BBJ: ‘It’s game time’: Massachusetts vies for ARPA-H ‘investor catalyst’ site

Mar 17, 2023

By Rowan Walrath, Boston Business Journal

This excerpt is from an article first published by the Boston Business Journal on Friday, March 17, 2023.

The Massachusetts biotech industry’s foremost trade group is vying to establish a local, investor-focused hub of ARPA-H, the new federal agency tasked with kickstarting biomedical innovation.

The trade group has been leading an initiative to establish the agency’s physical presence in the Commonwealth since last fall. On Wednesday, ARPA-H — the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health — said that while its headquarters would be near the U.S. Capitol, it would have two secondary locations: Hub No. 2, branded as a “customer experience hub,” and Hub No. 3, an “investor catalyst.”

“We think Hub No. 3 is a perfect fit,” said MassBio CEO Kendalle Burlin O’Connell. “It’s something we’ve been looking for more guidance on for the last several months. Now that it’s here, it’s game time.”

ARPA-H says it will issue decisions about where to establish the two satellite hubs by early fall. Once they’re set up, each location will have a performance period of five years.

“It sounds like, from what I can gather, they’re looking for these offices to be in close proximity to research and innovation. What better place than Massachusetts?” Burlin O’Connell said. “It sounds like they want their project managers to really be able to get into the trenches with industry and academia. This is where that collaboration has been built. That’s the core of our ecosystem.”

Read the full story in the Boston Business Journal.

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