Phila. officials head to Ireland, U.K. to boost business, tourism ties

Philadelphia Business Journal

Philadelphia officials this month will embark on a multicity business trip to Ireland and the United Kingdom with the hope of fortifying city relations while giving a boost to tourism between the countries.

The trip could prove meaningful because Philadelphia and Pennsylvania have strong business ties with the Emerald Isle, and the U.K. is consistently the city’s top market for overseas visitation.

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Irish Chamber members, Almac Group and ICON Clinical Research, are among the top 10 Irish companies operating in the U.S. (by numbers employed)

Spark Therapeutics to add up to 500 jobs in West Philadelphia expansion

Spark Therapeutics Inc. said Thursday it is expanding its research-and-development operations in West Philadelphia in a move expected to create nearly 500 high-paying jobs.

The gene therapy company spun out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is getting a $2 million Department of Community and Economic Development grant and a $7.5 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to support the project.

Spark’s new site will be located on Market Street in Brandywine Realty Trust’s $3 billion Schuylkill Yards development project with Drexel University. The company’s existing offices are at 3737 Market Street.

“This expansion is proof of our continued commitment to research, development, and innovation in West Philadelphia and of our determination to offer new genetic treatments for people living with genetic diseases,” said Co-founder and CEO Jeffrey D. Marrazzo.