A San Diego-based company turned an office building into a showroom for high-tech equipment used by companies designing the latest drugs right in the heart of Watertown.
BioSurplus opened its 20,000-square-foot facility on Water Street Thursday, and auctions for lab equipment – from pipets to microscopes to spectrometers – is already up for auction, said Jackie Townsend, chief marketing officer for BioSurplus.
"Biopharma companies start drug developments and sometimes, for some reason, the development doesn't go well, but the equipment is still good. We are like Match.com for science equipment," Townsend said. "We take unused material and match them up with companies that need them."
The showroom will be sold both on the internet and from the showroom, Townsend said.
BioSurplus will provide a much needed service for the life science industry, said Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Science Center.
"A big challenge for start up companies is finding high quality equipment at affordable prices," Windham-Bannister said. "The mission and value BioSurplus brings to the life science industry is invaluable. An early stage life science company can not always afford top quality prices at retail prices."
Massachusetts should provide plenty of clients for BioSurplus, with more than 500 biopharma companies in the Bay State, according to Windham-Bannister.
When BioSurplus was looking for a spot to open its newest facility it surveyed customers and found Watertown was a good spot, Townsend said.
"There is no ideal spot in Boston because the industry is so spread out," Townsend said. "We said we wanted 20,000 square feet in Watertown. It's close to customers in Cambridge and it is right off (the Mass Pike's) Exit 17."
Brenda Fanara, executive director of the Watertown-Belmont Chamber of Commerce, welcomed BioSurplus to town.
"You have a great location here, right here in Watertown Square," Fanara said. "You can get her from five different directions, it couldn't be better."