December 13, 2022

Space that previously housed an insurance company's mail order pharmacy is being transformed into a home for fledgling entrepreneurs working on "cutting-edge" diagnostic products and processes to improve how and when diseases are detected.

The $12 million incubator project,called the Center for Diagnostics Discovery, is the brainchild of Eric Rieders , an owner and former CEO of NMS Labs, a Horsham-based bioanalytical toxicology and forensicsciences laboratory.

The Center for Diagnostics Discovery is being created in about 50,000 square feet of space last leased by Cigna in the 150,000-square-foot building that houses NMS Labs. The building at 206 Welsh Road is owned by the Rieders family, which founded NMS Labs.

Rieders' idea is to create a site that will focus on accelerating the discovery, development and commercialization of diagnostics. He is modeling his initiative after a nearby project in Bucks County.

"I've been impressed and inspired by what has happened in Doylestown at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center," he said. "We've worked with some of the organizations inside of there, so I've been over there a couple of times. A lot of the incubators and accelerators in the life sciences area are pointed at therapeutics, especially these days in Philadelphia where there's an awful lot of interest in gene and cell therapy."

Rieders said he believes the diagnostics sector of the life sciences industry has been historically undervalued by investors.

"There's an old joke that 'in vitro diagnostics' is the longest four-letter word in the English language for investors," he said. Rieders added that the scandal involving the now-defunct diagnostic technology company Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes, who last week was sentenced to 11 years in jail for defrauding investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, "didn't do the industry any good."

What has changed the perception of companies developing products that help diagnose diseases and patients' reactions to different treatments, he said, is Covid-19 and the huge demand for ways to quickly determine if somebody was infected by the virus.

Read the Full Arcticle on the New Center for Diagnostics Discovery