MassBio® Partners with Bayer to Create the First Ever MassCONNECT® Fellowship

Jul 18, 2018

Fellowship awarded to innovative entrepreneur working to create solutions for unmet medical needs

July 19, 2018 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) — MassBio® today announced the first ever MassCONNECT® Fellowship, made possible by Bayer and awarded to Bitome, a MassCONNECT grad. Bayer’s contribution to the fellowship includes six months of workspace in the LifeHub Boston, Bayer’s new collaborative, innovation space that brings the diversity of Bayer under one roof to collectively explore, discover, test and co-create customer-focused, sustainable solutions for a growing and aging world population. The Fellowship is offered exclusively to MassCONNECT grads who are working to create solutions for unmet medical needs.

“The Bayer LifeHub experience for the Fellowship validates our selection of Bitome for the MassCONNECT program, and we are grateful to Bayer for their generous commitment of expertise and resources to Bitome,” said John Hallinan, Chief Business Officer at MassBio. “The Fellowship represents the ideal next-step in Bitome’s path to commercialization, and reinforces Bayer’s unparalleled commitment to MassCONNECT and open innovation. Bayer and MassCONNECT share a commitment to advance novel science and technology on behalf of human health, and we look forward to future collaborations.”

While at the LifeHub Boston, Bitome 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 – ideally providing a network of support to help accelerate growth through a deeper awareness and understanding of the drug development process.

“The MassCONNECT Fellowship provides a unique experience for an emerging company to plug into some of the best and the brightest talents and resources within Cambridge and inside Bayer, and is a critical extension of the MassCONNECT mentoring program,” said Chandra Ramanathan, VP of the East Coast Innovation Center at Bayer. “Our hope is to foster an environment and relationship that can accelerate the opportunity to bring new therapies and technologies to patients.”

One of the primary elements of consideration for Bayer when selecting a fellowship startup was ensuring that the company strategy aligned with one of Bayer’s pharmaceutical focus areas: oncology, cardiovascular, or women’s health. Tapping into the pool of MassCONNECT graduates, Bitome was a natural fit. Bitome is a digital medical device company developing a fluid status monitor for at-home management of congestive heart failure – a disease responsible for $60.2B in direct US healthcare spending. They believe their technology can significantly reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes by drastically improving the delivery of existing therapies.

“Bayer’s LifeHub Boston team has welcomed us and provided open access to Bayer's vast network of domain experts, expediting our ability to receive crucial feedback and accelerate towards milestones,” said Herb Ryan, cofounder & CEO of Bitome. “Our inclusion in the LifeHub Boston space has facilitated one-on-one interactions with Bayer leadership that are opening new doors. I think a year from now we’ll look back on the decision to team up with Bayer as the inflection that changed everything. Thanks to the MassCONNECT team who were instrumental in putting Bayer and Bitome together.”

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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 agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to


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