Dallas’ Biotech+ Hub strengthens our future as biomedical leader


On a brisk, windy day in Dallas last week, our city took what we hope will be a major step forward in combining the outstanding public scientific research taking place at UT Southwestern Medical Center with private investment and philanthropy.

Mayor Eric Johnson, philanthropist Lyda Hill and U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson were among those at the ribbon-cutting for the BioLabs facility at the Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park.

The project, on a 23-acre campus anchored by what was the Exxon Mobil headquarters off Stemmons Freeway near the Design District, has the potential to become a national center of biomedical and pharmaceutical advancement, attracting the best minds in medicine and science.

Not that UTSW hasn’t been attracting such minds for generations. But cutting-edge research today also relies on private capital and partnerships beyond the university. Creating space and funding for startups is smart planning for our region’s future.

It’s been almost a year and a half since the repurposed high-rise landed BioLabs as the manager of this important project. BioLabs manages a network of shared facilities across the country, with clusters near top research institutions.

The decision to open at Pegasus Park marked the first BioLabs facility in the central U.S. and gives science start-ups a place to build their businesses and expand their research.

We believe the choice was wise, given the excellent and valuable science that emerges from UTSW. A Biotech+ Hub information sheet notes UTSW’s long track record of generating biomedical and pharmaceutical startups, with more than 80 generating some $281 million in revenue through investments of more than $2 billion in Texas.

That’s not to mention the other major universities around us that are also investing heavily in scientific and medical research that could benefit from the Biotech+ Hub. North Texas also boasts DFW International Airport’s status as a CEIV Pharma certified community — one of two airports in North America. This recognition from the International Air Transport Association attests to the ability of supply-chain companies at the airport to safely and efficiently handle pharmaceuticals and other sensitive cargo.

We want to see Dallas continue to grow as a national and world leader in this area. We have all of the resources to achieve international excellence in any number of research areas. A place devoted to nurturing and rewarding that excellence is welcome.

In partnership with J. Small Investments, Hill deserves a great deal of credit for her decision to put her philanthropic dollars in this project. We expect it will prove to be what its founders intend: a physical space where science advances to the benefit of all human life and to the economic benefit of our city and region.



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