Co-founder of The Discovery Labs.
A hub for the life sciences, our region has become known as “Cellicon Valley.” It’s the reason Audrey Greenberg and her partners chose King of Prussia as the site for the Discovery Labs. Its two sprawling complexes totaling over 1.6 million square feet provide biotech startups ample space to effectively ideate, develop and manufacture cutting-edge cell and gene therapies.
Coming from a family of doctors, Greenberg has always had an appreciation for scientific ingenuity, having learned about some of the region’s medical innovations as an MBA student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “I became increasingly drawn to starting a business that contributed to the greater social good,” she says.
Researchers do groundbreaking work, only to struggle through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s arduous approval process. “It’s challenging to make a manufacturing process that’s scalable,” says the Bryn Mawr resident. “All of these therapies are developed in a lab, and they’re precision medicine. They’re personalized.”
That’s where the Discovery Labs comes in. Greenberg says the idea is to “streamline the path to approval,” supporting manufacturing, funding, and acquiring the right equipment, processes and people. Ultimately, that leads to more affordable treatments for patients. “Companies are able to utilize their capital for innovation rather than infrastructure and manufacturing,” says Greenberg.
The Discovery Labs offers this “end-to-end solution” though the Center for Breakthrough Medicines, a contract-based manufacturing organization that’s currently the largest of its kind. By licensing technology to biotech startups, researchers can better work toward cures. And through its forthcoming Unite IQ incubator, the Discovery Labs will foster startups in cell and gene therapy. It will further nurture talent through the Science University of Experiential Learning, which will include undergraduate and doctoral students. High school is also a focus, with the Discovery Labs hoping to offer STEM opportunities to inner-city students.
And in the wake of the pandemic, the Discovery Labs is working on large-scale COVID-19 testing. “It’s about saving lives and not breaking the bank to do that,” Greenberg says.
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