Flinn Foundation reports paint a rosy picture of how biosciences are driving the state economy and demand for Tucson bio space.
Bioscience is a strong engine that’s driving the Arizona economy. And activity for Tucson bio space is helping to fuel that engine.
The Flinn Foundation, a philanthropic grant-making organization, showed in its 2017 progress report that Arizona
- added 58% more bioscience jobs from 2002 to 2016
- had a 57% rise in university spinouts of bioscience research
- in 2016 had 1,446 bioscience firms operating within its borders, including hundreds of small businesses
- universities won $189 million in National Institutes of Health grants in 2017
- attracted $504 million in academic research and development funds in fiscal year 2016
- bio firms received $40 million in venture capital in 2017.
Tucson Bio Space Activity
The recently released report shows Tucson’s strengths in three bio subsectors:
- hospitals, with a location quotient of 1.38, higher-than-average concentration than the United States as a whole and a 38% higher employment concentration than the United States
- medical devices and equipment, which grew by 22% between 2002 and 2016
- research, testing and medical labs, which experienced a 31% increase in employment.
A deeper look at the state’s highlights in bioscience activity shows several contributions by Tucson companies, the University of Arizona (UA) and organizations.
Prominent Long-Term Investment
The UA, as well as Arizona State University in Tempe and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, will use $1 billion from bonds for new infrastructure that will include more bioscience research facilities.
Promote Entrepreneurial Climate
Newly formed UA Venture Capital aims to support commercialization of UA science, services and intellectual property.
The UA ranks 58th out of 225 United States universities with tech-transfer activity, according to the Milken Institute.
Build Critical Mass of Companies
A major Australian drug company paid $91 million for local startup Calimmune, a gene-therapy drug firm.
UA startup SinfoníaRx, which provides medication management services, was sold to a New Jersey company for as much as $131 million.
Oro Valley-based Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, won U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a test involving non-small cell lung cancer.
The FDA gave market authorization to Accelerate Diagnostics for its antibiotic susceptibility testing.
Advance Research Base
Critical Path Institute (C-Path) formed a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to use a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study tuberculosis drug resistance.
C-Path launched a type 1 diabetes consortium to explore treatment and prevention of the disease.
The UA got a $4.8 million federal grant to develop a vaccine to protect dogs from valley fever.
The UA received $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create the Sustainable Bioeconomy of Arid Regions Center. It will focus on biofuels, bioproduct and renewable biological resources.
Scientists at the UA genetically engineered corn to be resistant to cancer-causing aflatoxin.
A partnership of TGen, HonorHealth (a health services network) and the UA used a $5.1 million federal grant to develop a test that detects pancreatic cancer before symptoms appear.
Expand STEM Education, Develop Talent
An Oro Valley student won a scholarship to the UA for research into a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The Tucson-based Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation opened a new center and hosted more than 2,000 projects at its annual student science fair.
The UA College of Medicine secured full accreditation for its Phoenix medical school. The university opened its $136 million Biomedical Services Partnership Building on its Phoenix Biomedical Campus. It includes labs for health research.
Other Tucson Bio Space Activity
The fast pace of creating and filling Tucson bio space continues. The UA is constructing state-of-the-art research labs for its College of Pharmacy. It’s raising a building of learning space, clinical labs and simulation centers for use by medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health students and faculty.
Lab and research space also is planned for the UA Tech Park at the Bridges. Innovation Park in Oro Valley continues to foster a hub for bioscience research, development and manufacturing.
I like to point out that support businesses are crucial to creating a thriving bioscience industry. Professional and administrative services, construction trades and suppliers all are part of the Tucson bio space. As the industry grows, so do other business opportunities that eventually turn Arizona into a bioscience hub.
Let me help you find the right Tucson bio space for your business. Contact me, michael@cretucson or 1-520-299-3400.
More information: 2017 Progress of Biosciences in Arizona