Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Announces Next Round of Life Sciences Accelerator Loan Program

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Travis McCready

WALTHAM, MA – The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), announced the launch of the twelfth round of its Accelerator Loan Program, the MLSC’s flagship investment program that provides working capital to early-stage life sciences companies. The MLSC is now accepting applications for this program, due by 12:00 p.m. EDT February 5, 2016, on the MLSC’s web site at www.masslifesciences.com.

Travis McCready
Travis McCready

Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion in state funding to strengthen and expand the state’s life sciences ecosystem. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, approved by the State Legislature in 2008.

In the new round, the Accelerator program will offer loans of up to $750,000 per company. The program seeks to provide support to companies at a critical stage of their development cycle, enabling them to conduct vital research and proof of concept studies, and attract subsequent investment while improving the odds of bringing cutting-edge innovation to the marketplace.

To date, the Accelerator Loan Program has funded or committed to fund $21.7 in loans to 31 companies that have generated more than $200 million in additional equity or acquisition proceeds. Eight of these companies — Good Start Genetics, InVivo Therapeutics, 4s3 Bioscience, Pluromed, MoMelan, Avaxia Biologics, Sample6 and AesRx — have paid back their Accelerator loans early with interest. The program has supported the commercialization of new products from additional companies such as Cristcot, Myomo, and Allurion.

“It is critical that we maintain a vibrant and dynamic community of early stage companies in order for the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem to remain strong and competitive,” said Travis McCready, President & CEO of the MLSC. “Filling the gap in early-stage financing will be an ongoing priority for the MLSC. The Accelerator Loan Program is one way we will help promising young companies grow and commercialize their technologies, and create jobs here in Massachusetts while helping to bring new medical technologies to patients around the world.”

“For any early stage medical device company, securing financing is always a challenge. Our Accelerator Loan from the MLSC provided the supplemental capital which, from a business standpoint, enabled the company to move closer to commercialization,” said Bill Johnson, CFO of Wellesley-based Lumicell. “The loan did much more than that however since we were able to enter clinical trials and obtain both surgeon and patient feedback on our cancer imaging technology.”

As in all past rounds of the Accelerator Loan Program, applications will be subjected to a rigorous evaluation process, including peer review, evaluation by the MLSC’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and further screening by the MLSC’s Investment Sub-committee of the Board of Directors, which includes an in-person live presentation by finalists. Final awards are scheduled to be announced by the MLSC’s Board of Directors in May of 2016. Information sessions for potential applicants will be held throughout January in various locations and online. Dates and locations are listed on the MLSC’s web site.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences.

In order to expand life-sciences-related employment opportunities, promote health-related innovations and stimulate research and development, manufacturing and commercialization in the life sciences, the Life Sciences Accelerator Loan Program provides loans to companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization, and manufacturing in Massachusetts. Target entities are generally early-stage life sciences companies with a high-potential for technology commercialization, rapid growth and downstream private equity financing. The program is designed to help sustain these companies through a critical stage of development and to leverage additional sources of capital to bring cutting-edge innovation to the marketplace.

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