The field of medicine that gave us CRISPR – and a growing biopharma city – gets a $27M commitment
The answer: Life Sciences technology. In labs worldwide, technology developed in the Life Sciences industry is used to analyse the proteins in everything from drugs to food and beverages by deciphering their chemical makeup.
As Tony Kotarski, Properties Project Manager at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, put it, “Life Sciences links lab research to real-world applications.”
Particularly in the medical sector, the Life Sciences business has been accelerating the development and delivery of therapies to patients. “That’s what we’re all about,” added Kotarski. “The tools and expertise we offer help medical doctors make more accurate diagnoses and get the right treatments to patients faster. On the biopharmaceutical side, all of our equipment helps get better medications manufactured more quickly.”
Today, a brand new Life Sciences hub opened in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Five hundred scientists and 40,000 square feet of lab, it is in many ways the headquarters of precision medicine. Just eighteen miles from Boston and close to some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, the site will be a focal point for the ingenuity and skills that shaped the advancements mentioned above. With GE’s corporate headquarters moving, it will also contribute to and benefit from an ecosystem of healthcare, with potential to fuel further business growth.
“World-class lab facilities will showcase the expertise of the Life Sciences community in the Boston area,” said Kotarski. “From the tools used for basic biological research in the lab, all the way through to full-scale biopharmaceutical production.”
“There is a lot of buzz around new developments with CRISPR and cell therapy technology. These are the technologies where we could see the biggest potential outcomes for patients with a wide range of diseases, particularly cancer. There’s an incredible amount of excitement about that.”
In the words of Rosalind Franklin, a pioneer of the Life Sciences industry who helped discover the structure of DNA, “science and everyday life cannot, and should not, be separated.”
Here is a look back on just a few of the stories to come out of the Life Sciences sector:
Each one of your 37.2 trillion cells contains all the instructions to make a complete human. These instructions are governed by a code made up of four letters: A, T, C and G. These are nucleotides, the components of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA.
What would you do with the power to re-write the code that makes you, you?
In the last few years, MRI technology has evolved to the point where we can now create a photo-accurate, three-dimensional computer model of a person’s body, then upload it to the cloud to be examined by physicians virtually anywhere on the planet.
But where MRI is challenged, and where Prof Ardenkjaer et al have been breaking ground for the last decade, is at the fundamental level where all diseases operate: metabolism.
That’s because who we are biologically is determined by our genes, the units of DNA that compose everything from our height to our eye color and even our personalities. Our genes live inside our cells and dictate how they work: no two people grow, age or metabolize the same way.
Scientists at GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences are used to seeing the world from a different point of view. They spend much of their day looking at the building blocks of the world around us, seeing how things work on a microscopic scale.
The vast majority of biotech factories are ‘stick-built’ and take years to go from inception to completion. It can then take about another year to get them up and running. Even then, adapting to a quick change in demand – say in the case of an epidemic – would take a long time.
Enter GE’s KUBio, the world’s first modular manufacturing solution based on single-use bioprocessing technology.