Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center will provide support for promising life sciences startups

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On Monday, the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) announced it will provide support to more than a dozen life sciences startups in the state.

Part of PABC’s initiative, the Academic Innovation Zone, the organization will provide financial support and free lab space to the startup companies in Doylestown, and at its B+ labs incubator in Philadelphia. Funding comes from $5 million in state money that was part of the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds.

“This is a pilot fund to help recruit academic technologies and newly formed companies to Pennsylvania, and to retain the best biotech inventions that emerge from our universities,” Louis P. Kassa, III, MPA, president and CEO of the PABC, said. “Our goal is to propel, accelerate and support early-stage biotech companies by providing funding, services and lab space.”

Currently, the PABC operates two facilities that house nearly 70 companies, with a waiting list of other life sciences companies interested in locating at one of the facilities. Over the last year, officials with PABC said, the initiative has helped companies relocate to Pennsylvania from New York City, Delaware, Utah and Toronto. Two companies at the Doylestown facility – Aprea Therapeutics, Inc., and Evrys Bio, LLC, are using the funds to expand while the ready for clinical trials.

Last September, PABC Academic Innovation Zone allocated funds to 10 startups – Aprea Therapeutics; Eliska Therapeutics; Evrys Bio; Merlin Biotech, Inc.; Serna Bio; Nucleate Regional Hub; Synergy Therapeutics; Nous Biosciences; Virion Therapeutics; and Young Therapeutics.

The organization said that significant funds have been allocated for new company creation at B+ labs in Philadelphia.