University of Pittsburgh
April 18, 2018

LifeX™ Health Solutions Platform Opens Headquarters

Announces $2 million Henry L. Hillman Foundation grant

PITTSBURGH—LifeX™,  as part of Life Sciences Week 2018, celebrated the opening of its first headquarters, where it will provide expertise and working space to aid the growth of biotechnology companies.

Launched in December 2017, LifeX is a biotechnology commercialization platform that empowers scientist entrepreneurs to create and deliver new solutions to alleviate suffering and premature death across the globe. Founded by the University of Pittsburgh, LifeX’s initial cohort of companies will focus on unmet health needs related to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity and diabetes and rare genetic diseases.

The facility at 2124 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh’s Strip District includes office and laboratory space where biotechnology companies can collaborate. In addition to the physical space, the LifeX platform brings together experts with proven track records of building new pharmaceuticals, medical devices, molecular diagnostics and population-health solutions to support entrepreneurs with deep industry knowledge.

With the April 17 ribbon-cutting came the announcement of a $2 million grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation to advance startup operations, facilities and programming.

“Throughout its history, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation has supported projects that increase and leverage the Pittsburgh region’s strengths and its competitive advantages,” said David K. Roger, president of the Hillman Family Foundations. “Our support for the Brookings Institution’s report, “Capturing the next economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city,” is magnified in this opportunity to build on the region’s strengths in accord with the report’s findings.

“The LifeX initiative presents an innovative opportunity to expand the impact of Pittsburgh’s life sciences strengths by nurturing — here in the city’s naturally occurring innovation district — the life sciences ecosystem that will bring these innovations to the world.”

Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research at the University of Pittsburgh, said: “The Hillman Foundation’s support amplifies the University’s ongoing efforts to translate its world-class life sciences insights to the marketplace for the improvement of human health around the globe.

“This support for LifeX and its new headquarters also is key to accelerate Pittsburgh’s ability to punch at its weight as a global innovation city. We are proud to continue working together with the Hillman Foundation to benefit our region and the world.”

Dietrich Stephan, CEO and founder of LifeX, said: “Pittsburgh’s life sciences pioneers brought the world the polio vaccine, liver transplantation and innumerable other innovations that have transformed the lives of so many across the globe. The LifeX team is proud to have the Hillman Foundation’s support as we continue this long-standing legacy of facilitating cures to the most devastating and prevalent causes of suffering and death.”


About LifeX
LifeX brings together executives and service providers who have a proven track record of building new pharmaceuticals, medical devices, molecular diagnostics and population-health solutions to empower entrepreneurs with deep industry knowledge. In addition to infrastructure and expertise, the platform is raising investment capital to scale the growth and ultimate impact of the potentially transformational products being developed. The biotechnology companies within the facility are addressing problems including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity, diabetes, rare genetic diseases and many more. LifeX founding partners include the University of Pittsburgh, ranked No. 5 in National Institutes of Health funding, and its Graduate School of Public Health.

About the Henry L. Hillman Foundation
Founded in 1964, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, one of 18 foundations affiliated with the Hillman family, is committed to improving the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region. Its current funding priorities include initiatives that contribute toward reinventing the region’s innovation infrastructure. The foundation’s philanthropic investments aim to leverage the region’s strengths and assets to make Pittsburgh one of the world’s most innovative and forward-looking cities, with a reputation for solving big problems through civic leadership and collaboration.