Philadelphia Real Estate Round-Up 2021
In 2021, Philadelphia’s Cellicon Valley continued to prove why it’s an up-and-coming life sciences and biotech cluster. Current reports state the city received $1.23 billion in National Institute of Health (NIH) funding in 2021.
But the challenge is meeting the demand that’s been created by a perfect storm: from FDA fast-tracked approvals, to increased capital to the cell and gene therapy space, to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Audrey Greenberg, Co-founder of the Center for Breakthrough Medicines.
CDMOs are filling some of those available spaces. One of the most successful in Philadelphia is the Center for Breakthrough Medicines, which operates out of Discovery Labs. Currently occupying 100,000 square feet, they are quickly expanding in the near future.
“CBM will have a total footprint at the Discovery Labs site of over 700,000 square feet, which is one of the largest single-site, cell and gene therapy manufacturing CDMOs in the world,” Greenberg said. “It’s really exciting for Philly to have that recognition.”
Greenberg shared that the company is building out GMP manufacturing space which will include viral vector, cell processing, and plasmid DNA production. The space will also support process development, analytical development, and testing, in addition to lab and warehouse space.
“We have a full end-to-end offering when it comes to cell and gene therapy outsource development and manufacturing which is really unique,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg added that there’s a huge demand for GMP manufacturing space in Philly, especially for small batches of therapeutics that will be used for clinical testing. Many CDMOs in the past have not been able to handle that small-scale capacity, but the Center for Breakthrough Medicines is built to take on the task as well as large scale commercial production.
Penn Medicine gene therapy lab inks deal with Center for Breakthrough Medicines in KOP
“University of Pennsylvania professor James Wilson signed a five-year renewable deal on behalf of his gene therapy laboratory to license its manufacturing process to the Center for Breakthrough Medicines, based in King of Prussia.
The center, in turn, has the exclusive right to make the Penn gene therapy lab’s manufacturing and analytics process available to other biotechnology and drug companies.”
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines and the University of Pennsylvania Partner in the Manufacturing of Gene Therapies
— Penn’s Innovation in Process Science Combines with CBM Manufacturing Capability to Develop Large-Scale Gene Therapy Manufacturing Capacity, Testing, and Analytics —
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Jan. 18, 2022 – The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Therapy Program (GTP) have signed a landmark collaboration agreement, to combine Penn’s knowledge and expertise in the development of gene therapies with CBM’s manufacturing capacity and singular focus on advanced therapies.
This partnership is focused on moving therapeutics safely and rapidly from concept to clinic by connecting certain of Penn’s established gene therapy platforms with CBM’s manufacturing and analytical capacity. This combination will allow small biotech firms, universities, and large pharmaceutical companies to advance gene therapies from discovery to First-In-Human (FIH) studies with the potential for less risk and expense. By utilizing Penn’s gene therapy expertise, which has already been applied to numerous commercially sponsored clinical programs and avoiding the typical capital-intensive infrastructure builds associated with gene therapy manufacturing, gene therapy developers will be able to enter the field sooner and with less risk with confidence that this platform is scalable for later clinical stages and commercialization.
Under the renewable five-year deal, CBM will be the only for-profit contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with commercial rights to certain of GTP’s gene therapy manufacturing platform, advanced analytics, and any future process or analytical improvements achieved through its collaboration with GTP.
“This agreement represents a giant leap forward for the Center for Breakthrough Medicines and its mission to accelerate the development and manufacturing of life-saving gene therapies,” said Audrey Greenberg, Co-founder, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “This partnership with the GTP at Penn enables our clients the potential to advance to Investigational New Drugs with a high-quality process, materials and analytical methods.”
Gene therapies hold promise to treat and cure both rare and non-rare hematological, ophthalmic, musculoskeletal and neurologic diseases such as hemophilia, choroideremia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease, as well as oncology solid and non-solid tumor diseases. CBM is committed to successfully scaling up viral vectors to commercial scale and producing consistent personalized products for any patient population.
“Our mission at the Penn Gene Therapy Program is to discover, translate and greatly accelerate the development of next-generation gene transfer vectors and their application in the treatment of a variety of acquired and inherited diseases,” said James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Director, Gene Therapy Program; Rose H. Weiss Professor and Director, Orphan Disease Center; and Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “This partnership is ideal in furthering that mission.”
As part of the partnership Penn will receive access to a best-in-class, state-of-the art GMP manufacturing partner with 700,000 planned square footage capacity plus a Sponsored Research Agreement to continue advancing the field of gene therapies. A primary goal of the partnership is to decrease the development costs, timelines and manufacturing Costs of Goods Sold (COGS), thus increasing the accessibility of life-changing treatments to patients.
“Our collaboration with the GTP at Penn will allow CBM the ability to offer accelerated gene therapy manufacturing services under one roof regardless of where a program is in its development timeline,” said Joerg Ahlgrimm, President and CEO, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “With this access to GTP’s gene therapy production expertise, CBM becomes an appealing manufacturing partner with a differentiated offering. We will offer the best of an academic vector core (speed to clinic) and commercial CDMO (commercially viable process) combined.”
This deal comes on the heels of Penn GTP’s expansion to the Discovery Labs’ campus, located in the same facility as CBM, which creates a further synergized collaboration between the two organizations.
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) is a horizontally integrated cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) enabling advanced therapy development and commercialization. CBM seeks to accelerate the time to market and affordability of advanced therapies from discovery to commercialization with single source, end-to-end solutions. The ability to host pre-clinical translational research and process development and scale from bench to bedside in one place offers the opportunity for incubators, academics, researchers, and companies small to large to align with the most comprehensive manufacturing partner in the industry.
Financial disclosure: Dr. Wilson is a scientific collaborator and the Chief Scientific Advisor to The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM). Under this agreement, his laboratory at Penn will receive sponsored research funding from CBM and, as an inventor of certain technologies to be licensed to CBM, he may receive additional future financial benefits under licenses granted by Penn to CBM. The University of Pennsylvania also holds equity and licensing interests in CBM and may receive additional future financial benefits as a result of such interests.
John F. Kouten, DeFazio Communications
(o) 609-241-7352 (c) 908-227-4714
SK Inc., the Second Largest Conglomerate in South Korea, has invested $350 million in the Center for Breakthrough Medicines
We chose to partner with SK based on our shared deep desire to cure cancer and eradicate genetic disease”
-Brian O’Neill, Chairman, Center for Breakthrough Medicines
For Immediate Release
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines and SK Inc. are partnering to Hire 2,000 Advanced Therapy Experts and build the largest manufacturer of cell and gene therapies in the world
King of Prussia, PA, (January 10, 2022) – The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) announced today that it has received $350 million in equity financing from SK Inc. (KRX: 034730) (SK). CBM is partnering with SK to create the world’s largest end-to-end cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).
CBM will leverage this investment to enhance its fully integrated pre-clinical through commercial manufacturing capabilities with world class automation and infrastructure. Existing and future capabilities include process development, viral vector manufacturing, cell processing, plasmid DNA, cell banking, and a full suite of complimentary analytical development and testing capabilities.
“We chose to partner with SK based on our shared deep desire to cure cancer and eradicate genetic disease,” said Brian O’Neill, Chairman, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “Thousands of people are dying every day, and we have the ability to cure patients by manufacturing these new technologies. This unprecedented collaboration will allow us to bring over 700,000 square feet of capacity online, and hire 2,000 of the world’s most brilliant, advanced therapy experts, all at the Discovery Labs site in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.”
“SK is the perfect strategic partner to enable CBM’s core mission of expediting approval for cell and gene therapies,” said Audrey Greenberg, Co-Founder, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “SK’s mission of delivering value and happiness for all, their emphasis on a culture of safety and quality, and their global reach creates an ideal match for CBM allowing us to scale and deliver in an unprecedented manner.”
In addition to supporting lab and GMP suite build-out, this investment will also enable strategic joint ventures, sponsored research agreements, and development of proprietary technology platforms.
“People of all ages are suffering from cancer and genetic diseases around the world. Our partnership with SK accelerates our ability to bring together the world’s most brilliant minds to develop and manufacture cures,” said Joerg Ahlgrimm, President and CEO, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “The partnership with SK, Inc. allows us to more fully realize our mission to save lives by accelerating the development and manufacturing of advanced therapies. This mission is the foundation of our company culture – we always put our partners and patients first, it is the premise of CBM and why we come to work every day.”
“CBM’s strong management team and geographic location in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the cell & gene therapy industry, were core elements in our desire to invest in the company,” said Mr. Dong Hoon Lee, Executive Vice President of SK Inc., “Through our investment in CBM, which was made through SK Pharmteco, an SK holding company, we have secured a crucial foundation for realizing SK pharmteco’s vison in 2025 to become a global top-tier CDMO.”
Incentrum Group acted as exclusive financial advisor on the transaction.
About The Center for Breakthrough Medicines
CBM is a horizontally integrated cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). CBM offers fully integrated, bench to bedside, pre-clinical through commercial manufacturing capabilities including, process development, plasmid DNA, viral vector manufacturing, cell banking, cell processing, and a full suite of complimentary testing and analytic capabilities. CBM’s innovative horizontal integration enables the utmost quality and accelerates time to market and affordability of advanced therapies from discovery to commercialization without compromising quality through a single-source, end-to-end solution, providing the opportunity for incubators, academics, researchers, and companies small to large to align with the most comprehensive manufacturing partner in the industry.
About SK Inc. & SK Pharmteco
SK Inc. is a diversified, publicly-traded (KRX: 034730), investment holding company for SK Group, a leading conglomerate in Seoul, South Korea with major operating companies in energy, semiconductors, telecommunications and life sciences, with significant investments in BioPharma cell and gene therapies. SK pharmteco, a holding company of SK CDMO business based in California, consolidates the operations of AMPAC Fine Chemicals, SK biotek, SK bioteck Ireland, and Yposkesi. The company has global manufacturing facilities with demonstrated capabilities in process development, scale-up, and cGMP-compliant commercial production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and registered intermediates for pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers worldwide.
John F. Kouten, DeFazio Communications
(o) 609-241-7352 (c) 908-227-4714
Joerg Ahlgrimm Joins Money Matters TV Show #22-02
Attracting top talent in the vibrant Philadelphia region, providing a safe and enjoyable company culture, and plans for further expansion and growth are a few of the topics Center for Breakthrough Medicines President and CEO Joerg Ahlgrimm discussed on Money Matters TV. “We are focused on providing the technology, processes, systems and capacity necessary to enable our clients to advance their therapies to the market safely and faster,” he reported. Hosted by CBM Co-Founder Audrey Greenberg and Brandywine Asset Management Founder & CEO Michael Dever.