City of Hope helps found biotechnology hub

Oct. 14, 2019

City of Hope, an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, announced that it is a founding sponsor of Bioscience Los Angeles County (BioLA), a nonprofit aiming to catalyze biotechnology and life sciences innovation in the region. Harlan Levine, MD, president of strategy and business ventures at City of Hope, joins the governing board of this organization.

“City of Hope has a record of innovation. Synthetic human insulin and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs were developed through technology pioneered by City of Hope”

As a biomedical research center, City of Hope is able to quickly turn breakthrough discoveries into lifesaving therapies because of its world-class physicians, esteemed scientists and three on-campus manufacturing facilities. City of Hope is one of the few cancer centers in the world with the ability to produce cellular, genetic and drug-based therapies to GMP standards for its patients.

“City of Hope has a record of innovation. Synthetic human insulin and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs were developed through technology pioneered by City of Hope,” Levine said. “City of Hope is part of the bioscience powerhouse that is sprawled across L.A. County. We are eager to work with other biotechnology innovators in the Greater Los Angeles area to nurture a collaborative ecosystem that will advance the region’s capacity for medical innovation. People deserve to get the therapies of tomorrow today.”

BioLA’s mission is to facilitate a collaborative environment among life sciences stakeholders – academic institutions, research hospitals, investors, startups, established companies, among others. It aims to accelerate the burgeoning infrastructure, capital and talent opportunities in Los Angeles County to deepen the region’s reputation and output as a life sciences and biotechnology hub.

Serving as a model for others, City of Hope consistently submits about 50 applications every year to the FDA for investigational new therapies. A leader in immunotherapy since the 1990s, City of Hope has 20 ongoing clinical trials that involve immune T cells and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells.

“We applaud City of Hope for its longtime and significant contributions to life sciences innovation in Los Angeles County,” said Daniel Tellalian, acting CEO of BioLA. “City of Hope’s groundbreaking work, such as its CAR T clinical trials, makes its campus another center of excellence in the region’s emerging ecosystem. We are delighted to work with Dr. Levine, City of Hope and other key leaders in the bioscience field to further coalesce our life science stakeholders within Greater Los Angeles.”

Los Angeles County received nearly $1.1 billion in NIH funding last fiscal year and repeatedly receives more NIH funding annually than any other county in CA, according to Biocom’s 2019 California Economic Impact Report. The Greater L.A. Area also hosts more clinical trials than any other life science cluster in CA, where cancer is the disease with the most investigational new drugs in stage 3 clinical. City of Hope is currently conducting about 500 clinical trials that enroll more than 6,200 patients.

“As one of the few industries that grew during the Great Recession, bioscience is an industry with enormous potential to bring both direct and indirect jobs to our region,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Here in L.A. County, we have all the tools necessary to be the bioscience capital of the world, from our universities to foundational research produced by leading-edge organizations such as City of Hope. We are excited to have City of Hope, an organization experienced in moving biomedicine from the lab bench to the patient bedside, as a founding sponsor of BioLA.”

In 2018 L.A. County experienced 11 percent jobs growth in the research and laboratory services subsector, according to Biocom, an advocate for California’s life science sector. The life sciences industry generated 190,974 jobs in the region and generated $42.5 billion in economic activity last year.

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