Looking To A Healthy Future

Significant population shifts, the pandemic, and Industry innovations are shaping the site decisions healthcare and medical device companies are making.

Global leaders in life sciences such as Olympus, B. Braun, McKesson, Thermo Fisher Scientific, OraSure Technologies, and Sharp are a big part of the Lehigh Valley’s emergence as a life sciences center.

healthcare industry locations
OraSure Technologies, founded in Lehigh Valley, PA, has expanded its footprint and increased staff. The manufacturer is responsible for groundbreaking rapid diagnostic tests for HIV, and its technology has been used in millions of home DNA testing kits. (Photo: Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.)

These companies know the advantages of the Lehigh Valley, a two-county region in eastern Pennsylvania that sits at the heart of the Northeast’s life sciences supercluster. Just 60 minutes from Philadelphia, 90 minutes from New York City, and within a day’s drive of key markets from New England to the Carolinas, the Lehigh Valley is home to more than 170 life sciences facilities: offices, research centers, manufacturing facilities, and logistics centers.

Since 2017, two million square feet of space for life sciences has been proposed, constructed, or completed in the Lehigh Valley. Recently, Evident Corp., a medical equipment manufacturing subsidiary of Olympus, chose the Lehigh Valley for its primary microscope distribution and repair hub in the Americas. The 40,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin operation in the Summer 2022.

“To continue to provide high-quality support to our customers, it was imperative that the new space for our microscopy division and service center meet certain key criteria,” said Arnold Huang, Evident’s President of Americas Sales and Marketing. “The Lehigh Valley delivered on our business requirements.”

An existing leader in the Lehigh Valley’s life sciences sector, B. Braun Medical, is completing a 200,000-square-foot expansion of its medical devices manufacturing plant that is expected to add 250 new jobs. B. Braun, based in Germany, has been a major employer in the Lehigh Valley since 1979.

The Lehigh Valley’s life sciences sector is growing because the region has attributes that companies value. The labor pool encompasses more than 1.3 million workers within a one-hour commute. Employers have access to talent from Ivy League and other top research universities nearby, including Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

In addition, 50 million people live within 200 miles of the Lehigh Valley. The region’s combination of interstate highway access, air freight, rail, and an intermodal facility provide convenient access to that massive consumer market.