At BIO International Convention, Companies Consider Moving to DFW » Dallas Innovates

The North Texas biotech boom has been heating up for years. At a recent international bio conference in San Diego, the word was out and several companies expressed interest in moving to Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Organic International Convention 2022 took place in San Diego in mid-June, attracting over 3,000 international and national companies. A hundred interactive sessions over 4 days covered numerous therapeutic targets, commercial development, digital health, patient advocacy, public policies and next-generation biotherapies. Attendees also received the latest updates from industry experts on COVID-19 and vaccines.

The annual BIO conference is the largest in the world, regularly attracting 15,000 to 20,000 attendees each year before the pandemic. The recent San Diego conference was the first time BIO International has held entirely in person since the pandemic began.

DRC leaders were present along with North Texas organic organizations

Jorge Varela

Two representatives from the Dallas Regional Chamber, along with leaders from the Texas Healthcare Biotech Institute, Bio North Texas and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, attended the conference.

“The the greatest minds in biotechnology were all in the room, and we connected with them to explore opportunities and increase investment in the Dallas area,” said Jorge Varela, vice president of research and innovation for the DRC, in a communicated.

Interest in relocation

Kevin Shatley

Having “Dallas” on your name badge apparently sparked interest at the conference, and local officials heard about it.

“We have received interest from half a dozen organic businesses to relocate to the Dallas area,” Kevin Shatley, vice president of economic development for the DRC, said in the statement.

Interested companies included pre-clinical and clinical-stage therapeutic companies, as well as others providing industry-specific services.

“They recognize the field’s emergence in life sciences, which is driven by our strengths in biosciences, data science, artificial intelligence, logistics, fintech, blockchain, sensors and microprocessors,” Shatley added.

Mobilizing the life sciences community

“The primary goal of the DRC’s presence at the conference was to understand how best to engage the life sciences community,” Varela told Dallas Innovates.

While “most of the businesses and professionals we encountered were ‘very aware’ of Texas, and ‘aware’ of the Dallas area due to the many corporate relocations and high migration rates among all During the conference, some were unaware or unaware of North Texas’ “booming life sciences sector and the resources available to support the industry,” Varela added.

North Texas Bends

“A common feeling among our partner organizations in attendance is that Texas – and even more so, North Texas – needs to do a better job of commercializing the region’s life sciences resources and successes, and that the BIO conference is one of the areas we should be looking into.”

Varela said on the Texas booth at the BIO conference, “over 50% of the sponsors and partners were from North Texas.” Houston held its own booth next to the Texas booth.

Varela also noted that representatives from the Texas Cancer Prevention and Research Institute have generated “significant interest from oncology societies and researchers wishing to engage with CPRIT.”

Airport facilities, manufacturing and certification are major attractions at DFW

The Dallas Regional Chamber says there are three main reasons biotech companies are drawn to North Texas – and its representatives were eager to reinforce them for BIO International attendees.

First, the Dallas area already has a thriving biotech ecosystem, with many leaders medical facilities, labs, and innovation centers like Pegasus Park, UT Southwestern, University of Texas at Dallas, UNT HSC in Fort Worth, and many more.

Second, the Dallas area manufacturing growth. According to Varela, RDC member firm Deloitte predicts that Texas will lead the United States in manufacturing jobs through 2029. Being able to manufacture drugs in the Dallas area at a significant rate, while by also being able to transport them safely, gives the region a “huge advantage”, says Varela.

This leads to the third big advantage: Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It is one of only two airports in the United States to be certified as a Center of Excellence for Independent Validators. This CEIV certification allows Dallas-area facilities to safely transport materials such as vaccines and medications to countries around the world.

“It’s no secret that we have the talent, the technology and the infrastructure”

George Goodno, director of Dallas-based Goodno Strategies and senior advisor to the ENTENTE network, was a long-time director of communications for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the entity behind BIO International. He is also a former Director of Industry Relations for UT Southwestern. He spoke about the DRC’s presence at this year’s conference and the growth of biotechnology in North Texas.

“The Dallas Regional Chamber represented our region with a strong and engaging presence at #BIO2022 this year,” Goodno wrote on LinkedIn. “People also notice. It’s no secret that we have the talent, technology and infrastructure to continue the tremendous growth already underway.

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