Spark Therapeutics, a late-stage company developing gene-based medicines for a wide range of debilitating diseases, plans to open its permanent headquarters in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Spark, which was spun out of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in October 2013 along with a $50 million capital commitment, plans to build-out a 28,000 square foot facility at 3737 Market Street to house business operations, clinical research and development, and manufacturing.
"We are thrilled to announce our plans to stay rooted in West Philadelphia as we continue to build off the success and momentum first established by our scientific founders while at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia," said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, Co-founder, President/CEO of Spark. "This new facility will support the continued expansion of our team and expand our manufacturing capacity to support our clinical development and commercial plans."
"Philadelphia offers everything a rising biotech like Spark could need or want, including access to world-class medical centers and nationally-ranked universities, proximity to biopharma hubs in New York and New Jersey, and a lower cost of living than competing ecosystems in San Francisco and Boston,” he added.
With the new headquarters, Spark will expand its access to manufacturing capacity and rapidly accelerate its work to produce transformative treatments for patients affected by debilitating genetic diseases. Spark anticipates moving into its new headquarters later this year with plans to expand to 50 full-time employees by the end of 2014.
Spark is preparing to complete clinical development of its lead, Phase 3 clinical program to address inherited retinal dystrophies caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene, which has the potential to be the first approved gene therapy in the U.S. The company is also advancing a Phase 1/2 program in hemophilia B and preclinical programs to address neurodegenerative diseases and other inherited retinal dystrophies and hematologic disorders.
Spark joins hundreds of startups looking to transform the life sciences industry while leveraging all of the economic resources and talent available in the City of Brotherly Love, which was ranked number five on Area Development magazine's 2013 list of the Top 10 cities for Life Sciences, the company said. The company is taking advantage of an economic assistance package through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to support the development of its new space and expand its team. The incentives were coordinated by the Governor's Action Team.