever before, building on successes reported from past events. Pharma Days match pharma companies with biotech companies through invitation-only in-person meetings and events customized by MassBio. Pharma Days depart from traditional “speed-dating” formats and focus on tailored, optimal connections.
Pharma Days are designed to make partnering as smooth and productive as possible. For pharma companies, Pharma Days offer visibility and the chance to connect with biotechs in the number one life sciences cluster. For biotech companies, Pharma Days provide access to senior-level executives from pharma and critical information on pharma companies’ plans and strategies.
With new CBO John Hallinan at the helm and positioned in the heart of the thriving Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem, the MassBio Pharma Days program is on its way to becoming the industry-leading partnering program. To date, eight of the top 10 pharma companies have held Pharma Days. With six Pharma Days confirmed for 2013 and many more in process, MassBio aims to have held Pharma Days with all of the top 10 pharma companies by the end of the year.