Despite this, New Jersey is not referenced to the same extent as San Francisco and Boston when outlining biopharma hubs in the US.
BioPharma-Reporter spoke to Randi Bromberg, VP of marketing and communication, at BioNJ, a member association for life sciences companies in the state, about the under the radar work that is attracting companies to set up shop in New Jersey.
At present, there are 3,200 life sciences companies in the state, which includes 13 of the top global pharma companies having a presence in New Jersey, Bromberg stated. As a result, 40% of all new US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals in 2021 came from a company with a footprint in the state.
New Jersey can also lay claim to being the biopharma manufacturing hub in the US, with 139 FDA-registered manufacturing facilities located there, the most of any state.
Beyond this, the state is creating a niche position as one of the key locations for the development of cell and gene therapies, as 30% of all such treatments are being progressed in New Jersey, Bromberg noted.
One of the reasons that so many companies have made New Jersey their home are the incentives and support that the state is prepared to offer companies looking to establish a presence.
When asked what action New Jersey has taken to encourage companies to make that move, Bromberg listed at least 11 programs and funds on offer in the state available to prospective biopharma companies.
One such initiative is ‘NJ Ignite’, which provides up to 14 months of rent support to technology and life science start-ups based in the region. While the state also recently broke ground on the New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub, which is a 550,000-square-foot development center of innovation, research and medical education, located in New Brunswick.
Due to this support, the amount of investment coming into companies in the state is also increasing. Bromberg highlighted that in the first quarter of 2021, New Jersey received the seventh-highest level of venture capital flow in the US. In addition, from 2018 to Q1 2021, New Jersey’s share of venture capital deal flows nearly doubled.
The investments being made by companies in the state has also continued. Earlier this month, GenScript opened a 50,000-square-foot facility for automated gene synthesis and plasmid preparation in Piscataway, New Jersey. Upon the announcement, Ray Chen, president of GenScript USA, commented that the company would add 100 to 200 jobs in the region due to the “abundance of talent and expertise” in the state, with its US headquarters also being based in New Jersey.
The month prior, PTC Therapeutics, which also has its headquarters in the state, had opened a gene therapy manufacturing plant in Hopewell, with its location covering 220,500-square-feet. The facility opening took the company’s total headcount in the state to 625.