The following is an excerpt from the Boston Business Journal, originally published on September 26, 2023:
Representatives from MassBio, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the University of Massachusetts and more made their case in an open letter last November, noting that the Bay State is currently home to 18 of 20 of the largest biotech and pharmaceutical companies. The state also boasts 56 million square feet of lab and life sciences space and more than 100 colleges and universities, including multiple research hospitals.
Massachusetts Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao formalized the argument this spring. Over the course of March and April, she and industry representatives worked to finalize and submit electronic whitepapers, which were due on April 7. Much of the summer has consisted of waiting for the administration’s review.
The investor-focused Cambridge hub is one of three that ARPA-H announced on Tuesday. The agency is also setting up a “customer experience” hub in Dallas and a “stakeholder operations hub” near Washington, D.C., where ARPA-H’s headquarters will also be based.
The Investor Catalyst Hub will focus on helping ARPA-H programs navigate the complexities of the business and regulatory landscape and provide resources to help bring ideas to market, per ARPA-H’s statement.
“Massachusetts plays an outsized role in addressing the world’s unmet medical needs, and the Biden Administration’s decision to locate the Investor Catalyst Hub for ARPA-H here in Cambridge puts the agency in a position to tap into the talent, funding, institutions, and innovation that are our ecosystem’s greatest assets,” MassBio CEO Kendalle Burlin O’Connell said in an email to the Business Journal. “Today, our local biotechs stand ready to compete for the dollars that will help to unlock the cures and therapies that will change the course of human health.”