UVa unveils plans for new $300 million biotech institute – The Daily Progress

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin addresses a crowd in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia announcing a new biotechnology institute on Friday.
University of Virginia President Jim Ryan speaks to a crowd in the Rotunda during the announcement of a biotechnology institute on Friday.
The University of Virginia is building a $300 million dollar biotechnology campus that university and elected officials say will generate life-saving technology, bring thousands of new jobs to the area and put the commonwealth on the map as a life science hub.
If successful, officials have said the project will look something like the Research Triangle in North Carolina, a life science hub anchored by the facilities of North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that is home to more than 250 businesses including multinational R&D operations and entrepreneurial-driven startups.
“We hope, with this institute, to not necessarily be the ‘UVa Biotechnical Institute,’ but the commonwealth of Virginia’s biotechnical institute,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, CEO of UVa Health, speaking at an event Friday in the Rotunda at UVa announcing the project.
The new Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology will join UVa Health as a hub for the system’s current treatments, such as immunotherapy and nanotherapy, as well as new additions, such as gene and cellular therapy and drug delivery. The institute will make room for more clinical treatment offerings as well, which will allow patients to receive treatment up to several years before they become widely available, officials said Friday.
The new institute has been made possible by a $100 million gift from husband and wife Paul and Diane Manning, as well as a $50 million investment from the state and a $150 million investment from the university, according to a university statement.
Paul Manning is the chairman and CEO of PBM Capital, a health care-focused investment firm that invests in companies in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, according to the firm’s website. Although health care facilities are a part of his professional life, he said the new biotech institute that will bear his name is much more personal.
“My son and daughter-in-law had their son saved a year ago at UVa,” Paul Manning told the audience gathered at Friday’s announcement. “He had a very serious cardiac problem. They did surgery and replaced one of his arteries. It’s really a fantastic thing that we were able to see that happen here at the university.”
Plans for the institute call for several operations housed under one roof at Fontaine Research Park in a building between 250,000 and 350,000 square feet in size. Kent said the “sizable facility” will include several wings for research, treatment and more.
The park, which is owned and operated by the UVa Foundation, is less than 2 miles away from Grounds off Interstate 64 and Route 29. Today, it is home to roughly 10 buildings, including the Sheridan G. Snyder Translational Research Building and two other medical research buildings.
The new institute is expected to bring thousands of new jobs, both directly and indirectly, university and elected officials said on Friday.
“To generate this translational research, every time you bring a scientist in they bring their entire lab, which could be 10 or 15 different individuals,” Kent said. “Then you have 100 [scientists], but you multiply by 15 and those are the people that do the core research.”
And that’s to say nothing of the private companies the institute will attract, he said, who “want to be close to where the research and biomanufacturing are.”
UVa is expecting recruitment from small and large biotech companies “fairly quickly,” Kent said, which will ultimately boost job growth and the economy.
That news in particular was heralded by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who was also in attendance on Friday.
“This major investment will help attract pharmaceutical companies to the commonwealth and further my administration’s commitment to develop a thriving health care system,” Youngkin said.
UVa will announce additional details for the design and construction of the facility at a later date, Kent said.
“The first $300 million is just the beginning,” he said. “We’re just getting started. We’re at the beginning of this biotech patient care revolution.”
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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin addresses a crowd in the Rotunda at the University of Virginia announcing a new biotechnology institute on Friday.
University of Virginia President Jim Ryan speaks to a crowd in the Rotunda during the announcement of a biotechnology institute on Friday.
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