Bio Technology & Life Sciences

What makes Gilbert a Better Location for Biotech?

Located in the southeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Gilbert, Arizona has seen an influx of world-class facilities, talents, innovations and public private partnerships.

Some of the nation’s major healthcare players like Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Banner Healthcare and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center choose Gilbert. Their cutting edge research and development of life saving devices and procedures have been noted world-wide. In addition, Gilbert has experienced substantial growth in algae technologies, particularly in pharmaceuticals/nutraceuticals which provide health and medical benefits. Finally, Gilbert is well-known for stem cell transplant therapies and regenerative medicine through firms like Celebration Stem Cell Centre, Translational Research Institute, and Cardiovascular & Stem Cell Consultants.

The development of intellectual properties in the community led Gilbert to being named one of the nation’s Top 20 Thriving Cities with an average of 259 patents a year. This coupled with the rapid growth of NIH grant funding to Arizona institutions over the last decade (65.3 %) proves there are limitless possibilities for collaboration.

Gilbert has over 2 million-square feet of hospital and clinical research facilities including Banner M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Ironwood Cancer Research Center; Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, Banner Gateway Medical Center and Gilbert Hospital. Additionally, Gilbert has approximately 30 acres of commercial real estate earmarked for healthcare facilities and service.

MAJOR ECONOMIC DRIVERS

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center: Banner Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital systems, has joined internationally renowned cancer treatment and research organization, MD Anderson, offering the broadest extension of MD Anderson’s cancer care program outside Houston, Texas. Banner MD Anderson Cancer center provides care for all types of cancers with a primary focus in breast, lung, gynecologic, gastrointestinal, prostate, and skin cancers, as well as liquid tumors such as lymphoma and leukemia.

Plans are in place to expand their existing 133,000 square-foot facility by an additional 500,000 square feet with a continued focus on cancer research and clinical trials.

Celebration Stem Cell Centre: Registered with the FDA in 2010, Celebration Stem Cell Centre is a hybrid public and private umbilical cord blood bank, stem cell contract manufacturer, and stem cell research facility, CSCC services include the processing and banking of umbilical cord blood. Additionally, CSCC is currently developing other programs which include Wharton’s jelly (umbilical cord tissue) banking, adipose tissue-derived stem cell banking, contract manufacturing services and contract research services.

Translational Research Institute (TRI): Celebration Stem Cell Centre doubled the size of its facility in Gilbert to house the Translational Research Institute. Seen as the next key component in the advancement of cellular technologies and stem cell therapy in the United States, TRI is a private company formed to develop innovative treatments for cardiovascular disease through breakthrough cellular technologies and medical devices.

TRI will fund clinical research projects and establish strategic partnerships with world-leading scientists and principal investigators in stem cell transplant therapies and regenerative medicine.

Cardiovascular & Stem Cell Consultants (CSCC):  Focused on evidence-based cardiovascular care, CSCC provides patients access to the newest investigational treatments for advanced cardiovascular disease such as adult stem cells and gene therapy.

CSCC is currently enrolling in Phase I, II and III research studies using adult stem cells, angiogenesis (growing new blood vessels) and genomics in patients with heart failure, chronic chest pain, coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

Heliae: Develops, and deploys technology solutions that enable society to harness the full value of algae. Heliae produces valuable ingredients that offer advanced nutritional value to new and existing nutraceutical, food and feed supplies.

Heliae’s algae strains and growth platform also offers an economic novel and economic pathway to a range of therapeutics that meet the increasing market demand for natural bio-based therapies. Trials with their therapeutic products are underway and are showing significant health and disease prevention therapies beyond conventional pathways.

Ironwood Cancer & Research Center: A comprehensive care facility providing a full spectrum of services to patients with oncologic and hematologic diseases, Ironwood also participates in clinical trials focused on treating lung, breast and pancreatic cancers.

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center: Mercy Gilbert is a full-service, acute-care, not-for-profit community hospital. Cardiovascular research is just one of the areas of focus for Mercy Gilbert. In fact, the hospital participates in over 20 national and international clinical trials around the application of stem cells and the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

ADDITIONAL ASSETS
  • Over 2 million square feet of state-of-the-art hospital and clinical research facilities including Banner Gateway Medical Center and Gilbert Hospital
  • Approximately 300 acres of Gilbert commercial real estate earmarked for healthcare facilities and services.
  • Proximity to over 800 science and technology firms provides potential for collaborative partnerships.
TALENT PIPELINE
  • Gilbert offers access to 1 million individuals within a 30-minute commute – for the Phoenix metro area, this represents 71% of the health-sciences workforce
  • Gilbert has one of the highest median household incomes in the state at $83,857
  • 41.5% of Gilbert residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher

For additional information about Gilbert’s labor force, employment densities, top employers, and educational attainment and resources, please visit our Talent Pipeline page.

STATE & REGIONAL ACTIVITY
  • In just a decade, Arizona has welcomed more than 200 new bioscience establishments and added new jobs at nearly four times the national rate
  • The Arizona SciTech Festival attracts about 250,000 participants annually – making it one of the largest in the nation – while engaging Arizona’s scientists of tomorrow
  • Since 2002, more than 30,000 high-paying jobs have been created in Arizona through the biosciences
  • More than 80,000 Arizonans work in the hospital sector, providing care to tens of thousands of patients annually and recording breakthroughs in clinical research
  • NIH Funding topped $180 million in 2013
  • Arizona outperformed the nation in 2012 with $46 million of bioscience-related research and development

*Source: Flinn Foundation

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
  • A.T. Still University
  • Arizona State University College of Nursing & Health Innovation
  • Arizona State University College of Technology & Innovation
  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College
  • Pima Medical Institute
  • The Bryman School

As a community, Gilbert has made it a priority to inspire K-12 students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations by exposing them to new career pathways.

Gilbert’s Campo Verde High School offers one of the state’s only four-year K-12 programs that prepare students for higher education degrees focused on biotechnology and life science-related jobs.  The program includes four key areas Principles of Biomedical Sciences, Human Body Systems, Medical Intervention and Science Research.

REGIONAL ASSETS

Further collaboration efforts exist with not only Gilbert-based anchors, but also with other regional assets:

  • Arizona Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
  • AZBio
  • Barrow Neurological Institute
  • BioAccel
  • Critical Path Institute
  • Flinn Foundation
  • International Genomics Consortium
  • Science Foundation Arizona
  • Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)