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SmartLabs Announces Plans to Expand High-Performance Laboratory Facilities in Philadelphia

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Capitalizing on Philadelphia’s emergence as a national hub for cell and gene therapy, SmartLabs, a Boston-based Laboratory-as-a-Service (LaaS) leader, today announced plans to open its first facility in the city in addition to SmartLabs’ advanced resourcing in Boston and the Bay Area.

SmartLabs will locate in a portion of the new life sciences research facility at 3201 Cuthbert Street that is set to become the largest life sciences research and production space in the city upon completion in 2025. The facility is centered in the heart of Drexel University’s campus, which is creating a vibrant presence and ecosystem of innovation in and around University City. The new 508,000 square foot facility, developed by Gattuso Development Partners in partnership with New York-based Vigilant Holdings, will offer advanced R&D, vivarium, and manufacturing suites. SmartLabs will occupy two floors in the building

“We are thrilled to announce our expansion into Philadelphia to bring our advanced infrastructure and operations platform to the region’s scientific innovators,” said Amrit Chaudhuri, CEO and co-founder of SmartLabs. “Philadelphia has a trailblazing community of companies advancing cell & gene therapies, and SmartLabs’ new facilities will improve their scientific outcomes, accelerating time from discovery to commercialization. SmartLabs has already supported dozens of biopharma companies in the national biotech hubs of Boston and San Francisco, and we believe that Philadelphia’s exciting CGT market and proximity to prestigious academic institutions makes it an ideal third geography.”

Philadelphia is home to a booming cell and gene therapy (CGT) ecosystem which will benefit from the colocation of R&D labs, in vivo suites, and clean rooms capable of cGMP manufacturing. By licensing SmartLabs’ state-of-the-art laboratory facilities rather than investing substantial time and money in building new space, biopharma companies can focus on their science and get new treatments to patients faster.

With this expansion, SmartLabs will establish its seventh location – the company currently operates four facilities in the Boston area, with one currently operational facility in San Francisco and another under construction – and bring its total nationwide real estate to 550,000 square feet. The new building, owned by an affiliate of Gattuso Development Partners and Vigilant on a site which has been leased on a long-term basis with Drexel University, is yet another life sciences collaboration for the firm, which has its development roots in the renaissance of The Navy Yard as a hub for life sciences research and production facilities.

“SmartLabs is revolutionizing the way scientists access and work in laboratories, and we are thrilled to support their mission to accelerate science,” said John Fry, president of Drexel University. “Many of Philadelphia’s CGT companies are investigating treatments for rare and orphan diseases, and the ability to reduce costs and ramp-up time can be critical for them. We look forward to SmartLabs’ presence in Philadelphia R&D and to the scientific advances that will come out of their facilities.”

“We are tremendously excited about partnering with SmartLabs to accelerate the development of research facilities in the new building,” said John Gattuso, co-founder and co-principal of the firm. “SmartLabs is a national leader in the LaaS field, and in addition to the tremendous opportunity it presents for our project, its expansion reaffirms Philadelphia’s growing recognition as a national hub for life sciences, especially in the field of cell and gene therapy.”

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