LifeX Now to Offer Wet-lab Space for Its Partner Companies

PITTSBURGH–()–LifeX Labs is now offering wet laboratory space to grow Southwestern Pennsylvania’s life sciences ecosystem. The addition of the lab facilities in the Chocolate Factory of the city’s Lawrenceville neighborhood highlights an expanding suite of programs and resources for early stage life sciences startups provided by LifeX Labs.

“Securing affordable, flexible lab space is one of the biggest obstacles to growing a biotech company,” says Evan Facher, Ph.D., Interim CEO of LifeX Labs. “We believe that offering physical space in conjunction with a robust resource network and solid training opportunities will accelerate commercialization timelines for the Pittsburgh region’s growing life science sector.”

Opening its doors in June 2020, the nearly 5,000 square feet of dedicated BSL2 wet lab space will support the research efforts of companies developing drugs, diagnostics, precision medicine therapies, and medical devices. The new facilities add to LifeX Labs’ existing office space in the Southside Works. The combined spaces will be able to hold up to 20 companies at a time.

The labs are part of Regional Industrial Development Corps’ (RIDC) thriving Lawrenceville Technology Center. RIDC President Don Smith said the opening of the lab space aligns with RIDC’s mission to foster high quality jobs. “We see commercialization of university research as the most important factor driving the region’s economic growth, so we are excited to collaborate with LifeX Labs,” Smith said.

LifeX will share the Chocolate Factory with Helomics Corporation, a leader in functional, precision medicine. “Having LifeX and its companies right next door will be a great opportunity for the region to start building momentum in its early-stage life science ecosystem. The proximity to our company and the Oakland area will allow us all to be more collaborative and help successfully grow these developing companies,” said Gerald Vardzel, President of Helomics.

One of the labs’ first residents will be new LifeX Incubator portfolio company, Workers First. Workers First is developing the first Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that actively neutralizes acid on contact. Matthew Borowiak, CEO of Workers First, views the space as an important addition to the value added services provided by LifeX. “The availability of flexible, wet lab space to conduct our research and development is essential to achieving our vision,” says Borowiak. “When added to the other resources provided by LifeX, we are excited for the potential to push the boundaries of our technology.”

LifeX is also welcoming a new Executive in Residence, Lisa Boyette, MD, PhD. Dr. Boyette specializes in preclinical/clinical research design and strategic alliance building for biotech and pharmaceutical start ups.

“We are proud and excited to be welcoming both Workers First and Dr. Boyette to LifeX, showcasing the types of companies and valuable partners we are trying to attract into our ecosystem,” says Facher.

LifeX Labs is currently accepting startups that demonstrate scientific expertise, as well as a solid understanding of the markets for their innovations as part of its life science focused programming. The organization also offers co-working office space, mentoring, educational opportunities, exposure to potential investors, and referrals for essential business services. More information about the application process can be found here.

ABOUT LIFEX

LifeX Labs strives to grow and develop life sciences startups in Pittsburgh, PA. We offer an Incubator, Accelerator, and community resources to help new life sciences companies thrive. We offer entrepreneurs a single point of access to the entrepreneurial resources and activities of the southwestern Pennsylvania life sciences ecosystem. LifeX Labs is driven to take the incredible innovation in our region from the benchtop to bedside, attracting capital, corporate partners, and talent, ultimately making Pittsburgh into a regional hub of life sciences startup activity.

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About the Author: Biotech Today

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