Watertown Life Sciences Company Gets $20 Million in Investments

The following information was provided by Lyndra Therapeutics:

Lyndra Therapeutics Inc. of Watertown raised $20.3 million from seven investors as part of an offering of equity and option securities, according to a Form D dated June 7. Total amount of the offering is just over $179 million. Last month Lyndra announced it has dosed the first participant in its pivotal clinical trial investigating oral weekly risperidone (LYN-005) for the treatment of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. This is Lyndra’s lead drug candidate.  

The investigational oral weekly risperidone is a unique “long-acting oral therapy” powered by Lyndra’s LYNXTM drug delivery platform, which delivers a week’s worth of medication in one oral capsule.

Seven Watertown Companies Receive Tax Incentives from State to Create Jobs

Seven companies from Watertown received part of the $24.4 million being awarded by the state to create new jobs in the life sciences industry. The Healey-Driscoll Administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced the MLSC Tax Incentive Program program last week. It will provide incentives for 43 life sciences companies, which are expected to create 1,584 jobs, according to the program’s announcement. The Watertown companies will received between $150,000 and $750,000 in tax incentives and will create a combined 140 jobs. The Watertown companies receiving the incentives are:

AffiniT Thereapeutics, $375,000, 25 jobs

Corner Therapeutics Inc., $150,000, 10 jobs

Disc Medicine Inc., $150,000, 10 jobs

Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc., $150,000, 10 jobs

Lyra Therapeutics Inc. $300,000, 20 jobs

Tome Biosciences Inc., $750,000, 50 jobs

Treeline Biosciences Inc., $225,000, 15 jobs.

Developers of Life Science Projects Make Case to Ease the Impact of Linkage Fees

Elkus Manfredi ArchitectsA view from Water Street of the life sciences building being built by Boston Development Group at 66 Galen St. Developers working on life science projects in Watertown say the proposed linkage fees, being considered by the City Council, could put the City at a disadvantage compared to communities not charging the fees, and it comes at a bad time. They propose some changes to how they pay the $11.12 per square foot, which has been earmarked to create affordable housing. At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 11, Councilors will discuss and are scheduled to vote on the linkage fee rules. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Watertown has already received approval from the State Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker to charge up to $18 in linkage fees.

Future of Life Science Industry to be Discussed by Panel at Chamber’s Virtual Event

The Charles River Regional Chamber will host a virtual panel discussion focusing on the future of the life science sector in the area, development and more. “The Value of Life Science Development and Future Impact,” will take place on Thursday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to noon via Zoom. The event is free and open to members & nonmembers. The Chamber provided the following description:

There’s been plenty of worrisome headlines about the fate of Greater Boston’s life science sector. An oversaturated real estate market? Declining stock values and IPOs?

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.

Two Proposed Life Science Buildings to Go Before Planning Board

A rendering of the building proposed for 490 Arsenal Way, known as Linx II. The Planning Board will consider two life science buildings proposed to go on existing biotech sites in Watertown when it meets on Wednesday, Nov. 16. The first is at 490 Arsenal Way, where Columbia Massachusetts Arsenal Office Properties LLC seeks to build a 104,000 sq. ft.

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.

Biotech Companies, Educators Talk About How They Can Collaborate at Life Science Panel

Natalie Nigito PhotographyKatie Sherburne, human resources manager at Forma Therapeutics speaks during the Life Sciences Panel at Hosmer School. Looking on, from right to left, are: Chris Nasveschuk, senior vice president of chemistry at C4 Therapeutics, Mark Bamforth, CEO of Arranta Bio, Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston, and Watertown K-7 Math and Science Coordinator Elizabeth Kaplan

The life science industry has discovered Watertown, with the city becoming home to a growing number of pharmaceutical, medical and other biotech companies. Recently, representatives from a few of these companies joined Watertown educators at a forum hosted by the Watertown Business Coalition. The event took place at the new Hosmer Elementary School on April 27. The groups spoke about how they collaborate, and opportunities for the future.