During June 3-6, the 2019 BIO International Convention attracted 19,000 biotech professionals and companies throughout the world to Philadelphia. Jeff Marrazzo of Spark Therapeutics shared what to expect at the BIO Convention and from the region, which he referred to as “a hotbed for gene and cell therapy innovation” in a Philadelphia Business Journal article.
On Monday night, the enthusiasm continued as a number of regional life science industry leaders and potential prospecting companies united at the Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences and Innovation Showcase to speak about the biotech advancements happening here in our region—“an epicenter of cell and gene therapy,” said guest speaker, Vai Sikahema, Sports Director & Anchor of NBC Philadelphia.
Dan Hilferty, CEO of Independence Health Group, shared his enthusiasm as a Philadelphia native, as a major participant in the growth of cell and gene therapy in our region, and as a leader of Greater Philadelphia’s largest health insurer. “This is a sales pitch. We want you here in Philadelphia. We are on a mission to make sure you pick Philadelphia.”
Carl June of the University of Pennsylvania, Hervé Hoppenot, CEO of Incyte in Wilmington, Bradley Campbell, COO of Amicus Therapeutics, Maria Fardis, CEO of Iovance Biotherapeutics, and Jeff Marrazzo, Cofounder and CEO of Spark Therapeutics also shared their experiences working in our region.
Campbell said, “We could have gone to Silicon Valley, or Cambridge, or anywhere in the world,” Instead, he said it was the spark, innovation, entrepreneurship, and universities that attracted the company to expand to Philadelphia.
Earlier this year, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. relocated from Connecticut to Blue Bell, PA due to our regions biotech development and commercialization talent. These stories are common among the many leading companies in the life sciences that call Greater Philadelphia home.