The latest figures on gene and cell therapy research show a record number of regulatory approvals in 2022, which could lead to a surge in demand for biotech and life sciences real estate. A just-released report from JLL shows that the growing life sciences sector is poised for a wave of new demand, as the cell and gene therapy industry is expecting the highest number of regulatory approvals of new products ever. However, in a market already struggling to keep up with demand, that could put pressure on development timelines.
Since 2010, the number of cell and gene therapy clinical trials has grown significantly every year, with the exception of 2020, when the number stayed about even with the previous year. Over the last three years, clinical trials for medications in oncology, infectious diseases and the central nervous system accounted for 69 percent of all new clinical trials. “This seismic transformation in the underlying fundamentals of bio-manufacturing real estate is having a direct impact on the availability of space, as well as its design, architecture, engineering and financing,” said Roger Humphrey of JLL Life Sciences.
Life sciences has been one of the standout niche real estate sectors over the course of the pandemic. Investors spent billions last year acquiring life sciences assets, and the pipeline for new life science space in the U.S. is more than 17 million square feet at the moment, according to Cushman & Wakefield. As developers look to meet the increasing demand, conversions are becoming more common, but the problem of getting space to market quickly is one that the industry is still trying to tackle. “Time is one of the all too important considerations—time and ease—for people to establish these businesses,” said Prism Capital Partners’ Eugene Diaz.