PHILADELPHIA--(November 11, 2010) – Avid Radiopharmaceuticals’ acquisition by Eli Lilly and Company for up to $800 million is yet another example of the University City Science Center’s role as an engine of economic growth for the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia region. “Not only does the acquisition speak to the enormous potential of Avid’s technology, but it also cements both the Science Center’s role as a launching pad for new game-changing technologies and the Greater Philadelphia region’s strength as a life sciences cluster,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D. “We look forward to Avid’s continued presence on the Science Center campus for years to come.” Avid joins other Science Center resident companies that were involved in notable acquisitions. Centocor, which got its start at the Science Center in 1979, was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1999 for $4.9 billion. Morphotek, which started at the Science Center in 2000, was acquired by Eisai in 2007. And BioRexis, which started at the Science Center in 2002, was acquired by Pfizer five years later. Since its inception in 1963, more than 350 companies have “graduated” from the Science Center. The 93 that remain in the region have created more than 15,000 current jobs in Greater Philadelphia.
Avid got its start at the Science Center’s Port business incubator in late 2004 when CEO and Founder Dan Skovronsky launched the company. Avid develops molecular imaging agents that allow for the detection and monitoring of chronic human diseases. Avid recently submitted its lead amyloid-beta imaging agent, florbetapir, to the FDA for consideration of regulatory approval. In 2009 Avid outgrew its space at the Port incubator and moved its 37 employees into 16,000 square feet of custom- fitted office and lab space on the seventh floor of the Science Center’s 155,000-square foot building at 3711 Market Street. Since then the company has grown to 53 employees.
About The Science Center The University City Science Center accelerates technology commercialization, regional economic development, and the market availability of life-enhancing scientific breakthroughs by bringing together innovations, scientists, entrepreneurs, funding, laboratory facilities, and business services. Established in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. It provides services that range from incubator space with fully-equipped laboratories and “plug ‘n play” offices for entrepreneurs to path-breaking programs designed to demonstrate, nurture, and sustain new technology businesses and bring their benefits to the region and the world. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org.