Watertown Life Science Company Cuts Staff by Over Half, Replaces CEO

SQZ Biotechnologies announced a reduction of more than half the company’s staff, and appointed a new CEO after the resignation of its previous one. The company’s research focuses on cell therapies. The company based in Watertown, announced on Nov. 30, 2022, that Armon Sharei has step down from his role as chief executive officer and the Board of Directors. The Board appointed Howard Bernstein, former Chief Scientific Officer and current director, as interim CEO.

Charles River Chamber Holding Young Professionals Event in Watertown

The Charles River Chamber of Commerce will host a networking event in Watertown. See the Chamber’s announcement below. Young Professionals Happy Hour at Taffer’s Tavern

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 5:30 to 7 p.m. 541 Arsenal St., Watertown

Free, open to members & nonmembers

Our popular YPG Networking Happy Hour is heading to one of Watertown’s newest spots! Taffer’s Tavern (from Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer) is quickly becoming a go-to destination in Arsenal Yards – don’t miss the chance to check it out!

Booty by Brabants Opens Pop-Up Store in Arsenal Yards

Booty by Brabants opened a pop-up shop in Watertown’s Arsenal Yards. The following information is provided by Arsenal Yards:

Arsenal Yards, the thriving new neighborhood located along the Charles River in Watertown, is excited to announce the development’s latest addition: a new Booty by Brabants Pop-Up Shop now open in Arsenal Yard’s Bond Square. A female-founded company known for its community-driven, inclusive approach and strong e-commerce business that has attracted consumers globally, local “athleisure” brand Booty by Brabants will expand its brick-and-mortar presence just in time for the holidays with the opening of it’s 13th storefront to-date. Shoppers can expect an intimate, boutique-meets-warehouse experience with much of the same inventory available online, in addition to in-store perks such as early access to new product releases and the brand’s biggest Black Friday sale yet. 

“With permanent stores currently open on the North Shore and South Shore, my goal with this third location was to bring convenience to my customers during the holiday season,” said Booty by Brabants Founder and CEO, Kelly Brabants. “We can be last minute shoppers, and I wanted my city customers to have easy access to a BBB shopping destination, where I’ve hand-picked my favorite pieces at the moment that I know my customers will love.”

Before or after they shop at the new Booty by Brabants location, visitors are invited to check out Arsenal Yards’ fitness and wellness offerings, including Pure Barre, sweetgreen, Vitality Bowls, Garbanzo, and the newly-opened Central Rock Gym.

Watertown Company Creating Way to Dramatically Cut the Number of Pills Patients Take

Lyndra TherapeuticsA prototype of Lyndra’s stellate medical platform is placed in a machine to undergo stress testing. A company with headquarters in the East End of Watertown will soon start the final trials for a way of delivering drugs that would allow patients to take just one pill a week instead of seven pills or more. And the company is working on technology that could cut it to just two or even one a pill a month. Lyndra Therapeutics moved to its space on Grove Street in 2017, and employs nearly 130 people there, in Lexington, or who work remotely. The company also helps train the next generation of life scientists by working with students from colleges in the area, and has also started reaching out to classes at Watertown High School.

Discuss the Future of Business in Watertown at Upcoming Event

Local residents, business owners, employees and others are invited to add their voice to the City of Watertown’s effort to shape the future of business in Watertown at an event hosted by the Watertown Business Coalition. On Oct. 19 the WBC will host a networking event where City officials and consultants working on updating the Comprehensive Plan, Watertown’s primary planning document. The plan covers many areas, but the event focuses on business. The event will be at the Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Bigelow Chapel.

Watertown Company Acquired by Major Pharmaceutical Firm

The following announcement came from Novo Nordisk:

Novo Nordisk and Forma Therapeutics, Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: FMTX) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Novo Nordisk will acquire Forma Therapeutics for USD 20 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of USD 1.1bn. Forma Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and rare blood disorders. The acquisition of Forma Therapeutics, including its lead development candidate, etavopivat, is aligned with Novo Nordisk’s strategy to complement and accelerate its scientific presence and pipeline in haemoglobinopathies, a group of disorders in which there is abnormal production or structure of the haemoglobin protein in the red blood cells. “Novo Nordisk has worked for more than 40 years to develop and deliver transformative medicines to patients around the world with rare and devastating diseases. By adding Forma’s differentiated approach to address unmet needs for patients, we are taking a step forward in enhancing our sickle cell disease pipeline,” said Ludovic Helfgott, executive vice president and head of Rare Disease at Novo Nordisk.

Watertown Resident Appointed Compliance Director at Property & Real Estate Firm

Peabody CompaniesWatertown’s Megan Stejskal has been hired by the Peabody Companies. The following announcement was provided by the Peabody Companies:

The Peabody Companies, a group of award-winning property management and real estate firms, is pleased to announce Megan Stejskal of Watertown as portfolio compliance director for new business. In this post, Stejskal has an essential role in the effective and efficient operation of the firm by employing the technical expertise to interpret federal regulations and compliance requirements of various agencies and housing programs.

Stejskal brings more than 11 years of experience in the affordable housing and property management industries to her post with the Peabody Companies, most recently as regional compliance specialist with WinnResidential in Boston. Stejskal, who attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois, holds numerous professional certifications, including NCHM-Certified Occupancy Specialist, NAHRO Public Housing Manager-Certified Specialist, NCHM-Certified Occupancy Specialist-Advanced, NCHM- Management and Occupancy Review Specialist, and NAHB-HCCP Certified Compliance Professional. “We’re delighted to announce Megan as portfolio compliance director,” said Katrina Pavetto, vice president of compliance with the Peabody Companies.

Charles River Chamber Hosting Young Professionals Happy Hour

The following information was provided by the Charles River Chamber of Commerce:

The Charles River Chamber will host a Young Professionals Happy Hour at Mighty Squirrel Biergarden at Arsenal Yards in Watertown. Date and Time: Thursday Jul 14, 2022, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Location: Mighty Squirrel Biergarden, 130 Arsenal Yards Blvd, Watertown 

Fees/Admission: free, open to members & nonmembers

Soak up the summer weather with craft beer and networking in Watertown! Our Young Professionals Happy Hour heads to the newly-opened Mighty Squirrel Biergarden right in the center of Arsenal Yards. Join us to unwind after work and make lots of new connections with young professionals in the area. The space is dog-friendly too!