The Philadelphia Metro area is ranked number six among top life sciences clusters in the U.S. in the JLL 2020 U.S. Life Sciences Outlook, which was released on July 28.  The placement for the region is an increase over the 2019 report, which listed Philadelphia at number eight.  JLL, a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management, profiles the nation’s top life sciences hubs in the annual report, and tracks progress of up-and-coming life sciences markets.  In the Philadelphia Metro Area’s profile, JLL noted new peaks in venture capital funding and life sciences employment.

“Each cluster has a different specialty and occupies its own point along the maturity spectrum, providing a diverse range of options for investors and occupiers alike,” said Roger Humphrey, Executive Managing Director, JLL Life Sciences. “But they do a share a major commonality. Each cluster features a highly-educated workforce and ties to the research community, which in turn attracts a steady stream of multi-sourced investment that creates a need for institutional real estate.”

Two key insights were highlighted for Philadelphia:

  1. “In 2019, life sciences firms attracted a record $1.04 billion in venture series investments across 32 separate transactions.
  2. Philadelphia’s extensive pipeline of life sciences talent led by the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University helped the region land over $1.2 billion in NIH funding in 2019.”

The profile provided updates on developments in University City, The Navy Yard, and Greater Philadelphia.  For University City, the report singled out Ventas and Wexford Science & Technology’s development at One uCity Square, and the work by University Place Associates at 3.0 University Place.  Gattuso Development Partners, Norvin Properties, and Ensemble, along with Iovance and WuXi’s development were highlighted in The Navy Yard update.  The Discovery Labs in King of Prussia was featured in the Greater Philadelphia section.

Among the other key life sciences hubs featured in the report are, in order of their ranking from 1-5, the Greater Boston Area, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego Metro Area, Maryland, and Raleigh-Durham Metro Area.  New Jersey is ranked at number 10.

In addition to the profiles of the life sciences hubs, according to JLL, the Outlook provides insight into how current innovation, operations and investment trends – combined with COVID-19-related adaptations – are influencing the life sciences industry and the supporting real estate.  It addressed three emerging trends to consider for the sector:

  1. How do we foster innovation through real estate?
  2. How do we heighten productivity?
  3. How do we adapt to more acute consumer and patient needs?

To read more about the study, view the press release or register to download the full report.

On May 28, Ben Breslau, JLL’s Chief Research Officer of the Americas, was a featured speaker at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s virtual event, “Innovation Talks: Recharging Global Cities.”  During the program, he presented research findings and outlined ways Philadelphia can position itself for growth and expand its global presence in the coming years.  JLL posted a summary on its website on June 17, accessible here.