The following passage, written by Claire Greenwood, Executive Director, CEO Council for Growth, was originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on March 17, 2021 as part of the Editorial & Opinion section.
One of the fastest-growing industries in Greater Philadelphia is cell and gene therapy. Today, 36 cell and gene therapy R&D companies call the region home. They, along with supporting product and service providers, research institutions, and academic medical centers, are sources of sought-after jobs and significant economic contributors. In 2020, six sector investment deals amounted to nearly $4.4 billion. That robust investment drives real estate projects to meet specialized needs. Job growth to support the industry brings opportunities for high school graduates to doctorates. But long-term success is not guaranteed. To grow the cell and gene therapy ecosystem, we need to prioritize generating increased awareness of the region’s assets for this field; continuing to develop critical infrastructure, such as lab space; and building capacity to meet workforce needs and ensure an inclusive and local talent pipeline. Investing in these activities has the power to transform lives and our local economy.