The Greater Philadelphia region has always been a hub for the life sciences. This hub was established hundreds of years ago with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 1765, it stood as the first and only medical school in the original 13 colonies of our country. In Surgeon Hall on Fifth and Walnut streets, the young and curious minds of some of the first American-taught doctors sat in on lectures, learning about the human anatomy.
Philadelphia is still making great strides in life sciences over three hundred years later with an ever-growing healthcare sector. Today, over eighty percent of U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech companies have a presence in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Northeast corridor.
The Greater Philadelphia region is positioned to be a leader of the next stage of disruption in healthcare as a result of its top biomedical programs, world-renowned research institutions and a healthy ecosystem of investment activity and enterprises of all sizes. There are over 1,200 life science establishments, seven medical schools, $1 billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, $6.3 billion in investment in regional companies, and 48,900 direct life sciences jobs in the 11-county region.
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The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s Health Care Action Team is working to leverage our region’s healthcare assets and transform our 11-county community into the global leader in healthcare innovation. The Action Team consists of industry leaders in Greater Philadelphia who are working together to power exponential transformations in healthcare, leveraging billions of dollars in financial and human resources to propel promising concepts in healthcare innovation to market.
We also advocate in Washington, D.C., on behalf of our members to help facilitate business growth. Recently, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act to help expedite commercialization of medical technologies being developed both within Greater Philadelphia and nationwide. This bill contains User Fee Agreements (UFAs) that establishes user fees to pay for regulatory review of medical devices and new therapeutics. This bodes well for companies in our region such as Adapt Pharma Inc., Novo Nordisk, Morphotek, Inc., Pfizer and Vision Care, all of which are developing novel medical technologies and therapeutics for the health care market.
To learn more about how the Greater Philadelphia region is working to accelerate healthcare innovation, please visit news.chamberphl.com/health-care-action-team.
Rob Wonderling is president and CEO the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.