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Science Center’s Global Soft Landing Program Grows with Addition of Companies from France and U.K.

The University City Science Center’s Global Soft Landing program has welcomed two new companies in the Port business incubator. Annapurna Therapeutics and ProClinical have both established operations at the Science Center’s Port Business incubator. A third company, Enterin, has also joined the Port. All three companies are located at 3624 Market Street in Philadelphia.

The Global Soft Landing Program helps international companies gain a foothold in the U.S. market. About 50 international companies from roughly 14 countries have participated in the Global Soft Landing Program since it was established almost 10 years ago. The International Business Innovation Association designated the Port as an iNBIA Soft Landings International Incubator in 2011. The Port is one of only 23 business incubation programs from around the world that have earned the designation since iNBIA began the program in 2005.

With headquarters in Paris, France, Annapurna Therapeutics has also maintained an office in Philadelphia. Annapurna was founded in 2014 under the name AAVLife with a gene therapy program addressing heart muscle dysfunction associated with the rare disease Friedreich’s ataxia. The company recently changed their name to Annapurna Therapeutics and in-licensed three additional gene therapy programs from Weill Cornell Medicine. Annapurna’s lead indication is for a hereditary condition, alpha one antitrypsin deficiency, known to increases the risk for lung and liver disease. The company’s pipeline also includes other rare disease therapies plus a program for treating severe food related allergies. Annapurna recently announced a planned merger with the public company Avalanche Biotechnologies (NASDAQ: AAVL), and plans to maintain their Philadelphia and Paris offices post-merger.

ProClinical is one of Europe’s fastest-growing dedicated life sciences professional services providers. Headquartered in the UK, the company is expanding to the U.S. market as it establishes its headquarters at the Science Center. ProClinical specializes in sourcing senior and niche talent on a permanent, temporary or consulting basis for some of the leading pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotech companies in addition to emerging biopharmaceutical companies. ProClinical’s clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Pfizer.

Enterin Inc. is an early-stage pharmaceutical company developing new compounds for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Enterin’s lead compound, Kenterin, acts by improving neural signaling to the brain stem, breaking through the toxic matter that clogs nerves and impedes the flow of information required for normal bodily function. Enterin’s application in Parkinson’s was discovered after the drug showed an effect on gastrointestinal regulation during studies for the other diseases such as cancer and retinal angiopathy. Gastrointestinal problems are commonly associated with Parkinson’s.

The Science Center’s Port business incubator helps emerging life sciences, physical sciences, and digital technology companies operate and grow through a suite of related programs and facilities. The Port provides co‐working spaces, cubicles, fully furnished offices, and wet and dry labs directly in the heart of the Science Center’s legacy campus at uCity Square. Beyond the physical infrastructure, Port residents are immediately plugged in to a rich network of resources where they can access the programs, the people and the support that can help grow their businesses. Port resident companies raised more than $150 million in private capital from 2009-2014.

About the Science Center

The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. The Science Center is leveraging its history as the nation’s oldest and largest urban research park as it joins forces with Wexford Science + Technology, a BioMed Realty company, to expand its footprint and rebrand its physical campus as uCity Square — a true mixed-use community of ingenuity.

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing