The following is an excerpt from a story that originally appeared in The Boston Globe on May 5, 2023:
The Massachusetts team wants to win the investor catalyst hub — more specifically, a contract with a consortium management firm, representing the local life sciences industry and institutional players, to operate the hub. It would be relatively small — several dozen people and maybe some labs. Program managers would help distribute and shepherd funds to various private-sector partners.
Ed Coppinger, head of government affairs at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, says opening the investor catalysthub here would make it more likely that a significant chunk of ARPA-H’s billions come to local researchers, while also boosting the prestige of the state’s already-famous life sciences industry. ARPA-H is asking bidders to take a “hub and spoke” approach — the spokes being the research partners. With the Massachusetts bid, the hub would be in Greater Boston but these “spokes” could involve research in labs across the country.
To Representative Jake Auchincloss, landing the ARPA-H hub will make the local life sciences ecosystem even stronger, by bringing more super-smart people into the region to bounce ideas off one another. In particular, Auchincloss hopes ARPA-H researchers can develop cutting edge tools and protocols that can expedite the drug discovery process, getting more life-changing cures to more patients while saving money and time for a wide range of companies.