MassBio® and Bayer Award L Stem Therapeutics with MassCONNECT® Fellowship to Foster Innovation in Massachusetts

Jul 11, 2019

Fellowship reinforces Bayer’s commitment to innovation and life science entrepreneurs

July 11, 2019 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) — MassBio® today announced that Bayer has awarded a Fellowship to L Stem Therapeutics. Bayer’s contribution to the fellowship includes six months of workspace in LifeHub Boston, Bayer’s innovation space that convenes the brightest minds and diverse communities to collectively solve solutions to complex health challenges. A true testament to the innovation cultivated in Massachusetts, the Fellowship is offered exclusively to MassCONNECT grads.

“We are pleased to announce that Bayer has awarded a fellowship to MassCONNECT graduate Dr. Dhvanit Shah. As an Associate Professor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, former Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and aspiring entrepreneur at L Stem Therapeutics, we were inspired by his mission to create hematopoietic stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of blood and bone marrow cancers,” said John Hallinan, Chief Business Officer, MassBio. “We were honored to enroll Dhvanit in MassCONNECT and connect him to distinguished industry mentors who contributed generous amounts of time and knowledge to accelerate that mission. This is the second Bayer fellowship for MassCONNECT, and we want to express profound thanks to Bayer for their prolific commitment of expertise and resources to L Stem Therapeutics, as well as for their unwavering support and holistic approach to MassCONNECT and innovation.”

During its residency at LifeHub Boston, L Stem will have access to a core team of mentors from Bayer’s drug discovery, clinical development, regulatory, new product commercialization, marketing, digital health and alliance management. With access to such extensive knowledge, L Stem will have the opportunity to unleash the potential of its technology and translate its research to ultimately meet patient needs.

“Contributing to the thriving ecosystem in Massachusetts is a priority for Bayer, as we continue to partner and invest in people behind some of the most exciting science,” said Chandra Ramanathan Bayer's Vice President and Head of the Open Innovation Center, North America East. “By cultivating the talents of scientists and entrepreneurs, we hope to inspire the next generation of leaders to bring new treatments to patients.”

To be considered for this premier fellowship, Bayer looks at startups that closely align with its pharmaceutical product portfolio. A MassCONNECT graduate, L Stem Therapeutics not only echoes Bayer’s focus on specialty therapeutics in hematology, but also emulates the future of drug discovery and research. L Stem is committed to developing life-saving cures for patients with fatal or morbid blood diseases and believes it will achieve this mission by developing blood stem cell-based cellular therapies using state-of-the-art technologies in 4D bioprinting, nanofabrication, and stem cell engineering.

“L Stem is grateful to the leadership of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and executive volunteers of the MassCONNECT Program for refining our business pitch and providing a platform to leaders, investors, and strategic partners. As a testament to the success of the MassCONNECT program, L Stem is very excited to be accepted into the Bayer Fellowship program and becoming a member of a vibrant and innovative Bayer LifeHub family,” said Dr. Dhvanit Shah, Founder and CEO, L Stem Therapeutics. “We look forward to being a poster-child of Bayer’s “Big Brother” role and its commitment to transform medicine by mentoring and supporting early-stage start-up(s) with disruptive technologies.”

Thank you to MassCONNECT mentors, Chandra Ramanathan; Melissa Bradford; Mark Leuchtenberger; Anjali Kumar; Richard Howell; Craig Sorensen; Mansi Shinde; Martha Farmer; David Pollard; and John McKeague, and to Isaac Barbour for deft management of the process.

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MassBio’s MassCONNECT program is the only entrepreneur mentorship program in Massachusetts that dives deep into the life sciences. MassCONNECT matches entrepreneurs and founders with seasoned life sciences professionals to catalyze and commercialize innovation. The MassCONNECT process involves a two-month mentorship where industry experts guide entrepreneurs as they seek to develop business plans, launch companies, and raise capital. MassCONNECT mentors evaluate and provide feedback on commercial feasibility; identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and team up to furnish industry-specific business advice for innovative ideas in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and health IT. Entrepreneurs gain invaluable advice and coaching on defining value proposition, developing pitches and building professional networks. For more information, or to apply to be a mentor, mentee or MBA project manager, visit

About MassBio

MassBio is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 that represents and provides services and support for the Massachusetts life sciences industry. MassBio is committed to advancing Massachusetts' leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Representing more than 1000+ biotechnology companies, academic institutions, research hospitals, and service organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare, MassBio works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services. Learn more at

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to

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