Roche will provide technology and an undisclosed amount of financial support as the newest “Gold” sponsor of the LabCentral incubator in Cambridge, MA.

Roche will provide instruments intended to expand the capacity and capabilities of LabCentral’s resident companies performing high-throughput DNA studies. The instruments include a MagNA Pure 96 robotic workstation for automated purification of nucleic acids, LightCycler® 96 Real-Time PCR system, and automated reagent freezer.

“Having the world's largest biotech company on our roster of supporters is a testament to LabCentral's model designed to spur science innovation and fast-track startups to be successful and improve human health,” Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D., LabCentral's co-founder and president, said in a statement.

Roche joins three other biopharma giants—Johnson & Johnson (through its Johnson & Johnson Innovation), Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, and Pfizer—among numerous industry partners in LabCentral, which formally opened in April, five months after welcoming its first startups.

LabCentral also generates revenue from its startups, which pay a monthly per-person membership fee of $400, and monthly rents ranging from $400 per month for a lab desk to $16,000 for the largest of eight private lab suites accommodating up to eight employees, according to its website.

LabCentral offers fully-permitted laboratory and office space for 28 startups comprising approximately 100 scientists and entrepreneurs. The incubator’s facilities, services, amenities, and expert speaker series are designed to support early-stage companies needing to begin laboratory operations immediately.

Dr. Fruehauf and another co-founder, Peter Parker, joined Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) founder and CEO Tim Rowe to create the incubator, in part through a $5 million grant from the quasi-public Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), with support from real-estate partner MIT. Founding sponsors include MLSC, Triumvirate Environmental and J&J Innovation.

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