I am no fan of economic-impact studies because, while written by third-party economists, they are usually paid for by organizations who want to tout the good they are doing in a community.
Still, I must admit to being intrigued by the latest impact study on the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, a nonprofit research group that has become home to many for-profit life-sciences start-ups.
Doylestown won’t make many lists of biotech hotbeds. But it’s where the center was started in 2006 in a shuttered manufacturing complex. Today, the parking lot bustles at rush hour with industry and academic scientists, students and entrepreneurs, according to Timothy Block, the microbiologist who has overseen the center’s growth.
The three buildings on Old Easton Road contain 40 small life-sciences companies, as well as the “cause-driven” Hepatitis B Foundation, begun by Block and his wife, Joan, and another couple in 1991 to find a cure for the liver infection, and the Institute for Hepatitis & Virus Research, started in 2003 as the foundation’s research arm.