7. Greater Philadelphia
The “City of Brotherly Love” and its suburbs emphasize their concentration of companies and institutions focused on cell and gene therapy (CGT), with good reason. As of 2020, Greater Philadelphia was home to 36 CGT companies, pioneering researchers, and a CGT workforce of approximately 4,900 that could grow by up to 11,274 in 10 years, according to a report by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s regional CEO Council for Growth, the University City Science Center, and University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative.
CGT growth helps explain why the region has > 1 million square feet of new lab space under construction. In Philadelphia, Brandywine Realty Trust is building the 14-acre, $3.5 billion Schuylkill Yards campus across from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. Also in Philly is One uCity Square, a $280 million, 400,000-square-foot 13-story lab-office building being developed by Wexford Science & Technology with University City Science Center and Ventas—one of four projects totaling 1.35 million square feet and $750 million taking shape at uCity Square.
In King of Prussia, PA, a former GlaxoSmithKline R&D site and adjacent parcels have been transformed into The Discovery Labs, whose three components comprise a “one-stop shop” for CGT development. MRA Group is bringing the 600,000-square-foot Spring House Innovation Park to life in Lower Gwynedd Township, while in Doylestown, PA, the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center is constructing a $19 million, 15,000-square-foot lab building.
Greater Philadelphia ranks highest in both lab space (fifth with 23.37 million square feet, according to Colliers) and VC (tied for fifth with Seattle at about $2.9 billion, according to Dealforma—with $1.6 billion going to CGT companies, says Select Greater Philadelphia Council, a regional business attraction organization). The region places sixth in patents (5,148), and eighth in both NIH funding (2,991 awards totaling $1.48 billion), and jobs (69,565 according to JLL and Select Greater Philadelphia).