Recent activity shows the Tucson metropolitan area is building a strong bioscience and biotechnology center.
Several developments last year prove that Tucson, Arizona is well on its way to becoming an important hub for the nation’s bioscience industry.
We at Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson expect demand for research facilities, medical office buildings, education space and retail/office commercial real estate as bioscience and biotechnology companies continue to grow and locate in Tucson, Oro Valley and other areas of the metropolitan area.
We foresee that companies that provide support services such as finance, marketing, customer service and training will also want to locate within this hub to serve companies and their employees.
Our anticipation that commercial property site selectors will take a good look at Tucson for locating or starting bioscience and biotechnology companies comes from the recent 2010 Progress on Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap issued by the Flinn Foundation.
Bioscience Activity in Tucson
Here’s what the annual report said went on in Tucson last year:
- A new Clinical and Translational Science Institute by the University of Arizona helps move discoveries from the laboratory to the clinical setting more quickly. The institute strengthens the UA’s efforts to land a major grant from the National Institutes of Health.
- The UA opens BIO5 Oro Valley to focus on drug discovery and development.
- Critical Path Institute, known as C-Path, earns $2.2 million in federal stimulus funds to establish a resource for scientists to learn to perform and interpret new diagnostic tests. That knowledge will provide accurate identification of a patient’s biomarkers.
- C-Path and other state institutions launch a collaborative biosignatures research program.
Critical Mass of Firms
- Sanofi-aventis opens its 110-square-foot Tucson Research Center as its global headquarters for combinatorial chemistry research.
- University Medical Center Corp. and University Physicians Healthcare plan merger into University Arizona Medicine to better support the UA College of Medicine’s research and physician-training efforts.
- A new University of Arizona Research Corporation helps university discoveries move into the marketplace by helping innovators license their technology, form new companies, protect intellectual property and attract venture-capital investment.
- C-Path’s coalition of pharmaceutical companies receives federal government backing to cut the approval time for experimental drugs that fight tuberculosis.
- A public database from clinical trials for drugs that treat Alzheimer’s disease is launched by C-Path’s Coalition Against Major Diseases, made up of drug makers, patient groups and representatives of regulatory and research bodies.
- The UA’s Arizona Center for Innovation receives $1.5 million in federal stimulus funds given to Arizona for commercialization efforts.
- A new Healthcare Transformation Institute focuses on making health-care delivery more effective and efficient. It’s a joint effort among the UA, Arizona State University and Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and chairman of Abraxis BioScience Inc., and incubated by BioAccel.
Training and Education
- The Vail School District starts building the Vail Academy and High School, a K-12 campus that will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education.
- University of Arizona establishes a new biomedical engineering department to offer a bachelor’s degree program.
The Tucson metropolitan area continues to benefit from the Roche Group’s $180 capital improvement investment at its Ventana Medical Systems Inc. campus in Oro Valley. The pharmaceutical giant will add 500 jobs to the division.
These strides come on top of additional state government efforts to offer corporate tax incentives, funding support and increased economic development activities. Federal tax dollars in the form of grants and tax credits also continue to fund bioscience activities.
Science Foundation Arizona contributes to the effort by fostering innovative research with high commercial potential, supporting STEM education and connecting Arizona researchers and businesses.
These efforts ensure that the biosciences will continue to grow as a viable industry in Arizona, including Tucson.
Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucsonspecializes in representing tenants and corporate users across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia as a member of ITRA. For more information call 520-299-3400.