NIH Renews $13 Million Partnership with Penn

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has renewed a five-year contract with the University of Pennsylvania’s gene therapy program for $13 million to support gene-therapy research advancement.

The contract was presented by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which operates as the Gene Therapy Program Preclinical Vector Core in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn.

Funding will continue to maintain the Core’s preclinical vector production, analytics, and services that are used in permitted scientific investigators from Penn and other institutions.

Director of Penn’s Orphan Disease Center, Dr. James M. Wilson, expressed his enthusiasm for the contract renewal because this partnership will provide the support needed to continue to conduct clinical trials.

“The field of gene therapy is finally hitting its stride, and this is exactly the time for the NIH to be providing a robust infrastructure to promote the rapid acceleration of discoveries into clinical trials,” Wilson said.

Greater Philadelphia’s life sciences sector has seen an abundance of medical breakthroughs in recent years.  In 2017, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia held the world record for the fastest time to analyze 1,000 genomes at just under two and a half hours.