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September 11, 2023

MBI receives $375K grant from China-based graduate for pilot biomanufacturing center

PHOTO | Courtesy of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives' space on Briden Street in Worcester.

Worcester incubator Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives received a $375,000 grant from one of its successful graduate companies, now based in China, toward MBI’s $6-million goal to build out its pilot biomanufacturing center.

Biocytogen was founded at MBI in 2008 before graduating from the incubator and establishing its headquarters in Beijing, China. It operates at Massachusetts sites in Boston and Springfield, according to a Friday press release from MBI. Biocytogen is an antibody drug discovery firm.

“Having the opportunity to give back to the place where we got our start and to support upcoming life sciences companies is incredibly meaningful to us,” Yuelei Shen, founder, chairman and CEO of Biocytogen, said in the press release. “The team at MBI gave us more than just a space to launch our company. We are grateful for the support, guidance, and network they provided that helped us build the strong foundation that got us to where we are today.”

The incubator’s model, called StartUp & ScaleUp, has been the launchpad for 30 companies since 2020, resulting in 130 additional jobs, according to MBI.

MBI has so far secured nearly $4 million of its $6 million goal for the center, with $3.5 million from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and $200,000 in private donations from the David R. Grenon Family Foundation in Sutton and Philip Morgan, former president of Morgan Construction in Worcester and vice chair of MBI’s board.

Upon completion of the campaign, MBI will create 10 additional manufacturing labs and 10 new office spaces.

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