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Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s under-construction Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center has signed a trio of big life sciences corporate names as its inaugural partners – Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Shire Human Genetic Therapies.

The BETC is planned for a four-story building now under construction at Gateway Park. The center is funded in part by a $2.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and will feature a biomanufacturing pilot plant for hands-on training and education of what is anticipated to be a much-needed “workforce needed to produce medicines and research compounds using engineered living cells,” also called biopharmaceuticals. WPI describes biopharmaceuticals as the fastest-growing segment of the therapeutics industry.

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