UMass, Genzyme Focus on Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

October 8, 2008

Massachusetts continued to establish itself as an important hub for biopharmaceutical research and product development with the opening of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s (UMass Lowell) fully automated BioManufacturing Pilot Plant and Genzyme’s (Cambridge, MA) new Science Center in September.

Massachusetts continued to establish itself as an important hub for biopharmaceutical research and product development with the opening of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s (UMass Lowell) fully automated BioManufacturing Pilot Plant and Genzyme’s (Cambridge, MA) new Science Center in September.

UMass Lowell’s new pilot plant and laboratory will help Massachusetts biomanufacturing companies bring new biopharmaceuticals closer to commercial production. The pilot plant was made possible through equipment and services donated to the university by three corporate partners: Invensys Process Systems (IPS), Wyeth Biotech, and Dakota Systems. Equipment to be donated by Millipore will be used in an adjoining laboratory that works in tandem with the pilot plant. Together, the four companies’ contributions are worth $600,000.

IPS, a global technology, software, and consulting firm, has installed its InFusion Enterprise Control System on a bioreactor donated by Wyeth. Dakota Systems and 12 of its suppliers have donated a wide range of services, including fabricating the frame, integrating the control panel, orbital welding all of the piping, installing all electrical devices and instrumentation, and completing cGMP functionality testing.

Genzyme’s new Science Center in Framingham will serve as a central site for early stage research. Researchers at the 80,000-square-foot Science Center will focus on a variety of medical areas including genetic diseases, cancer, immune diseases, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, endocrinology, and neurological disorders.

The Science Center is one component of an ongoing global expansion of Genzyme’s R&D and manufacturing infrastructure. Other major projects include a $250-million cell-culture manufacturing facility in Framingham, expected to be completed in 2011; a $150-million expansion of the company's flagship cell-culture manufacturing facility at Allston, MA, expected to be completed in 2009; a new manufacturing plant in Lyon, France, for the production of Thymoglobulin (anti-thymocyte globulin [Rabbit]), a treatment used in transplantation; and a major new R&D center in Beijing to establish Genzyme's long-term presence in China. In addition, the company is completing manufacturing capacity expansions at its facilities in Haverhill, United Kingdom, and Waterford, Ireland.