Penn’s Gene Therapy Program substantially expanded its life science research capacity after signing a foundational lease with Discovery Labs, a company that leases biopharma space for life science research, on May 25.
For nearly three decades, GTP has made a name for itself in the scientific community by developing novel vector technologies for gene therapy. GTP is also affiliated with the Orphan Disease Center, which uses translational research to develop therapies for rare diseases. Through their multi-year deal with Discovery Labs, GTP has become an anchor tenant in their recently-erected one-million-square-foot campus in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Director of GTP James M. Wilson championed the effort to collaborate with Discovery Labs.
"With additional state-of-the-art equipment and increased operational capabilities, we are well-positioned to enhance the design and execution of our innovative, transformative therapies," Wilson told Penn Medicine News.
Gaining access to more than 150,000 square feet of lab space spanning two buildings allows GTP to reinforce its existing projects.
Amongst these is Penn Vector Core, a program that produces viral vectors for researchers across the United States. The program has been granted two floors of the facility to expand its operation, according to Penn Medicine News. Potential developments include enhanced viral-vector production as well as increased support for Investigational New Drug research and pre-clinical trial studies.
The partnership between GTP and Discovery Labs underscores Philadelphia’s burgeoning presence in gene therapy research. GTP joins numerous other biotechnology companies in Discovery Labs’ biotech innovation campus, including GlaxoSmithKline, WuXi Biologics, and the Center for Breakthrough Medicines.
Founder and Chairman of Discovery Labs Brian O’Neill praised Wilson and the rest of GTP for leading Philadelphia’s charge in genetic medicine research.
"To welcome Penn's Gene Therapy Program as the anchor tenant for our planned life sciences cluster here in King of Prussia is strong validation for the incredible life science ecosystem that is emerging in Greater Philadelphia," O’Neill told Penn Medicine News.