Ben Franklin News

Lehigh Valley’s Life Science Sector Hits a Growth Spurt

Lehigh Valley’s life science companies not only have the manufacturing brawn but the brains working on the next life science innovation, said LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham, who moderated a panel discussion with three local life science executives as part of the organization’s 2021 Annual Meeting video program.

“We have a history of innovation here. Many people have likely heard this is the birthplace of Bethlehem Steel’s novel beam that gave rise to skyscrapers in the early 20th century,” Cunningham said. “But it’s also the place where the nation’s first rapid HIV test was made. We have scientists undertaking critical research on groundbreaking drug therapies, personalized medicine, and gene silencing.”

Those innovations are often primed by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which has incubator space at Lehigh University’s mountaintop campus in Bethlehem. Ben Franklin, a state-funded program, provides entrepreneurs the money, lab space, and other support they need to turn their ideas into a business.

Many of its clients have such a health-related focus that Ben Franklin in March established a Life Science Network that, among other things, helps companies collaborate with colleges and establishes a professional network for interns and graduate students. More via LVEDC