Pivoting to Support COVID-19 Research With Support from the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT)
Ashland, MA. (May 14, 2020) – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced on Tuesday that MatTek Life Sciences received a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to produce viral transport media for coronavirus test kits. As more testing is needed for the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains are being depleted and other sources of manufacture are needed. Recognizing this need, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allocated grant funding through the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT) for businesses that could provide personal protective equipment and supplies to secure a proper COVID-19 response for its residents.
“We would like to thank Gov. Baker, his team in the office of the Governor, and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team for their tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Causey, Vice President of MatTek Life Sciences. “Our organization has prided itself on 35 years of supporting research and development and as we pivot to make much-needed supplies, we will continue to do all we can to further the science and produce as many test kits as possible for the Commonwealth.”
“On an average day, the work here at MatTek does include remarkable activity but what they’ve been able to do with their operations and production to better serve the COVID-19 response and support frontline workers with PPE and other health care researchers with test kits and transport media, is truly inspiring,” Governor Baker said in his remarks.
Several of MatTek’s products including EpiAirway, EpiOral, and EpiIntestinal, are being actively used in SARS-COV-2 research to study infection replication rates as well as potential preventive strategies and therapies. These tissue systems have provided researchers with reliable, human-based data much faster than would be possible using traditional animal methods. MatTek has also pivoted some of its labs into the production of 80% alcohol hand sanitizer formulated according to World Health Organization guidelines. The company has been donating large amounts to hospitals and first responders across New England states and has made the hand sanitizer available for purchase by the public on their website.
“We are experts in cell culture and media production, and when the need for viral transport media became apparent, we knew we could to it and do it quickly,” said Alex Armento, President, and CEO. “It’s a critical component of COVID-19 testing.”
“We are proud of the hundreds of Massachusetts manufacturers who have stepped forward to offer to pivot their operations in support of the state’s work to combat COVID-19 through Manufacturing Emergency Response Team participation,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Co-Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and the state’s Reopening Advisory Board. “MatTek is a prime example of a company with the talent and the tools to adjust to making products critical to personal safety and viral testing during this pandemic.”
About MatTek Life Sciences: MatTek Life Sciences was founded in 1985 and began producing human tissue models as reliable replacements for animal testing. MatTek’s skin, ocular, oral, respiratory, and intestinal tissue models are used to assess safety and efficacy throughout the cosmetics, chemical, pharmaceutical, and household product industries. These advanced tissue models empower companies to achieve their goals of non-animal testing while lowering testing costs and providing human-relevant results. The company has expanded its offerings to include cultureware, primary human cells and media, 3Diy kits, and testing services in support of its mission to advance innovative in vitro science through the production of synergistic life science products and services.
Watch the press briefing: