The French contract pharmaceutical services firm Seqens has opened a 1,400 m2 research and development center in Devens, Massachusetts. The $5 million facility, located near Boston, is intended to accelerate the firm’s development of active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients, including lipids used in the manufacture of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. The center replaces a smaller lab in Devens. Employees will transfer to the new center, where Seqens expects to double the number of scientists by 2026. Asymchem, a Chinese contract pharmaceutical services firm, plans to open a research center in nearby Woburn in the first quarter of this year.