Ultragenyx Officially Opens Bedford Facility

June 26, 2023
Thomas Lauzon & Dennis Huang cut the ribbon at Ultragenyx on Wednesday. The company recently finished the construction of a 110,000-square-foot gene therapy manufacturing facility on a 10.7-acre site in Bedford. Courtesy Image

Hundreds of people were in attendance on Wednesday as Ultragenyx cut the ribbon on their brand new 110,000-square-foot plant in Bedford to manufacture gene therapies. The company is one of the first in the U.S. with complete end-to-end gene therapy capabilities in Massachusetts, from research and development to therapeutic production at scale  

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical has a diverse portfolio of late-stage gene therapies to treat rare genetic conditions.

“Today we’re celebrating the result of several years’ worth of effort by hundreds of people, all driven by a single shared goal – to transform the lives of people living with rare disease,” said Dennis Huang, chief technical operations officer and executive vice president for gene therapy research and development at Ultragenyx. “Through this facility, Ultragenyx will develop and produce gene therapy treatments at greater scale than previously possible, which we believe will make these rare disease medicines more accessible to the people who need them.”

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical aims “to transform the lives of people living with rare disease.” Courtesy Image

The  10.7-acre site in Bedford was selected due to its proximity to Ultragenyx’s research and development operations in the Greater Boston area. The company plans to hire 120 employees to staff the facility from a range of skill levels and backgrounds. Ultragenyx currently employs more than 350 people in Massachusetts across its sites in Bedford, Woburn, and Cambridge – more than a quarter of its global workforce.  

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The company worked closely with the Town of Bedford and various community partners in the region, starting with site selection and groundbreaking and continuing through construction and activation. Throughout the process, Ultragenyx developed close working partnerships with the Town and local educational institutions including Middlesex Community College, with leading life science organizations such as Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and organizations including the Bedford and Woburn Chambers of Commerce and Middlesex 3 Coalition, among others. Ultragenyx is committed to continued collaboration with these local and regional partners moving forward.

Sarah Stanton, former Bedford Town Manager and currently Undersecretary for Economic Strategies in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, said this plant is an important milestone for the State in bringing manufacturing back to Massachusetts, and not just Research & Development. This will provide a career path for students not on the college track, she commented.

Ultragenyx has already participated in a commitment to Bedford through school and community outreach efforts and giving. Courtesy Image

Their commitment to the community, both Massachusetts and specifically Bedford is already underway. 

Ultragenyx was the proud recipient of Middlesex 3 Coalition’s Community Impact award this past April, and is part of their newly formed Sustainability Subcommittee.

They also recently held a biotech career day at Bedford High School where several company leaders shared their professional journey lines with the students, showing the many ways one can have a career in the industry. In addition to Middlesex Community College, Ultragenyx engages with UMass Lowell, Northeastern University, and is currently reaching out to Roxbury Community College to connect more deeply with the community’s educational institutions.

Bedford-focused community engagement:

Bedford wetlands clean up, April 2023:

Over 40 employees removed trash from surrounding wetland areas near our Gene Therapy Manufacturing facility on Middlesex Turnpike

Bedford Creativity, April 2023

Corporate Philanthropy donation supporting Bedford elementary, middle- and secondary school students who competed in Destination Imagination Global Finals, May 19 through May 24, 2023. Our donation helped fund the entry fees for a group of 20 Bedford students who qualified for an international STEAM competition by winning their state-level competitions.

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