Innovative Groundwork Laid for PA’s Biotech Businesses

AllPure’s TakeOne(R) device, installed on a stainless steel bioreactor at a drug manufacturing facility, is used to withdraw a sterile sample from the vessel for quality control testing.

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, January 14, 2016.

By Kaycee Kemper

One of the most exciting things about Pennsylvania’s economic development field is its incredible diversity of industries served. Currently, one of the most innovative and growing sectors is the biotech industry. Also referred to as the life sciences, this field includes therapeutic, medical technology, digital health, and diagnostic companies along with incubators, investors, research institutions and organizations, plus life sciences consultants.

First, a quick snapshot of the biotech industry: Pennsylvania employs more than 78,000 people within this sector, ranks fifth in the nation for life science-related patents, and receives the fourth largest amount of National Institutes of Health funding in the nation at $1.44 billion.

Recently, 10 organizations across Pennsylvania teamed up to launch the interactive Life Sciences Ecosystem Map. It’s the first-of-its-kind database within the Commonwealth, designed to collect, document and showcase Pennsylvania’s thriving life sciences industry.

Two area companies have registered with the map, found at palifesciences.com: Porce-A-Dent Laboratory in Hanover and AllPure Technologies in New Oxford. I want to take a moment to trumpet the success story of AllPure, who came to ACEDC in September of 2009 as a startup biotech company in their infancy. We helped facilitate a Small Business First loan for their launch, and through this state funding, they took advantage of low-interest, fixed-rate financing (still available today through a different funding stream via Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority).

AllPure, which manufactures innovative products for biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical drug developers and manufacturers, is not only still in business today, but is thriving. A major UK-based conglomerate, Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group, acquired AllPure in a multi-million dollar acquisition recently.

So back to the Life Sciences Ecosystem Map. Thanks to the interactive design of the map, state officials are encouraging additional companies to submit their information directly on the map’s website, to pinpoint their locations such as AllPure in New Oxford. According to national statistics, there are 148 businesses employing 799 people in Adams County, classified as providing professional scientific or technical services, that could potentially register on the map.

“The map will be immediately valuable to anyone interested in locating their biotech business here in Pennsylvania, anyone looking for research facilities and services, and any company looking for partnerships or assistance as they grow,” according to Barbara Schilberg, CEO of BioAdvance, operator of the Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

BioAdvance provided funding for the project, which involved months of compiling and refining data to place on the interactive map. Schilberg says the plans are to continue to expand the tool and use it to help tell the stories of advancements in human health taking place on a daily basis in the state. Christopher P. Molineaux, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Bio, says the map “shows the diversity, complexity and opportunity” of the life sciences across the commonwealth, which he noted has a “proud tradition” of being a leader in the industry.

“As we position Pennsylvania as the hub of the life sciences in the United states, our first step is building a new awareness of our incredible community and its talents,” Molineaux states.

If you’re on Twitter, search #BioinPA for the latest news and chatter.

The biotech industry is one of nine key industries that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) believes is poised for growth, along with energy, technology, advanced manufacturing and materials, agribusiness, tourism, film, aviation, and plastics. Check the NewPA website, newpa.com, for additional facts and information on Pennsylvania’s leading industries.

Contact ACEDC today, 717-334-0042, and we’d be happy to help your company make connections within the life sciences—or any other thriving area—of Pennsylvania’s diverse industries!

Kaycee Kemper, Vice President of ACEDC, can be reached at 717-334-0042. ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County. See acedc.org for more info.

 

 

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