GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) and Fujifilm (TSE:4901) are entering into a partnership with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish a new $50 million center for advanced biological manufacturing and engineering.
Harvard, MIT, GE Healthcare and Fujifilm are slated to comprise the center’s board of directors, along with Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, MilliporeSigma and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are listed as contributing members.
The center is set to be an independent, nonprofit organization headquartered in the greater Boston area. It will be named and incorporated some time in 2020.
Among the goals of the center is the exploration and development of innovations in cell and gene therapy, advancing biologic discovery and manufacturing and accelerating developments in immunotherapy, cell therapies and gene editing.
The center’s mission is to “catalyze the development of transformative therapies by shortening the path between research and clinical application,” according to a news release. The consortium plans to offer access to a new manufacturing facility at favorable pricing, while it will include a shared innovation space for scientists from all over to work side-by-side with a professional staff.
“This powerful collaboration embodies the deep and broad world-class expertise in multiple disciplines that exists across this region,” Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow said in the release. “We are privileged to be part of this collaborative initiative. It will advance scientific discovery, reaffirm the region’s global leadership in the life sciences, and bring forward life-saving and life-changing therapies that will make a difference for people around the world.”
“The broad question that we were trying to address was, ‘How can we best position our region to be preeminent in the life sciences in the decades to come?’” added Harvard University provost Alan Garber. “We have a vibrant life sciences community, with some of the world’s greatest hospitals, universities and life sciences companies of all kinds. We also have a strong financial sector that helps to spawn and support new companies. The elements for rapid progress in the life sciences, particularly in the application of the life sciences to human health, are all here. Yet, with such a rapid pace of innovation, it’s easy to fall behind. We wanted to make sure that would not happen here.”