New England Real Estate Journal – June 2020
Worcester, MA WuXi Biologics (WuXi Bio), and Worcester Business Development Corp. (WBDC) have signed a land deal for WuXi Biologics’ clinical and commercial manufacturing facility (MFG11) at The Reactory, a 46-acre master-planned biomanufacturing campus.
WuXi Biologics, a global company with leading open-access biologics technology platforms, empowers biopharma organizations to discover, develop, and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. The $60 million, 107,000 s/f, two-story facility will be operational in 2022 and create 150 new jobs.
The concept for The Reactory began in early 2016, when the Baker-Polito administration announced the formation of a taskforce to pursue the establishment of a biomanufacturing campus on the former Worcester State Hospital property. Governor Baker signed legislation a year later authorizing a land transfer to the WBDC for the creation of a biomanufacturing park providing up to 470,000 s/f of development pads under the administration’s “Open for Business” Initiative.
“As the central Massachusetts biotech community continues its growth, WuXi Biologics’ arrival in Worcester will strengthen the sector and lead to ongoing economic development,” said lieutenant governor Karyn Polito. “Years of planning and collaboration to transform an unused property into a biomanufacturing hub has led to this exciting announcement today and I appreciate the commitment of so many to making this a reality.”
Massachusetts recently surpassed California as the #1 biotech cluster in the world, due to the best universities, hospitals and research and development companies, as well as the brightest minds in the industry. The corridor between Cambridge and Worcester boasts more than 700 biotech companies, 70,000 biotech employees and 30 million s/f of lab space.
Recognizing the urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE), WuXi Biologics recently sourced and donated masks to local healthcare providers to support frontline medical personnel fighting the coronavirus.
“This signing solidifies our city’s proud role as an anchor in the state’s biotech corridor,” said city manager Edward Augustus, Jr. “It signals not only what we currently have to offer in the life sciences sector, but also how much potential we have for the future.”
According to Craig Blais, the president and CEO of the WBDC, research showed a strong need in the region for dedicated biomanufacturing space to meet the growing demand for personalized medicine and the development of rare-disease treatments. “WuXi Biologics’ decision to locate its first U.S. biomanufacturing facility in Worcester at The Reactory confirms the value of Worcester’s strong life sciences ecosystem, and we expect other biotech manufacturers will soon follow their lead.”
“We are proud to join the Worcester community and greater region as a tenant of The Reactory, and I thank the city of Worcester for its collaboration,” said Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics. “Drawing from the talented workforce and impressive biotech network in Massachusetts, we stand ready and able to help our global partners advance their innovative and life-saving ideas. Together, I am confident that we have much to contribute to the biologics industry and patients worldwide.”