Select Greater Philadelphia partnered with two leading trade publications this month – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) and Fierce Biotech – to share news about Greater Philadelphia’s life sciences ecosystem and talent pool. The GEN article, published in the December 2022 issue, features testimonials from Integral Molecular, Iovance Biotherapeutics, Spark Therapeutics, and The Wistar Institute. The Fierce Biotech whitepaper, released on December 12, 2022, focuses on scaling life sciences operations. These two sponsored profiles share the region’s life sciences story with a global audience.

The GEN content, “Hiring Smarter in Greater Philadelphia,” spotlights training programs underway in the region to meet talent needs. Among them is the new, award-winning Biomedical Technician Training Program: Aseptic Manufacturing developed in partnership with The Wistar Institute, Iovance Biotherapeutics, and the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, as well as other collaborators. The 22-week paid class and lab-based training program concludes with an externship at Iovance. Read more here.

Another initiative described in the GEN article is Spark Therapeutics’ Early in Career Program for graduates, which launched earlier this year. Fourteen students, with degrees including BS, MS, Ph.D., and JD, from Philadelphia universities, including Drexel, Temple, and the University of Pennsylvania, were hired from the program, according to Jamie Schmid, Head of Talent Acquisition at Spark Therapeutics.

Sharon Willis, Ph.D., Co-founder and VP of Sales and Customer Relations at Integral Molecular, credits internships and apprenticeships, such as those described in the article, with providing leadership opportunities. “Internships and apprenticeships have had a positive impact on our own employee community,” she is quoted as saying in the article. “It’s often a way of giving some of our junior staff opportunities to lead in a way that’s rewarding and helps with their own personal growth.”

You can read the full article here.

The Fierce Biotech whitepaper, “Scaling life sciences operations: Getting it right,” is another helpful resource for the industry. Utilizing input from leaders in Greater Philadelphia’s life sciences ecosystem, it outlines five primary considerations for successful expansion and features two regional case studies – Iovance Biotherapeutics and Idorsia Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc.

The considerations for success, as described by Igor Bilinsky, Ph.D., COO, Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., are the availability and cost of area real estate, the local manufacturing talent pool, logistics and delivery (proximity to key markets and airports), proximity to key collaborators (laboratories and contract manufacturers), and tax advantages of expanding in a particular location. Dr. Bilinsky and the Iovance team focused on these considerations when evaluating locations for a new 136,000-square-foot cell therapy manufacturing site for the San Diego-based company. You can read Iovance’s expansion story, with details about the selection of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in the whitepaper.

Patricia Torr, President and General Manager, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc., shares details of the Switzerland-based company’s U.S. expansion with the establishment of Idorsia’s U.S. commercial headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia. As described in the Idorsia case study, the company was seeking easy access to a city and international airport, a strong talent pool, and a welcoming space to accommodate growth. Torr managed COVID-19 restrictions and new and evolving workplace requirements during the process.

You can read the full whitepaper featuring the case studies here.

“Storytelling has been at the heart of our multi-year Cell and Gene Therapy Initiative, and through our partnerships with GEN and Fierce Biotech, we are increasing awareness of Greater Philadelphia’s cell and gene hub and leading life sciences ecosystem,” said Claire Marrazzo Greenwood, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Economic Competitiveness for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “By sharing our story in these profile pieces, we are educating key decision-makers about our region’s attributes and working to generate interest from companies looking to locate or expand in Greater Philadelphia. We are also connecting those decision-makers with peers who are sharing their experiences and can serve as a resource.”

Earlier this year, the Chamber partnered with Site Selection magazine on an investment profile titled “Philadelphia is Leading a Biotech Revolution.” The May 2022 article featured interviews with John Fry, President, Drexel University; Sumit Verma, Senior VP of Commercial Manufacturing, Iovance Biotherapeutics; and Mahen Gundecha, Chief Business Officer, Exegenesis Bio, and detailed the region’s pioneering role in cell and gene therapy, the growing roster of cell and gene therapy companies located here, and plans for future developments. 

You can read the full article here.

Select Greater Philadelphia encourages you to share these profiles with your contacts and on your social media channels.