NJ Bioscience Industry Growth Creates New Breed of Companies with Evolving Needs

Approximately 1,000 Biopharma companies operate in New Jersey. Biopharma companies  headquartered in this top 10 global innovation hub produced 29% of the drugs approved by the FDA from 2015-2017. That number jumps to 50% if one includes those biopharma companies that have a footprint in the state.

To say the state’s bioscience ecosystem is thriving might be an understatement. It is also rapidly evolving, as a host of smaller startup biotechs have taken residence in the “medicine chest of the world.”

Lab Owl’s parent company Automated Control Concepts, Inc. (ACC) has been headquartered in New Jersey for 30 years. We’re very proud of the Garden State’s remarkable biopharma success. We’re also excited to see our home state aggressively cultivating a strong environment for startups and growth-stage biotech organizations.

We recently attended BIONJ’s 9th Annual Partnering Conference and there was a palpable buzz about the big potential emerging in the burgeoning New Jersey bioscience startup culture.

“New Jersey has traditionally focused on the large pharma companies. But with the rapidly changing landscape in the biotech industry, the state’s biopharma support infrastructure is realizing that nurturing the new, big ideas coming out of these startups is critical to sustaining its position as a prominent global biotech hub,” stated Kurt Elam, Lab Owl’s Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.

The global life science community is taking note of the state’s efforts to support new bioscience organizations and ideas. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was recently recognized as Governor of the Year at the BIO 2019 conference for his support of early-stage bioscience companies.

Governor Murphy recently created the NJ Ignite program that provides rent support for startups moving to collaborative workspaces; he has proposed the NJ Evergreen Fund to spark venture capital investment in startups; he has also proposed expanding the Angel Investor Tax Credit which would refund 20% of eligible investments in New Jersey life science startups.

“Through our vision for New Jersey as the State of Innovation, we have committed to supporting biotechnology startups and companies of all sizes as they choose to locate and grow in the Garden State. We greatly appreciate the partnership of the biotechnology sector as we work to ensure that scientists, researchers, and other innovators have the resources they need to succeed,”

stated Governor Murphy (Source: State of New Jersey).

New Jersey’s life science ecosystem, like the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR), is starting to experience a paradigm shift. The emergence of precision medicine and its unique approach to development, manufacturing and supply chain requires new modes of support and a recalibrated industry approach.

Take personalized cell and gene therapies, for example. These therapies require a different approach than that of more traditional biologic upstream processes that are designed to produce large batches of material. Cell and gene therapies are developed and manufactured for a single patient in small batches. This means more moving parts, unpredictable inventories and coordinating and integrating complex upstream processes, including cell culture and fermentation.

We’re already seeing this personalized approach to medicine reshaping development labs across the Mid Atlantic region. Best practices are taking shape, but they are still in flux as cell and gene therapy companies continue to seek the most efficient and effective path forward.

Our Lab Owl product can help smaller companies with limited startup budgets–including cell and gene therapy organizations–stabilize and improve lab performance even at a stage where these companies are still trying to find their way forward.

We offer startups and growth-stage companies a technology agnostic, open platform bioreactor control and information system that is extremely flexible, technically advanced, customizable and scalable. Lab Owl stabilizes lab performance at a reasonable cost and can adjust and scale as an organization’s upstream processes develop over time.

“New Jersey has a highly educated and skilled workforce and is rich with great educational institutions that have some of the best bioscience/bioengineering programs in the world. New Jersey is well-positioned for the future. The New Jersey bioscience ecosystem is embracing personalized medicine and doing everything it can to help its startup culture remain vibrant and productive. We’re excited to play our part in this next chapter,” added Elam.

The New Jersey bioscience ecosystem will continue to be a life science innovation hub as it supports both traditional biotech and personalized medicine innovation. As an organization with deep New Jersey roots, we’re looking forward to helping Garden State startups and growth-stage companies thrive.

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