PerkinElmer expands MA life sciences research presence

PerkinElmer ($PKI) is in the midst of a hiring surge in Massachusetts and nearly finished with its expansion of a facility there devoted to innovation in personalized health.

While that's good news for Massachusetts, the Bay State's gain comes at the expense of other west coast and out-of-state offices that are now closed, an executive told the Boston Business Journal/Mass High Tech.

Massachusetts-based PerkinElmer focuses, in part, on developing tools and equipment for clinical diagnostics and biomedical research. PerkinElmer's Hopkinton site handles technology focused on areas including imaging and detection, molecular research and microfluidics, according to the story. PerkinElmer told the BBJ/MHT it wants to use the center to boost collaborations between local academic institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Previous deals have involved Massachusetts General Hospital, Biogen Idec ($BIIB) and Cell Signaling Technology.

PerkinElmer plans to complete construction at its Center for Personalized Health Innovation in Hopkinton within a month, the BBJ/MHT reported. It will now approach 200,000 square feet, almost double the center's current size. Additionally, the company plans to hire 20 employees in the state after adding 55 so far this year.

That brings PerkinElmer's Massachusetts employee base to 300 in Hopkinton, and 850 in the whole state, according to the story, out of a global staff of about 7,500 people.

While PerkinElmer focuses on many technology areas, the company has paid special attention to life sciences in general and molecular diagnostics in particular over the last few years. And it's gone global with its strategy. Last November, PerkinElmer entered China's molecular clinical diagnostics market with the $38 million acquisition of Shanghai Haoyuan Biotech. And it snatched up Germany's chemagen Biopolymer-Technologie AG back in 2011 in order to boost its offerings to the molecular diagnostics and research markets.

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