Gov. Wolf awards $1.1 million to biotech center in Buckingham for COVID-19 work

Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County is once again in the spotlight, this time as the recipient of more than $1 million in state grants to help with research in pursuing a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19.

Of 23 state awards, the biotechnology center, located next to the Doylestown Airport in Buckingham, received four grants, bringing in $1.1 million of the $10 million statewide allocation. The money will help support the biotech center’s renovation plans, which will add research and training labs, more than 100 new jobs and new offices for COVID-19 research and development.

Two grants will go to scientists developing potential COVID-19 treatments at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute at the biotech center and a hub for virology research for more than 17 years.

Another $322,000 grant is going to one of the center’s member companies, Evrys Bio. The company’s scientists are developing host-targeted antiviral drugs that can block the growth of different respiratory viruses including coronaviruses, and that can provide a high barrier to drug resistance.

Lillian Chiang, CEO of Evrys Bio, said her company’s goal is to develop broad-spectrum drugs that treat multiple viruses causing respiratory disease, rather than a single virus.

“We are grateful for these funds from the state of Pennsylvania that will enable us to extend our testing to SARS-CoV2, speeding our efforts to contribute to a COVID-19 solution,” said Chiang.

The biotechnology center, which opened in 2006, has more than 70 member companies, 41 of which have offices or labs in the facility.

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