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Human Health

Flagship Pioneering’s Expanding Scientific Footprint

As Flagship-founded Cellarity, Generate Biomedicines, Laronde, and Tessera Therapeutics cut the ribbon at Boynton Yards, the gleaming new building that houses their expanded lab and office space, they share more about their pioneering science and what the move means for their work ahead.

In May 2022, Flagship Pioneering celebrated the opening of the first building of the new Boynton Yards science and innovation campus. Located in Somerville, MA, less than a mile from the biotech hub of Kendall Square and MIT, this first building at 101 South Street adds over 270K square feet to Flagship’s over three million square feet of existing lab and office space.

Flagship and its companies have long contributed to and benefited from being a part of the Cambridge biotech community and its rich ecosystem of innovation. This recent expansion to Somerville not only gives Flagship’s companies the space and capacity they need to accommodate growth, but it is also a great opportunity to be part of the emerging life sciences community at the Boynton Yards campus.

Occupying the new building are four Flagship-founded companies: Cellarity, Generate Biomedicines, Laronde, and Tessera Therapeutics, along with their nearly 700 employees and growing. We share more on the pioneering science and bioplatform technologies these companies are advancing and what the move into Somerville means for their work and their teams.

Cellarity is evolving a more efficient, translatable, and generalizable platform for the purposeful engineering of new medicines. We combine systems biology, machine learning, and single-cell data generation to understand the dynamics of disease at the level of cells and tissues. This approach has enabled the discovery of new biology and treatments across a wide breadth of diseases without the need for previously known molecular targets.

On the move to Boynton Yards. With our new location being so close to Kendall Square, we can easily access and collaborate with the top talent and world-renowned scientists in the area and convene this community right here at our home in Boynton Yards. We recently hosted our first Single Cell and AI in Medicine Symposium, which took place on May 19 at Boynton Yards, and featured 11 prominent speakers from the single cell, biology, and AI community. Earlier in May, Cellarity organized an in-person networking event with local machine learning scientists, bringing together some of the leaders in the field and creating an incredible opportunity to learn from one another. These gatherings are great examples of how our location in Boynton Yards enables us to bring our community of peers together in ways we haven’t been able to do before.

Generate Biomedicines is deploying machine learning at scale to understand the genetic code underlying the function of proteins. By integrating our machine learning and wet-lab capabilities, we are pioneering the field of generative biology — a revolutionary approach to drug development that allows us to program novel protein therapeutics capable of performing almost any desired biological function. Our technology platform can rapidly generate antibodies, peptides, enzymes, and cell and gene therapies to meet any therapeutic need.

Since our launch, we have made incredible strides in advancing our technology platform. Within the last six months, we announced $370 million in Series B financing and signed our first strategic partnership with Amgen. Looking ahead, we intend to nearly triple the number of employees to approximately 500 over the next two years and we plan to have several programs in preclinical and clinic by 2023.

On the move to Boynton Yards. Boynton Yards offers a great environment for Generate and our employees. We’re thrilled to be in close proximity to other innovative companies that are part of the Flagship network and also to the Cambridge biotech community where we also have offices and lab space. As the larger biotech ecosystem continues to grow across the Greater Boston area, we’re proud to contribute to that growth.

Laronde is pioneering a platform that is building a new class of programmable medicines, Endless RNA™ (eRNA). While mRNA opened our eyes to the versatility and speed of development a programmable platform, eRNA is a uniquely engineered RNA to further expand on its many therapeutic applications. As Laronde develops multiple programs across disease areas, we are growing our team with top talent and continuing to build a company with high global impact.

On the move to Boynton Yards. We have been growing very quickly and needed a new home where the company could expand to realize its potential. At Boynton we are not only able to house our growing team, but we have also built two manufacturing suites at our new site, enabling us to move our programs forward into the clinic with products that we manufacture ourselves.

Tessera Therapeutics is pioneering Gene Writing, a novel technology in genetic medicine that can write short or long therapeutic instructions directly into the genome, thereby addressing the source of the disease. We achieve this with all RNA-LNP compositions of matter, thereby enabling precise and programmable alterations to the genome with the same compositions of matter that were used for mRNA based Covid vaccines — now proven to be safe and feasible to manufacture at scale. Our vision for the Gene Writing platform is to potentially cure previously untreatable genetic diseases as well as create life-changing therapeutics for chronic diseases such in the cardiovascular, oncological, and neurogenerative areas.

Last month, Tessera closed on over $300 million in Series C funding, which will be used to accelerate research and development of the company’s Gene Writing technologies, expand its team, and establish manufacturing and automation capabilities critical for its platform and programs. This investment comes at an essential time as we move to Boynton Yards.

On the move to Boynton Yards. Our culture is one of rich innovation and our new facilities provide us with an opportunity to foster our Tessera community. We have grown rapidly since its inception in 2018 and are now over 200 talented individuals and still growing! We are of course expanding our lab space but also investing in several capabilities such as manufacturing and automation, which add to our space needs. Making Boynton Yards Tessera’s new home is an exciting next step in expanding our footprint and our mission to cure disease.

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