The Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative and PIDC Partner to Ensure Strategic Industry Needs Are Met

Cell and gene therapy (CGT) research has exploded in Greater Philadelphia. More than 30 CGT development companies call the region home, as do numerous companies providing complementary or supporting services. This industry vertical promises to enhance economic productivity and drive inclusive growth in the 11-county Greater Philadelphia region, but competition is fierce, with other cities and regions working aggressively to create world-class CGT hubs as well.

That’s why the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative, working in collaboration with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, commissioned Ninigret Partners to perform a comprehensive assessment of Greater Philadelphia’s CGT assets and infrastructure. The goal – now accomplished – was to identify gaps and develop strategies to support sustained growth and expansion of the CGT sector.

The study utilized market analysis, peer city research, and extensive interviews with CGT companies, research institutions, and production facilities to develop a clear and compelling picture of a tremendous growth opportunity for the region.

It confirmed that rapid growth of the CGT sector has sharply escalated demand for space from both research institutions and emerging companies. Meeting this need will be a critical factor in attracting talent, concentrating CGT expertise, and maximizing collaboration, particularly in the early stages of commercialization.

Many variables affect successful infrastructure development in the CGT space. There are significant differences in the development processes for cell therapies and gene therapies, for example, and additional requirements that are unique to each CGT firm.  Factor in the rapid expansion experienced by many CGT companies and the fast pace of technological advancement and the need for the Greater Philadelphia region to offer facility options that can accommodate a range of needs quickly becomes apparent.

Already the need for some types of space is outpacing supply. Ninigret identified as critical to Greater Philadelphia’s overall CGT ecosystem more cell and gene therapy-capable incubator space; more “traditional” wet lab space for early stage companies, and; scalable manufacturing/production for later-stage cell and gene therapy companies.

Closing these gaps in our region’s CGT infrastructure is essential to advancing these cutting-edge therapies and leveraging Greater Philadelphia’s opportunity to become a global CGT leader.  Stay tuned as the Cell and Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative works with PIDC to share these findings, explore creative and targeted incentives, and accelerate implementation of solutions in cooperation with public and private partners.