How UPMC created an innovation hub in Pittsburgh

UPMC has created an innovation hub in its home base of Pittsburgh by greatly expanding its cancer research and precision medicine footprints, Pittsburgh Business Times reported Jan. 3.

The focal point is the 250,000-square-foot Assembly research center that includes UPMC's Institute for Precision Medicine and University of Pittsburgh's Department of Immunology, according to the story. It sits across the street from UPMC Hillman Cancer Center's flagship facility and is located near two UPMC biotech spinoffs, BlueSphere Bio and Novasenta.

"Space is a significant expense for biotech companies because they need high-quality space with the right infrastructure," Dario Vignali, PhD, co-leader of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and co-founder of Novasenta, told the news outlet.

"It's going to be cheaper in Pittsburgh than in some of the other biotech hubs in the country. These lower costs, plus UPMC Enterprises, is a big part of why a biotech hub is being created here. When other companies see things being started here, they may think, 'Something’s happening in Pittsburgh. We should look into it.'"

A neighboring property called The Annex is set to be used as an incubator space, the Business Times reported.

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