BioPharm International - September 2022

BioPharm International - September 2022

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30 BioPharm International ® Emerging Therapies 2022 eBook "LabShares was 'born' out of Siamab Therapeutics (where Jeff Behrens was CEO), which developed anti- body-based cancer medicines and was sold to Seagen in 2018. Siamab built a small lab in Newton, Mass. in 2014, and had enough space to share the lab with several other companies, helping Siamab defray the costs of building and running the lab," explains Beh- rens. After Siamab's exit, LabShares was then formed to take over lab operations and expand the business model. Today, the organization is growing with the build-out of a fourth lab expansion, bringing its lab space to 40,000 ft 2 in August 2022 with about 30 com- panies in residence, says Behrens. Skill sets and resources Among the advantages of an incubator are certain re- sources and skill sets offered to start-ups. For example, LabShares is run by a small team of lab management experts who focus on environmental health and safety issues, equipment maintenance, reagent purchasing, and other logistical and support issues. Their exper- tise enables member companies to focus on their own science, and member companies can start generating data quickly and efficiently, says Behrens. In particular, for reagent purchasing, the organiza- tion has partnered with several companies, including Zageno, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of labora- tory supplies, and ThermoFisher Scientific to offer centralized reagent purchasing services for member companies. "We have been able to negotiate signifi- cant discounts with a number of vendors which we are able to pass on to our members through this program, and we have also found that centralizing the purchas- ing function ensures that orders are correct and filled rapidly and efficiently," Behrens notes. Moreover, LabShares provides centralized equip- ment maintenance for a broad set of shared equip- ment prov ided to member compa n ies. T he orga- nization uses a home-grown annual maintenance scheduling and planning system to track periodic maintenance requirements. It also par tners with several ser vice firms to ensure biosafet y cabinets are certified and measurement equipment is cali- brated appropriately. The organization also makes its facilities and equipment available to member com- panies to conduct their own sample preparations and data interpretation; members are thus able to de- velop their own individual processes and practices, Behrens adds. Wit h A l loy Therapeutics, a l l new asset-centric companies that are launched through its Venture Studio group have access to a full suite of drug dis- covery platforms and services, emphasizes Anderson. "We are committed to continually adding additional platforms and services to our portfolio, and often do so in response to the needs of our partners and 82VS NewCos. Through 82VS, we also provide the labora- tory resources and operational processes (legal, HR, finance, etc.) that allow startups to launch quickly and focus their internal resources on asking and an- swering critical scientific questions," he explains. Across five research sites in three different coun- tries, Alloy Therapeutics' scientists work collabora- tively with more than 130 ecosystem partners and their respective scientific talent. "This democratized approach gives us—and our partners—access to an incredible pool of talent much more efficiently and cost-effectively than could be built in-house by a sin- gle company," Anderson states. A global scene Outside the US, life science sectors around the world are invigorated by efforts on the part of various en- tities—including government, industr y, and aca- demia—to foster the growth of burgeoning regional biopharmaceutical industries by providing the space, talent, funding, and resources required by biotech start-ups. Some examples are included as follows. Lithuania Innovation Agency Lithuania is a non-profit agency under the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of Lith- uania. The agency was established in April 2022 by the merging of three government agencies: Enterprise Lith- uania, Lithuanian Business Support Agency, and the Agency for Science, Innovation, and Technology. The agency is responsible for Lithuania's innovation ecosystem (1)—the promotion of Lithuania's business sectors and their innovations at all stages of business development, which includes the development of ideas and the delivery of products and services to end-us- ers. It collaborates with all participants in the life sciences field, including the Lithuanian Biotechnology Association, all types of companies, and academic institutions, such as Vilnius University and Lithuanian Universit y of Health Sciences, says Rasa Uždavi- nytė, Director of International Trade Development at Innovation agency Lithuania. "Since one of Lithuania's priorities now is the life sciences sector's growth, the Ministr y of Economy Incubators on a global scale are determined to grow life sciences innovation.

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