ZS Genetics, a developer of a Third-Generation DNA sequencing platform, has opened a new office and laboratory facility in Wakefield, Mass., a milestone in the company’s transition from R&D to product commercialization.
The Wakefield facility brings together employees who currently work remotely and also provides sufficient expansion space to accommodate the company’s anticipated growth. “This facility represents a new chapter in the life of this company,” said Bill Ward, president of ZS Genetics.
The new office will also bring in new opportunities for ZS Genetics. “Massachusetts is a hub for life sciences and technology expertise. Having access to the talent and resources available in the Boston area was a critical factor in our decision to locate here,” noted William Glover, chief executive officer of ZS Genetics. “We are moving into this facility with a dozen employees and will be looking to expand our workforce in the near future.”
Through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.
“Congratulations to the ZS Genetics team on the grand opening of their first ‘bricks and mortar’ office,” said MLSC President & CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister.
ZS Genetics’ 10,000-square-foot space includes office and cubicle space for employees, as well as facilities for a chemistry lab and a DNA sample preparation lab. The facility will house state-of-the-art equipment, including two electron microscopes, to develop the company’s platform.
The company’s team has grown substantially over the past several months to 10 employees as the company has added key personnel required for building the “alpha” version of its sequencing system, including Dr. Suhaib Siddiqi, a chemist who will lead one of the R&D teams, and Dr. Larry Scipioni, who will run the microscope labs.
ZS Genetics is a privately held Massachusetts startup that has developed the components and intellectual property for the Third Generation of DNA sequencing. This patented approach combines the power of electron beam microscopy with proprietary nucleic acid labeling processes to read DNA sequences directly from images. ZS Genetics’ long-read, single-molecule technology offers the prospect of significant advancements in genetic analysis, with implications in the DNA sequencing and diagnostics market.