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Despite recent struggles, local industry leaders say biotech will bounce back — with a little help

University City Science Center President & CEO, Tiffany Wilson, participated in a panel organized by the Philadelphia Business Journal focused on The Future of Life Sciences.

Tiffany Wilson, who has served as CEO of the University City Science Center since October 2020, also sees the industry moving in the right direction — with challenges remaining to be tackled.

“One of the questions that I’ve been asking a lot since I’ve been here and learning more about what’s happening is who pays for these therapies [being developed here],” Wilson said. “We’ve got this tremendous research innovation enterprise in Greater Philadelphia, but how do we ensure that we’ve got the corresponding commercialization enterprise?”

Wilson said she is encouraged by a “creative” model put forward by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for negotiating an administered outcome-based payment arrangements for cell and gene therapies, initially those designed to treat sickle cell disease."
“I think the more that we can figure that out and we have an opportunity to do so in Greater Philadelphia with the payers here, the more capital we’re going to be able to attract,” she said.

Wilson noted the Science Center has multiple programs to help fledgling entrepreneurs with everything from capital readiness to team-building and leadership. She said the health care innovation taking place in the region is amazing, but it’s a “long journey” to navigate the various technical, regulatory and commercialization challenges that go with taking a discovery in a lab to the patient bedside.

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing