Upcoming Oro Valley Innovation Labs adds to profile of Tucson biotech space.
Armed with government funding, a new incubator for biotech is set to break ground this year in the Tucson metropolitan town of Oro Valley.
The nonprofit Oro Valley Innovation Labs will allow up to seven companies to share Tucson biotech space and R&D expertise that will get them from scientific proof of concept to clinical proof of concept. The goal: Have prototypes, particularly in medical diagnostics, ready for investment.
Nonprofit agencies and academic programs will help these emerging companies with legal, marketing and regulatory issues, among other topics, and provide fully equipped, appropriately compliant labs.
The town of Oro Valley and Pima County have pledged a total of $120,000 for the effort. “There is a critical need in our region for accelerators to take innovative companies to the next level of growth,” says John Moffatt, director of the county’s Economic Development Office. “Oro Valley is already recognized as a hub for the life sciences.”
The incubator will be in Oro Valley’s Innovation Park, home to Roche Tissue Diagnostics and Icagen, a drug discovery company. Both are partners in the incubator, along with commercial real estate firm Venture West and the University of Arizona’s Campus Research Corp.
Because I help businesses, including startups, find Tucson biotech space, I applaud the addition of this incubator to the stock of bio commercial real estate options, which includes the UA-run Tech Parks Arizona.
Tucson biotech space is particularly robust. According to my white paper on bio, there are more than 100 bioscience and biotechnology companies in the area. Startups can find venture capital and a supportive ecosystem to move research to product.
UA activities play a strong role in developing this industry, which is important throughout Arizona. Every year the Flinn Foundation details the progress of bioscience development in the state. Here are some of the 2018 highlights that involve Tucson-based institutions and companies:
Prominent Long-term Investments
Startup Tucson holds an annual IdeaFunding pitch competition for entrepreneurs, while similar activities are held for UA students.
UA’s Tech Launch Arizona, which brings innovation by the university community to market, spun off 16 startups in 2018. That includes Iluminos Therapeutics, which develops treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Build Critical Mass of Companies, Raise Venture Capital
Critical Path has several activities using its database technologies:
- monitoring of drug-resistant pathogens
- accelerating development of drugs to treat kidney-transplant patients
- standardizing and sharing data to advance Huntington’s disease treatments.
UA researchers are using $11 million in funding to
- study pulmonary fibrosis treatments
- create a global consortium of asthma researchers
- study people with cerebral palsy who don’t have typical risk factors.
Expand STEM Education, Develop Talent
Despite a shortage of residency slots in Arizona, the UA College of Medicine was able to keep 67 of its students in the state for medical training.
Let’s discuss your needs for Tucson biotech space. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-520-299-3400.