New Bioscience Corporate Headquarters to Relocate in Pima Countyby Pima County News on Aug. 16, 2012, under Economic Development, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson
Pima County is pleased to welcome a new biosciences corporate headquarters to the region that is expected to have an economic impact of $255 million over time and serve as a catalyst to attract other biotech companies.
Denver-based Accelr8 Technology Corporation announced that after a competitive multi-state process, it will move into 15,000 square feet of space in the Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center, located within the Kino Medical Education Campus.
It is expected to be up and running in early 2013.
“Although remaining in Colorado was our first choice, after a careful and deliberate process, the decision to move to Arizona became clear,” said President and CEO Lawrence Mehren, who said he was impressed from his first contacts with Pima County, the Tucson Mayor’s Office, the state of Arizona and the Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities office. “We could tell this was a place that valued our businesses and wanted to help.”
The company is developing technology to identify dangerous pathogens within six hours of obtaining a patient specimen, instead of the standard two or three days. Earlier diagnosis will help improve the treatment and care of the 1.7 million people in the United States who contract hospital-acquired infections each year, Mehren said.
“We believe this technology will set a new standard in medical diagnostics, helping millions of patients while creating a multimillion dollar market.”
The company anticipates 65 high-skilled, high-wage jobs initially, with the potential to grow to between 200 and 300 within the decade.
Two highly-successful life sciences entrepreneurs with knowledge of Arizona are on the board: Jack Schuler and John Patience, who were instrumental in the growth of Ventana Medical Systems, which was sold to Roche in 2008.
Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, who sits on the TREO board, said the relocation may serve to develop a critical mass in the industry, given the work being done already by Ventana, Sanofi-aventis, the Critical Path Institute and the BIO5 Institute.
“In learning about what it takes to grow an industry like bioscience, we know that much of the success comes from having an industry talent pool that moves from one company to the next, forming new measures and infusing new life into ventures like this one,” she said.
“We may be at the tipping point now to advance our region dramatically if we keep our eye on the ball and continue to partner together with winning economic development opportunities like these.”
The company’s primary needs included a specialized wet laboratory space that uses liquids to conduct experiments on bacteria and fungi.
Given the array of public health and medical services at the South side campus already, Pima County will develop the lab space, using in part a low-interest loan from the Arizona Commerce Authority.
The company has accepted a three-year initial lease term of $9.25 per square foot, which is below-market, but will offset relocation costs. If the company stays on after three years, they will pay market rate. If they vacate after three years, the County will have a specially designed biotech and life science space available to help foster the growth of another research biotech or life science startup company.
Ramón Valadez, the chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, applauded the creativity that went into coming up with a solution. “This wet lab space will be able to serve many bioscience companies for years to come,” he said.
“It should be a good return on investment for many years, in the form of good-paying jobs, wages and capital investment.”