“Adaptimmune is a clinical stage
biopharmaceutical company, originally
established in 2008, that is focused on novel
cancer immunotherapy products based on
its T-cell receptor platform. We believe these
therapies have the potential to significantly
impact cancer treatment by enhancing
naturally occurring T-cell receptors to
increase their ability to recognize and bind
cancer cells.”

After a successful IPO, Gwen Binder-Scholl and
the team at Adaptimmune are aiming to build a
world-class biotechnology company.


Adaptimmune is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the use of T-cell therapy to treat cancer. Our original company was founded in 1999 in Oxford, England, under the name of Avidex, and Adaptimmune was formed as a separate company in 2008. Our science and pipeline have been in development for 16 years. We initially developed our clinical program in collaboration with the Translational Research Program at Penn. In 2011, when we were first expanding into oncology clinical trials, I was presented with the unique opportunity to move over to the Science Center and build the U.S. presence for Adaptimmune. Our lead program is an affinity enhanced TCR therapeutic targeting the NY-ESO cancer antigen, and we’ve demonstrated signs of efficacy and tolerability in our early clinical studies in solid and liquid tumors.


The Port is next to Penn and Drexel and Temple is close by as well. It’s an exciting blend of research and academia. I’m constantly exposed to meetups and Pennsylvania Bio events, which bring together a diverse group of people in life sciences. The bio community is growing and almost every month there’s some sort of meetup in the city where you can get educated. I find that the law firm Pepper Hamilton routinely holds helpful corporate and regulatory law briefings. Lunch for Hungry Minds focuses on a different scientific topic each month, which helps us keep our minds open to other fields. Because we take a lot of overseas flights, we love the proximity to Philadelphia International Airport.


I live in Center City and enjoy walking to work, clearing my mind and getting exercise every day. I spend a lot of time in Rittenhouse Square; we have picnics there and play sports. Colleagues enjoy the park and the restaurants, and it is just far enough away from the Science Center to be a fresh environment. The Schuylkill River path is close by the Science Center and is a wonderful place to walk or run, and it will soon be even better because they are extending the trail south. Being in Philadelphia is a huge advantage for us because it’s an affordable city for people to live, a walkable city, with lots of universities and lots of talent. Philadelphia is also ideally located between the financial markets in New York and regulatory centers in Washington, D.C.


In the next five years, we will see an explosion in biotech in Philadelphia. The International BIO Convention returning to Philadelphia is just the beginning. In June 2014, we entered into a strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, allowing us collaborate on the clinical and product development for our lead product. In the fall of 2014, Adaptimmune completed a $104 million Series A financing round on our way to closing an IPO on NASDAQ in May 2015. Four years ago, it was just me in the office at the Port. Now we are 20 people, bursting out of our space, and we are aiming to build a world-class global biotechnology company. Therefore, we are getting ready to leave the nest and graduate to space in the Navy Yard. And even though this is all exciting progress, we are really going to miss the Science Center.