Hervé Hoppenot, CEO of Incyte, speaking in Philadelphia, PA onMay 2019

Incyte Announces Plans to Expand Again

Incyte, a pharmaceutical company based in Wilmington, Delaware, will expand its Augustine Cut-Off headquarters.

Paula Swain, Incyte’s Head of Human Resources of Facilities shared that Incyte has consistently outgrow its buildings since 2014. “We really feel that we do our best work when we are co-located,” Swain said. “We feel it really helps with collaboration.”

Construction will begin sometime in October and is expected to finish in two years. The expansion will add approximately 200,000-square-feet of office and lab space, and a parking garage. The addition will be connected by a bridge to Incyte’s current Wanamaker building.

Inside the new six-story multi-use building and two-story parking garage will be a radiation center, an auto body shop, and a medical plaza with doctor’s offices.

In May, the CEO of Incyte, Hervé Hoppenot, and many other life sciences leaders united at the Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences and Innovation Showcase during the 2019 BIO Convention to speak about the exciting biotech advancements happening here in our region.

Developers

A Promising Future for Developers in Greater Philadelphia

A new bill has caught City Hall’s attention as it is making it faster and less costly to build in Philadelphia. Now developers can pay a $540 fee for their building to be reviewed sooner, reducing the wait time from five to 30 days.

Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez is passing on this legislation in an effort to encourage more real estate development projects, especially affordable housing, to reach completion.

Market-rate developers would pay quadruple the current cost of expedited permit reviews, allowing affordable-housing providers the opportunity to expedite their permits without cost.

“This allows developers to have more predictability,” said Quiñones-Sánchez, “especially when they are financing deals that need to be closed on with a particular construction deadline. It streamlines, allows for predictability, and builds capacity in the Department of Licenses and Inspections.”

If this bill is passes, the Department of Licenses and Inspections would add six plans examiners to keep up with the expected increase of workload.

In the past few years, developers in Greater Philadelphia have experienced a demand for office and lab space as more life sciences companies move to the region. This bill will allow developers to accommodate the needs of life sciences companies at a quicker rate. In all, this bill could have substantial impact on our region’s economy.

The Tri-state Ranked on Workforce, Cost of Doing Business, and More

CNBC recently released its annual America’s Top States for Business rankings, grading all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness in 10 broad categories.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware were all measured on a multitude of factors, including workforce, cost of doing business, quality of life, and more.

Pennsylvania ranked 28th in the nation with many serious strengths, including their strong venture capital funding and bank financing for small and mid-sized businesses. On the education front, Pennsylvania is home to six of the top 25 school districts in the nation.

New Jersey ranked 36th in the nation with one of the best scores in Education. The Garden State has shown to be competitive when it comes to its Access to Capital, Workforce, Quality of Life, and Technology & Innovation.

Delaware ranked 38th in the nation as it stands out with a highly ranked economy and competitiveness and has seen a rise in Quality of Life and Infrastructure since 2018.

While these rankings represent the entire state, the outcomes may not match expectations, reality, or perceptions for our regional neighborhood of northern Delaware, southern New Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania. Earlier last month, Select provided a detailed report on the CNBC rankings, examining each category and the state’s overall scores with key insight into our region.

Local University Advancing U.S. Army Materials

Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ will lead a $14.5 million Department of Defense/Army Research Lab project to improve army modernization and safety.

The “Advancing Structural Materials for Army Modernization Priorities via Direct-Write Approaches” project will involve a team of experts from Rowan University and PPG, and multiple suppliers including Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

The focus of the project is to develop innovative materials with “cold-spray,” a coating typically used to attach powdered metals to surfaces. The modernizing discoveries will potentially create stronger and lighter military equipment.

“This important work will improve our national defense and support our soldiers in the field,” said Congressman Donald Norcross, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “I’m glad Rowan is receiving this research grant and that this invaluable, innovative work is being done right here in South Jersey.”

Researchers expect the equipment that come from this project will be easy to assemble and repair off and onsite.

Earlier this year, Rowan University added two new majors to their curriculum to meet the business community’s needs for skilled technologists. Rowan continues to lead initiatives that will grow tech talent in our region’s innovation economy.

uCity Square Expecting New Lab Space by 2021

By the end of 2019, Wexford Science & Technology will break ground to construct their new One uCity Square building in University City.

The new 13-story, 400,000-square-foot building will be a part of the uCity Square campus that is being developed over the next decade to become a life sciences hub. Similar to the original uCity building, One uCity Square will have a mix of lab and office space for life sciences companies to rent out.

Prices might be “based on each tenant and their needs,” said Paul Garvey from Cushman & Wakfield who will oversee leasing. “Because the building is being built to accommodate lab uses — a robust infrastructure — our rental rates can range significantly not only because of the typical reasons, credit, term, and location in the building but also because of use.”

This past March, the biopharmaceutical company, Amicus Therapeutics, launched their new Global Research and Gene Therapy Center in uCity Square. Amicus is one of the many cell and gene therapy companies that operate out of University City, an epicenter for life sciences research.

The University of Pennsylvania Opening Opioid-Use Research Center

Penn Medicine received a five-year $8.9 million grant by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to create a center dedicated towards studying opioid-use disorders.

The new Penn PET Addiction Center of Excellence will involve researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University’s PET Center and be the first of its kind to use “positron emission tomography imagining to investigate the neurobiology of people suffering from opioid-use disorders,” according to Penn Medicine.

Researchers are hopeful that this project will result in new interventions to treat opioid-use disorders.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also renewed their five-year contract with the University of Pennsylvania’s gene therapy program for $13 million earlier this year to support gene-therapy research advancement. The University of Pennsylvania is a testament to the world-class research conducted here in Greater Philadelphia.

New Amtrak Train Launching in 2021

Amtrak will introduce their new Acela Express train in 2021 throughout the Northeast Corridor.

The trains were developed by the technology company, Alstom, which has a facility in New Castle, Delaware. One of the only prototypes of the Acela is in Delaware.

The Acela will travel from Boston, MA to Washington, D.C. multiple times a day with many perks for riders, including being able to reach their destination faster while also having a quieter and more comfortable experience.

Each train can accommodate 386 passengers a day, making it more efficient than any other Amtrak train. Travelers can expect onboard WiFi, USB ports, electrical outlets, and more.

It was just two years ago when Amtrak revealed their new design for 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, PA. The renovations have improved riders’ experience while traveling to and from Greater Philadelphia.

Local Medical Tech Company Receives National Recognition

Fortune Magazine named BioTelemetry, Inc., a medical technology company in Malvern, PA, one of the fastest-growing companies in 2019.

“Being recognized on Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list is a testament to the incredible work we are doing to deliver our life-saving technology and help improve quality of care,” said Joseph H. Capper, President and Chief Executive Officer of BioTelemetry, in a press release.

BioTelemetry is a leader in the mobile and wireless medical technology industry, ranking on the Fastest-Growing Companies for 2019 list at number 31 due to its consistent rise in revenue, profits, and stock returns.

“Our continued growth reflects our focus, commitment, and passion for the important work we do each day,” said Capper.

As of late June, BioTelemetry generated $409 million in revenue in their last four quarters and has a market value of $1.6 billion.

In 2018, BioTelemetry partnered with Apple Watch to develop an app that will detect irregular heart rhythms. Since then, it has continued to grow and become a leader in the medical technology industry.

The University of the Sciences Launches Cannabis-Focused MBA Program

The University of the Sciences graduate students will be able to receive a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a specialization in the cannabis industry starting this fall.

While there are other universities in the country that offer courses on marijuana, this program will be the first-of-its-kind to focus on the commerce of cannabis, hemp, and dispensary operations.

“We’ve seen rapid growth in an industry that needs business leaders,” said Andrew Peterson, executive director of the University of the Sciences Substance Use Disorders Institute. “Our MBA is concentrated on the pharmaceutical and health care industries, where medical cannabis fits very nicely.”

Four online courses will be available as a part of their Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business Curriculum, including:

  • Introduction to the Medical Cannabis Industry
  • Finance and Regulation of the Cannabis Industry
  • Cannabis Marketing and Sales
  • A team project that may involve writing a business plan or launching a product and require student visits to the University of the Sciences West Philadelphia campus.

The university plans to collaborate with Franklin Biosciences, a large Denver-based grower that also owns Beyond/Hello dispensaries in Pennsylvania. This partnership will develop a cannabis education program for health professionals, including pharmacists, physicians, and students.

A few years ago, Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ expanded their programing and opened a new $63.2 million business school to attract the next generation of problem-solvers. As our region’s universities and colleges grow, they will continue to drive the economic activity throughout Greater Philadelphia.

Two Greater Philadelphia Companies Favored by Millennials

Two Greater Philadelphia companies were ranked on Fortune and Great Place to Work’s list of the “Best Large Workplaces for Millennials 2019.”

To be considered, companies must have more than 50 millennial employees who were asked to respond to 60 survey questions.

Comcast NBCUniversal, the Philadelphia-based global media and technology company, ranked 16 spots higher than last year at number 56 as respondents shared how the company treats employees with care. One participant said, “Leadership legitimately cares about their team members, and the company understands that nurturing the strengths of its employees to progress them to positions they can excel in is not only a benefit to the workers, but the company as a whole.”

Chester-based Power Home Remodeling was rated 7 out of the 75 national companies considering 92% of Power Home Remodeling’s employees are millennials. Employees told Great Place to Work, “You are given the space and resources to make your own decisions. I love having the freedom and trust to make important decisions. It has helped me grow exponentially professionally.”

This past month, Comcast NBCUniversal was ranked 6th on the Top 50 Companies for Diversity. Companies throughout Greater Philadelphia continue to focus on workforce development and retaining talent in our region.