Philadelphia’s innovation hub has seen explosive growth over the past several years, with significant expansions in manufacturing and research space for multiple companies.
For example, in 2019, Iovance announced the building of a 136,000-square-foot facility in the Philadelphia Navy Yard for both commercial and clinical production of autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) products. In 2020, Amicus Therapeutics opened its Global Research and Gene Therapy Center of Excellence as part of a collaboration with Penn. In 2021, Penn’s Gene Therapy Program became an anchor tenant at Discovery Labs, a suburban Philadelphia ecosystem boasting of more than 7 million square feet.
In May 2022, Tevogen Bio announced new laboratory space at CIC Philadelphia to facilitate the rapid growth of its R&D facilities. Meanwhile, RNA-focused Chimeron Bio opened operations at the landmark Center City Philadelphia site, The Curtis, a historic building that they re-invented as a life sciences facility.
“The Philadelphia market is growing significantly,” said Suzet McKinney, director of life sciences at real estate development firm Sterling Bay. “These innovation clusters can be so transformative in our cities, not just for the economics for under-resourced communities but for creating a greater range of options for entrepreneurs and scientists alike.”
Another area where Philadelphia-based companies and entrepreneurs are expanding in is the growth of talent. McKinney said there have been “robust efforts” from government, non-profit and private sector organizations to establish STEM training programs in the schools that have bolstered talent supply lines in the region.