Prospering Beyond the Biotech Clusters
By: Kimmi Schonhorst and Baiju Shah
In an increasingly interconnected world, more and more biotech companies are finding success outside of the traditional biotech cluster cities such as Boston and the Bay Area. Technology allows these companies to access assets, experience, expertise, and funding from a global market—all while taking advantage of innovation hubs and lower costs.
BioMotiv’s accelerator model allows us to access assets and expert resources on a global scale while taking advantage of the economic benefits and lower operating costs of our primary location. We access technology and maintain partnerships with researchers located from coast-to-coast in the United States, and around the world in places like New Zealand (SapVax). Similarly, we execute work with contract research organizations such as Charles River Laboratories, PharmaLex Group, and Medpace and drug development expertise from around the world to facilitate the development needs for our subsidiary companies.
As another example, a new collaborative partnership, LAB591, was recently launched bringing together the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center based in Seattle, Evotec AG, a drug discovery company based in Hamburg, Germany, and Arix Bioscience, a London-based Venture Capital group. The goal of Lab591 is to develop and commercialize assets; to significantly shorten the drug discovery timeline; and to launch start-up companies with a high potential for success. Though Seattle is not a traditional biotech cluster, it is a tech hub— and one that Lab591 is able to tap into, utilizing their global network of expertise and resources to select and support their projects.
Moving outside of the clusters isn’t just for start-ups. Johnson & Johnson launched a series of JLabs, healthcare innovation hotspots in 11 locations around the world, including non-cluster areas like Houston and Toronto. These hotspots aim to provide resources to scientists including access to capital, equipment, and mentors, so scientists can focus on moving the science foward and to make sure their start-up company is successful.
With access to technologies, people, CROs, and capital from around the world, the possibilities for biotech innovation and growth, anywhere, are endless.