Boston-Area Biotech Firms Hit the Big Screen in New Documentary
Reproduced from original publication on Boston Business Journal by Don Seiffert
Two recent graduates with biotech degrees — one French and one American — took to their bikes this summer to create a documentary featuring Boston-area biotech firms and the people and organizations that support them.
The resulting, 55-minute film, called LaBiotech Tour Boston, will premiere this week at a showing geared toward students on Wednesday, and one aimed at the general public on Thursday evening. It consists of short clips, about three minutes each, at some of the area’s well-known biotech firms, including Moderna, Foundation Medicine, Sample6, Forma Therapeutics and bluebird bio. But it also has segments with staff at Flagship Ventures and MassBio, as well as a “featured speaker” video of George Church, Harvard geneticist and co-founder of local biotech startups like Gen9 and EnEvolv.
The film’s creators are Philip Hemme, who recently graduated from the Paris Higher Biotechnology Institute, and Michael Snyder, who has a bachelors on biomedical engineering from Boston University. Snyder said the two met at a screening last November at B.U. of a similar documentary Hemme produced featuring French biotech companies (Hemme is also a co-founder of the European biotech news website LaBiotech, which was involved in the making of the French documentary). The two decided to take the same idea to Boston, according to Snyder.
Like the French version, the two traveled the Cambridge and Waltham area on bike with digital filming equipment in hand. Snyder said that while he was familiar with the local biotech scene before the project, he was surprised to see first-hand how concentrated they all are.
"We would take our bikes and ride through Kendall Square, and pass by dozens of companies," he said.
Hemme is planning to create more documentaries of biotech firms in regions like Germany and Ireland over the next few years, and for the series to serve as “a reference for the biotech ecosystems,” highlighting the diversity of the biotech field.
Register here to attend the free screening this Thursday, Sept. 11 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Kendall Square-based LabCentral. There will be a reception after the screening. Here is a link to the LaBiotech Tour website.