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State to invest $5 million in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center


State legislators joined the CEOs of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) and Brandywine Realty Trust Thursday, to announce that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is making a $5 million investment in the PABC’s new Academic Innovation Zone program.

Ranked as one of the nation’s most successful life sciences incubators, the PABC operates two facilities. The headquarters and original location is in Doylestown, and B+labs at Cira Center is in Philadelphia. B+labs is run by the PABC in partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust.

The PABC’s Academic Innovation Zone initiative will directly support early stage companies and academic technologies in the life sciences at both its Doylestown and Philadelphia incubators. More than 100 companies, mostly small to mid-size science, research and pharmaceutical entities, are PABC member companies. Nearly 50 have operations in the Doylestown facility and 15 are located in B+labs.

“This sizable grant not only will allow us to expand our services to help promising companies grow, it is a significant statement from some of the state’s top elected officials about their confidence in the PABC,” Louis P. Kassa III, president and CEO of the PABC said. “The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center has produced several thousand new jobs and generated more than $10 billion dollars in economic impact over the past 16 years, and the Academic Innovation Zone will greatly enhance and accelerate our efforts.”

Kassa said credit for this foresighted investment goes to state Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero of Bucks County and Rep. Matt Bradford of Montgomery County.

The Academic Innovation Zone program will offer turnkey laboratory and business services, available for rapid use by entrepreneurs or newly formed companies with promising ideas but limited resources.

The AIZ plan intends to accelerate early stage companies and technologies through the PABC’s highly successful model. The goals are both scientific advancements and economic development.