CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and LabCentral announced today that Novopyxis, Inc. and Cocoon Biotech, Inc. are Amgen's 2015 selection for Golden Ticket winners, which supply each company with lab space at LabCentral. LabCentral is an innovative, shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for life-sciences and biotech startups.
As one of LabCentral's platinum sponsors, Amgen can nominate up to two early-stage companies per year to take up residence in LabCentral's Kendall Square facilities in Cambridge, Mass. Novopyxis and Cocoon Biotech are each working on new ways to deliver potential life-changing therapies.
"We are pleased to announce the first Golden Ticket winners as a result of Amgen's sponsorship of LabCentral," said Sam Guhan, vice president, Process Development and site head, Amgen Massachusetts. "The Golden Ticket award captures the essence of what it means to support early-stage innovation and it does so within Cambridge's burgeoning life sciences epicenter. Fostering an opportunity where entrepreneurs such as Novopyxis and Cocoon Biotech are able to further research and drive novel science can enable future innovations that will advance new treatments and continue collaborative growth."
"We applaud Amgen's choice of Novopyxis and Cocoon Biotech, which like the rest of our residents and recent graduates, represent the frontiers of medical research," said LabCentral co-founder and president Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D. "Our Golden Ticket program is a wonderful way for our highest-level sponsors to encourage and mentor the work of an early-stage company they would like to support. As for our start-ups, they thrive in the LabCentral co-working environment, which provides them ready access to the latest, most-advanced laboratory equipment and discovery tools along with the free-flow of ideas from the best scientific minds. We welcome Novopyxis and Cocoon, and thank Amgen for its continued support."
Novopyxis is developing medical devices and therapeutics to treat diseases that currently have few treatment options. The company's flagship transdermal delivery system, Droplette, exploits fluid physics phenomena to generate an enhanced aerosol that enables painless and contact-free delivery of large molecules deep through skin. Additionally, Novopyxis has a therapeutic arm with two lead compounds currently undergoing preclinical testing.
Cocoon Biotech was founded in 2013 to bring treatments for arthritis and other debilitating diseases to market. Cocoon Biotech's platform technology is a biocompatible silk protein that can be injected into joints to provide effective long lasting pain relief and potentially delay the progression of disease. This platform will leverage several unique properties of the silk protein fibroin, including strength, lubrication, and biocompatibility.
The 2016 Golden Ticket nomination process opens Oct. 13, 2015. Amgen will sponsor up to two promising life-sciences and biotech startup companies to reside in LabCentral's facilities. The Golden Ticket represents one year of bench space for one scientist. Interested companies should send a non-confidential company presentation for consideration to GoldenTicket@amgen.com by Oct. 30, 2015. Amgen will notify finalists on Dec. 10, 2015.
About LabCentral (www.labcentral.org; twitter @labcentral)
A 28,000 square-foot facility in the heart of the Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass., a biotech innovation hub, LabCentral is a first-of-its-kind shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for high-potential life-sciences and biotech startups. It offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage companies comprising approximately 125 scientists and entrepreneurs. LabCentral provides first-class facility and administrative support, skilled laboratory personnel, a domain-relevant expert speaker series—as well as the other critical services and support that startups need to begin laboratory operations on day one. A private, nonprofit institution, LabCentral was funded in part by a $5 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, with support from its real-estate partner, MIT. Founding sponsors include Triumvirate Environmental and Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
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