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MassDevelopment Loan Helps Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives Equip Downtown Worcester Lab

November 8, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Kevin O'Sullivan, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, 508-797-4200

MassDevelopment recently provided a $680,000 loan to Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), a non-profit organization that assists start-up biotechnology and life science companies in central Massachusetts. MBI manages several life science incubator facilities in Worcester that help emerging companies by providing affordable space as well as shared equipment and support services that allow them to focus on their research and product development. Partial proceeds of this latest loan from MassDevelopment to MBI will help the organization to refurbish existing lab space and to buy equipment for their newest incubator laboratory in downtown Worcester at 55-57 Union Street. In addition to MBI, four other life sciences companies are moving into the former Charles River Laboratory building, which had been vacant for more than three years.

“MBI has an outstanding track record of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences industry, a pivotal sector of the Massachusetts economy,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Sharing lab space and other common resources is a cost-effective solution for many small or start up companies and we are pleased that this new loan can provide further support of MBI’s efforts in fostering new job growth in the Worcester area.”

MBI’s Worcester facilities currently host 23 companies that employ more than 100 people in central Massachusetts. MassDevelopment has previously financed two of the organization's other incubator facilities in Worcester. Additionally, MBI plans to open a fourth incubator laboratory next year at Gateway Park in the new 92,000-square-foot life science building currently under construction at 50 Prescott Street. That project in turn was financed with a $14.5 million Recovery Zone Bond from MassDevelopment and an $8.45 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credit equity from the Agency. MBI will partner with its largest incubator tenant, Blue Sky Biotech, to occupy the new lab at Gateway Park.

“We appreciate once again the ability to partner with MassDevelopment in providing financing for our latest incubator laboratory in Worcester,” said Kevin O'Sullivan, President and CEO of MBI. “This is a good news story for downtown Worcester and the region because it expands our cadre of small companies needing affordable space for their new or growing businesses and provides further evidence of the vibrancy of this industry sector even in a challenging economy.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed 277 projects generating investment of nearly $3.7 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create 10,291 jobs (2,507 permanent and 7,784 construction) and 1,350 housing units (336 new and 1,014 rehab).