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Marlborough home to nearly 40 life sciences companies

June 27, 2011 – It is probably a little known fact that Marlborough is home to about 40 companies involved in the life sciences arena. Life Sciences is broadly defined as companies engaged in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food processing, environmental, biomedical devices, and organizations and institutions involved primarily in various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization.

While Marlborough, whose location midway between the recognized life sciences hubs of Cambridge and Worcester, may not yet be on the map, the presence of this cluster of companies engaged in a wide range of cutting edge technology and  innovation activities makes Marlborough a contender for a piece of the Massachusetts life sciences pie.

Well established, leading life sciences players with operations in Marlborough include Boston Scientific, Hologic, Rohm & Haas (Dow Chemicals) and Sunovion. These are big international players with large employee bases and worldwide operations. However, like many other companies they chose Marlborough because of its central location with easy highway access to the surrounding New England states and its large labor pool. And they elect to stay here because real estate prices are reasonable and there is room for expansion and growth.

Next, there is an impressive number of perhaps lesser known companies whose products and services contribute every day to medical and health care advancements, increased quality of life and improved life expectancy.  At the forefront of regenerative medicine is Advanced Cell Technology Inc., a company that specializes in the development of cellular therapies for the treatment of diseases and conditions that impact tens of millions of people worldwide.Company scientists are successfully generating human embryonic stem cell lines without destruction of the embryo.

CeQur Ltd is developing and commercializing advanced insulin delivery systems for type 2 Diabetes that can be easily integrated into daily life. They manufacture a small, wearable insulin delivery device that delivers both basal and bolus doses subcutaneously.

Having recently outgrown their space at the Mass biotechnical Incubator facility in Worcester, GlycoSolutions recently moved to Marlborough after finding good, cheap space in the city. The company, founded by Dr. Elizabeth Higgins, formerly of Genzyme, provides analytical support to companies developing therapeutic glycoproteins and monoclonal antibodies.

Iquum, Inc’s proprietary lab-in-a-tube platform is the foundation of next generation tools for clinical diagnostics, therapeutic monitoring, biodefense, and agricultural and industrial biological sample testing.

Navilyst Medical, Inc. headquartered in Marlborough, delivers industry leading, best in class vascular access and fluid management technologies to the market today.Its products are used in 76 countries by healthcare providers, including interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, oncologists, surgeons, IV nurses, and oncology nurses.

Optos designs, develops, manufactures and markets retinal imaging devices that create optomap images.  The optomap is the only image that provides an ultra-wide 82% view of the retina.  A simple optomap scan is an important tool for the screening, early detection and diagnosis of eye problems such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal holes/retinal tears and age-related macular degeneration.

Oxford Immunotec, Inc. is developing novel new tests for various diseases based on its innovative, patented T cell measurement technology. 

PointCare Technologies develops and markets innovative point-of-care diagnostic products, which target the hundreds of millions of people in resource-challenged developing nations who are living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening infections and/or diseases.

Theracos Inc. which moved from Sunnyvale, CA to Marlborough in May is a pharmaceutical R&D company that develops, acquires, and supports research programs in inflammation, metabolism, and depression through global research activities

Xcellerex is commercializing turnkey biomanufacturing solutions that transform the speed and economics of producing therapeutic proteins, including biosimilars and vaccines. The company’s FlexFactory® is a complete modular and portable production train based on single‐use technologies, advanced process automation, and compact clean room architecture. Xcellerex recently sold a 2,000L FlexFactory® bioproduction line to Russian pharmaceutical company R‐Pharm for its new biologics manufacturing facility in Yaroslavl, Russia.

In the biotechnology field, one Marlborough based company that has carved a niche for itself is Qteros, the developer of a unique and highly efficient Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) platform for converting non-food biomass into biofuels.Their mission is to accelerate the global commercialization of large-scale, lowest-cost cellulosic ethanol production.

Environmental engineering and services companies in Marlborough include Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Enstrat Strategic Environmental Services, Tata & Howard, TRIDENT Environmental Group, LLC  and WaterSep Technology Corp.

Other life sciences companies in Marlborough include 21st Century Biochemicals, Acton Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Acutest Labs (New England), Aspen Products Group, CardioFocus, Creganna Medical Devices, Physicians Interactive Holdings LLC, Protasis Corporation, Proveris Scientific Corporation, Skyscape, Inc., Spectra Analysis Inc., TDC Medical, and West River Pharmacy.

The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is in the midst of planning its second Annual  Innovation Summit for late September which will provide an unique opportunity for these companies to meet, network and discuss the way forward for Marlborough as a burgeoning life sciences hub.

For information about the upcoming summit contact info@marlboroughedc.com or call 508 229 1010

By: Ajita Perera

This story originally appeared here