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Spark to Invest $575 Million in State-of-the-Art Gene Therapy Innovation Center on Drexel’s University City Campus

December 17, 2021

Spark Therapeutics, a member of the Roche Group, said it will invest an initial $575 million in the creation of a new, state-of-the-art gene therapy innovation center on Drexel University’s campus in the heart of Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood.

Photo: Jeff Marrazzo, CEO and co-founder of Spark Therapeutics

In addition to Spark’s physical expansion, the announcement marks the beginning of a long-term partnership with Drexel University and is part of Spark’s larger commitment to sparking positive change in the Philadelphia community.

Through a 99-year ground lease of Drexel University’s F Lot, the new center will be located at the intersection of 30th and Chestnut Streets and will create opportunities for collaboration with Drexel University and Philadelphia’s booming life sciences community. Terms of the ground lease, including financial terms, were not disclosed.

“Through this significant investment and plans to more than double our physical footprint, we’re poised for continued growth as we seek to develop the next generation of genetic medicines as a member of the Roche Group,” said Jeff Marrazzo, CEO and co-founder of Spark Therapeutics.

As part of Spark’s now projected 1 million-square-foot campus in Philadelphia, the anticipated 500,000-square-foot, multi-story building will bring hundreds of the greatest minds in gene therapy together under one roof to drive science forward, challenge the inevitability of genetic disease, and serve as a Roche global center of excellence for gene therapy manufacturing. Roche, which is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, will add Philadelphia to its list of worldwide product development sites.

“This partnership will generate unparalleled opportunities for our students and faculty to participate in groundbreaking research and to help create and sustain the workforce that will make West Philadelphia a leader in the life sciences revolution,” said John Fry, president, Drexel University.

Construction of Spark’s new gene therapy innovation center is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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