Saint-Gobain opens life science facility at UMMS

BY Zachary Comeau

File photo
File photo
Saint-Gobain now has a life science presence in Worcester.

French building materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain, already with a significant manufacturing presence in Worcester, is now bringing its life sciences division to the city.
The company’s performance plastics division has opened a life sciences laboratory at the UMass Medical School campus to study the interface between materials and biology, the company announced Thursday.
“Continuing to build this understanding is crucial to ensuring appropriate levels of material selection, modification and design in our products,” said Anne Hardy, vice president of research and development for the company’s high-performance materials sector. 
The facility will be used for application testing of single-use systems, with a focus on the cell and gene therapy market. The facility, designed to meet the highest quality and safety standards in the life science industry, will enable the isolation, processing and culturing of primary and immortalized cells. Equipment in the facility will observe and evaluate material, cell and protein interactions. 
The dedicated space for application development will support the creation of new products with specific capabilities in sterile welding, pumping and low-temperature testing, the company said.
Steve Maddox, general manager of Saint-Gobain Life Sciences, said in a statement the new lab is a critical component to the company’s cell and gene therapy work. 
“It allows us to more readily leverage our material science expertise to advance scalable, single-use solutions in bioprocessing,” he said.