MassBio Releases Roadmap for the Life Sciences Industry in Massachusetts to Ensure Long-term Success

Jun 25, 2020

State of Possible 2025 Report Identifies Four Key Opportunities for the Industry to Capitalize on, in Addition to Major Structural Challenges it Must Overcome

June 25, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) today released its State of Possible 2025 Report, a five-year strategic plan to define the future direction of the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem and highlight the many systemic challenges that require attention for the cluster to stay ahead of the curve on scientific innovation. This report also serves as a call to action to drive cross-industry collaboration in order to overcome shared challenges, capitalize on Massachusetts’ greatest assets, and develop strategic economic development, policy, public, and industry dialogues from which solutions will be developed and implemented.

“Science that’s been tested for decades is finally a reality, offering new hope to patients and a better quality of life. We’re using the word cures – not as an aspiration but as a reality – and we’re changing the course of once untreatable diseases,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio. “Our success is not without its challenges – evidenced in this report – and it’s up to MassBio to lead the industry through the next five years to address key disruptions, but more importantly, to capitalize on new opportunities for growth. We hope that this report serves as a roadmap for the industry so that we can maintain our position as the #1 life sciences cluster in the world.”

Through interviews and consultations with government, academic, and industry leaders, this report, prepared by Deloitte, found that within the next five years the Massachusetts life sciences community is positioned to achieve balanced growth across multiple areas through four key opportunities. Success in these areas will reinforce the long-term sustainability and resilience of the ecosystem. These include:

  • Expand the R&D footprint beyond oncology and rare diseases
  • Position Massachusetts as a center for the convergence of biotechnology, medical technology, and digital health applications
  • Make the ecosystem more resilient to external shocks by growing the capabilities of commercialization and manufacturing of therapies
  • Continue to support expansion of the cluster and creation of mini-clusters beyond the Cambridge/Boston core

“The life sciences industry here is poised for unprecedented growth over the coming years, and now is our chance to recognize and act on these opportunities and charge toward a new future. We saw first-hand how Massachusetts’ R&D capabilities enabled our cluster to speed the development of COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics. We must continue to embrace this prowess and bolster our leadership in all aspects of life sciences,” said Chuck Wilson, CEO and President of Unum Therapeutics, and Chair of the MassBio Board. “As Chair, I look forward to executing on the foundation this report lays out. Together, we will make sure Massachusetts remains the best place in the world for the life sciences for decades to come.” 

The State of Possible 2025 Report calls attention to some of the critical gaps and improvements needed for the cluster to thrive and to grow sustainably, mainly:  

  • The lack of affordable space and efficient transportation system
  • Sourcing essential talent to meet the future demands of the industry
  • Availability of funding options to support entrepreneurs
  • The ongoing national debate over healthcare costs and drug pricing

“Life sciences companies are moving, growing, and thriving in Massachusetts because of our shared resources – talent, early-stage research, and a partner in government – and because of a collaborative and competitive environment that fosters ideas and discovery,” said David Lucchino, Co-Founder, President, & CEO of Frequency Therapeutics, and Immediate Past Chair of the MassBio Board. “Although breakthrough ideas are born here, funded here, and developed here largely by small and emerging biotech companies, we must do a better job to ensure that they are also manufactured here, and that we can attract and maintain the talent needed to do so. That’s the call to action for the industry, and I am committed to helping MassBio and the cluster here realize these opportunities.”

Download the full report here.

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