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Life Sciences Incubator Opens in Malvern, Provides High-Demand Lab Space for Startups

8BioMed, a biotech company that develops hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers refined from bovine blood, is launching 8HUB, a 23,000-square-foot incubator in Malvern designed for bioprocessing and life sciences startups facing a shortage of flexible lab space.

The newly finished facility features $12 million in renovations and is configured with new, state-of-the-art processing equipment available to be shared at 275 and 273 Great Valley Parkway in Great Valley Corporate Center. Further improvements are planned in 2021.

The campus-like setting with green space falls within a Keystone Innovation Zone, where lessees can benefit from substantial tax credits to assist with operating expenses.

“While COVID-19 has slowed some business sectors, Philadelphia-area biotech companies continue to see an increased need for research and development infrastructure in 2021,” said Dr. Hubert Ho, COO of 8HUB and 8BioMed. “We are making a strategic investment to meet that demand by converting part of our reserved space in our headquarters into collaborative lab space.”

Leveraging the network of the Chester County Economic Development Council’s i2n program, which services life sciences and advanced technology companies across the region, 8HUB plans to offer affordable, flexible lab space and connect with startups in critical need.

“8BioMed has brought not just the physical infrastructure but also the expertise and collaborative energy that is needed to make a project like this successful,” said Patrick Hayakawa, the CCEDC’s Vice President of Innovation and Emerging Technologies. “This has been a busy few years for the Philadelphia area’s emerging biotech sector, and that growth has outpaced the availability of flexible lab space. This extra capacity coming online is good for innovative companies, the industry, and the region’s overall growth.”

Twelve thousand square feet of finished lab, bioprocessing, and office space is available for lease on a flex- or short-term basis. Another 11,000 square feet of Class A office space is available to be converted into five flex labs and shared facilities.

“We’ve made significant investments in the property, with more renovations planned,” said Ho. “It’s a terrific real estate asset, but also a unique opportunity for small- and mid-sized life sciences companies to find short- and long-term space with quality infrastructure that is generally hard to come by.”