Recent Flinn Foundation report shows Tucson’s importance in Arizona’s drive to become a biosciences powerhouse.
Tucson continues to play a crucial part in Arizona’s efforts to become a major biosciences hub.
That’s one of the messages we at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson took away from the 2016 Progress of the Biosciences in Arizona. It’s the latest of annual reports from The Flinn Foundation that updates the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap to 2025.
As the Tucson economy approves, the bioscience and biotech industry is finding more support for what it needs: investment, a top-notch workforce and incentives to help businesses find the right Tucson commercial real estate for success.
Several concentrated areas in the metropolitan area provide prime Tucson commercial space for company offices, R&D facilities, manufacturing areas and logistics support.
The most recent Flinn report covers bio activities in 2016. It notes that the industry “saw good news at several junctures during the year,” including start-ups that gained national attention and cornerstone institutions that made progress.
Here are some of the report highlights that came from Tucson.
Prominent Long-term Investments
The National Institutes of Health awarded the University of Arizona a $43 million grant for its Precision Medicine Initiative. UA Health Sciences-Banner Health will join three other academic medical centers to recruit more than one million people in the program to find new ways to prevent and treat disease.
Enhance Hospital Research, Clinical Care
Banner Health is building new hospital towers in Arizona, including one at its Banner Health-University Medical Center Tucson facility. Banner’s total investment of $820 million adds 1.37 million square feet.
Promote Entrepreneurial Climate
IdeaFunding by Startup Tucson is among several pitch events held in the state in 2016. The 20-year-old program provides networking and education for local entrepreneurs. The pitch competition for Tucson startups includes modest monetary prizes and the attention of angel investors.
The 2016 AZBio Awards that celebrates the best of Arizona’s bioscience industry included a fast-lane award to Tucson-based Salutaris Medical Devices Inc. It is investigating devices to help treat macular degeneration and cancer.
The Arizona Bioindustry Association gave Mara A. Spinall its Jon W. McGTarity Bioscience Leader of the Year, one of the AZBio Awards. Spinall is a former president and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems in Oro Valley and of Health Catalysts in Tucson.
Build Critical Mass of Companies
Icagen announced it plans to grow its newly purchased Sanofi drug-discovery research center in Oro Valley.
HSRx Biopharmaceutical announced it would launch human trials of its drug against the Zika virus.
Advance Research Base
Tucson-based Critical Path Institute (C-Path) won three grants from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The awards will allow C-Path to develop data standards and a contract for research on drug-induced kidney injury.
The National Institutes of Health has given $38.4 million to fund two studies at the University of Arizona. One focuses on a naturopathic medication to prevent asthma in young children. The second would help predict and remedy lung disorders in critically ill patients.
Expand Stem Education, Develop Talent
Navajo students will qualify for scholarships to attend the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in both Tucson and Phoenix.
Southern Arizona venues hosted dozens of events in the 2016 Arizona SciTech Festival, which is the third largest in the nation.
Why the Bio Industry Matters
Biotech and biosciences are welcome in Arizona. Wages in the Industry are higher than the private-sector average and jobs grew 49 percent from 2002 to 2014, the Flinn report says.
And the industry recognizes the innovative work done in the state. NIH research grants that landed in Arizona rose by 8%. Venture capital for firms in the state has grown for the third straight year.
Bio directly fuels small businesses as well as global leaders in Tucson. There are more than 100 bioscience companies here that generate $6 billion in annual revenues, according to our own white paper on bio industries.
Oro Valley’s Innovation Park, Pima County’s Sonoran Corridor and the University of Arizona’s Tech Parks are some of the centers that provide Tucson commercial space and a synergy that support and foster industry entrepreneurship.
We expect the local industry will continue to grow with recent tax legislation. Arizona’s newly extended angel investment tax credit gives private-equity investors a 35% tax credit for investing in bioscience startups.
Because biosciences and biotechnology are important segments of Tucson’s advanced industries, Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson had developed deep expertise and knowledge on the needs of industry site selectors. Contact us for a consultation.
More information: Read the 2016 Progress of the Biosciences in Arizona.