Laboratory-as-a-Service expert SmartLabs chooses Boston location


The cGMP design & build expert has chosen the new Drexel and Gattuso's Life Science Research Lab Facility for its first facility in the city

SmartLabs, a Boston-based Laboratory-as-a-Service (LaaS) leader, has announced plans to open its first facility in the city in addition to its advanced resourcing in Boston and the Bay Area.

SmartLabs designs, builds, and operates integrated, enterprise-grade research environments, including multifunctional research and development labs, vivaria, process development, pilot-scale manufacturing, and cGMP suites for companies of all sizes. Through its LaaS offering, SmartLabs aims to tackle the common concurrent challenges in remote laboratories' development and implementation.

The Drexel and Gattuso Life Science Research Lab Facility

In March 2022, Gattuso Development Partners (GDP) announced that it was partnering with Drexel University to build what is expected to become the city’s largest life sciences research and laboratory building, located on Drexel’s campus in the heart of the burgeoning University City life sciences district. GDP will partner with New York-based Vigilant Real Estate Holdings and Boston-based The Baupost Group on the project.

The new 508,000 sqft facility, developed by Gattuso Development Partners in partnership with New York-based Vigilant Holdings, will offer advanced R&D, vivarium, and manufacturing suites. Within this facility, SmartLabs will occupy two floors in the building.

SmartLabs is revolutionising the way scientists access and work in laboratories

“We are thrilled to announce our expansion into Philadelphia to bring our advanced infrastructure and operations platform to the region’s scientific innovators,” said Amrit Chaudhuri, CEO and co-founder of SmartLabs. “SmartLabs has already supported dozens of biopharma companies in the national biotech hubs of Boston and San Francisco, and we believe that Philadelphia’s exciting CGT market and proximity to prestigious academic institutions makes it an ideal third geography.”

Philadelphia is home to a booming cell and gene therapy (CGT) ecosystem which will benefit from the colocation of R&D labs, in vivo suites, and cleanrooms capable of cGMP manufacturing. By licensing SmartLabs’ state-of-the-art laboratory facilities rather than investing substantial time and money in building new space, biopharma companies can focus on their science and get new treatments to patients faster.

With this expansion, SmartLabs will establish its seventh location – the company currently operates four facilities in the Boston area, with one currently operational facility in San Francisco and another under construction – and bring its total nationwide real estate to 550,000 sqft.

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“SmartLabs is revolutionising the way scientists access and work in laboratories, and we are thrilled to support their mission to accelerate science,” said John Fry, President of Drexel University. “Many of Philadelphia’s CGT companies are investigating treatments for rare and orphan diseases, and the ability to reduce costs and ramp-up time can be critical for them. We look forward to SmartLabs’ presence in Philadelphia R&D and to the scientific advances that will come out of their facilities.”

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“We are tremendously excited about partnering with SmartLabs to accelerate the development of research facilities in the new building,” said John Gattuso, co-founder and co-principal of the firm. “SmartLabs is a national leader in the LaaS field, and in addition to the tremendous opportunity it presents for our project, its expansion reaffirms Philadelphia’s growing recognition as a national hub for life sciences, especially in the field of cell and gene therapy.”