- ElevateBio, a privately held biotechnology company that’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars from private investors, signed a 30-year partnership with the University of Pittsburgh to speed development of “highly innovative” cell and gene therapies.
- As part of the deal, Elevate will locate a new manufacturing center in Pittsburgh with technologies including gene editing and cell, vector and protein engineering. The facility will be part of the Pitt BioForge Biomanufacturing Center at Hazelwood Green, a project funded with a $100 million grant the Richard King Mellon Foundation announced in 2021.
- Both the state of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County provided financial incentives to Elevate as part of the deal. Elevate said Thursday it expects to create more than 170 full-time jobs in Pittsburgh, as well as hire 900 construction workers and 360 off-site support employees.
In a little more than three years, Elevate has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from private investors and forged partnerships with budding gene therapy companies as well as leading hospitals as part of its BaseCamp program.
While major research institutions are discovering new ways to tinker with cells and genes every day, most lack the complex manufacturing capability needed to advance their discoveries into therapies. Elevate aims to fill that gap.
The University of Pittsburgh is an enticing partner, with world-class research operations and the $100 million grant to spend on a manufacturing center. The school ranks among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health in fiscal 2022.
For Elevate, the agreement helps meet its goal of expanding “across metropolitan areas,” CEO David Hallal said in the company’s press release. Elevate already has partnerships with Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital that take advantage of the company’s 140,000 square-foot manufacturing facility just outside Boston in Waltham.
Elevate’s alliance with Boston Children’s, announced in 2021, has already borne fruit. Earlier this month, the company said it’s formed a startup with the hospital to provide patients with more convenient alternatives to the current crop of cancer cell therapies.