Former GSK Site in Pennsylvania Gets Revamped into Life Sciences Hub

Research in Lab

In June 2019, MLP Ventures’ The Discovery Labs announced renovation plans for GlaxoSmithKline’s R&D space in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania it acquired the previous year for about $50 million with the goal of turning the space into "co-working" ecosystem for healthcare, life sciences and technology-enabled companies.

At the time, MLP Ventures said the space, known as “The Colony,” will be a “one-of-a-kind environment” developed to provide a “creative and entrepreneurial workplace that stimulates synergistic collaboration, where companies large and small thrive from each other's energy, wisdom and innovation.” This past weekend during the Phacilitate conference in Miami, Brian O’Neill, chief executive officer of MLP Ventures, announced some financial leniency for startups that set up shop in The Colony.

According to an XConomy report, O’Neill said MLP Ventures intends to be “very lenient on early payment terms” in order to allow these young companies the chance to get on their feet. The reasoning is simple, “because little companies become big companies, and we want to be there when they do,” O’Neill said, according to the report. During the conference, O’Neill went a bit further in his reasoning. He said that many scientists and researchers are limited in what they can do by academic institutions, a lack of capital and access to manufacturing capabilities. The Colony will address that by providing “free governance” finance, as well as placing all the necessary tools for advancement under one roof, XConomy reported.

While he remained a bit mum on some details, according to the report, some of the early inhabitants of The Colony are in the cell and gene therapy space. He explained that MLP Ventures provides significant access to $100 million in funds and informed those researchers they should “just do what you think is right and we’ll be partners on what comes out the other end.”

The Colony will offer 1.6 million square feet of collaborative lab, office and lifestyle space. When MLP Ventures announced the plans last year, the organization explained that at the heart of The Colony is IQ Connect, The Discovery Labs incubator, as well as a partnership with The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. IQ Connect is a 100,000-square-foot business incubator and laboratory.

For those companies that call The Colony home, the site will provide end-to-end services to R&D companies. Services will include process and analytical development, plasmid DNA production, viral vector production, cell banking and more, according to XConomy.

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