The life sciences sector in Greater Philadelphia benefited from robust investment in 2021. The 11-county area of Southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Delaware and southern New Jersey combined saw more than $12 billion invested, according to biopharma database company DealForma. The $12 billion tally included more than $3 billion for cell and gene therapy. Investment deals ranged from Series A rounds through IPOs. Among the technologies funded were biologics, cell and gene therapy, small molecules, as well as medical device and digital health, including artificial intelligence.

Reflected in the DealForma data were eight IPOs with a combined value of more than $750 million. Among them were Century Therapeutics, Context Therapeutics, Ibere Pharmaceuticals, Locust Walk Acquisition Corp., and Vallon Pharmaceuticals in Philadelphia, as well as NEXGEL, Inc. in Langhorne, Pa., and Virpax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Berwyn, Pa.

“This funding news is an example of the great momentum behind the region’s life sciences industry, and the fact that 25% of those dollars have been directed toward cell and gene therapy companies underscores the incredible promise of this subsector,” said Claire Marrazzo Greenwood, senior vice president of Economic Competitiveness for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and executive director of its CEO Council for Growth.

Awareness of the numerous cell and gene therapy assets in the region has grown, and continues to expand, in large part because of the work of the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative, a multi-year project of the CEO Council for Growth and 11 partner organizations. These include AmerisourceBergen, Aramark, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, ChristianaCare, Comcast, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Health, Macquarie Group, Penn Medicine, and University of Pennsylvania.

In 2022, the Initiative will continue its focus on gaining critical, long-term competitive advantage through shared storytelling, marketing, attraction, and expansion efforts as well as growing the list of investors – both public and private – putting capital to work in the Greater Philadelphia region.

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