Updated May 20, 2024 - Business

Meet the next bioscience hub on the West Coast: Greater Phoenix


A message from GPEC

Meet the next bioscience hub on the West Coast

Since 1989, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has fueled the regional economy by attracting and growing quality businesses and serving as a strategic partner and local advocate.

  • GPEC has assisted notable biomedical companies like Dexcom, Anuncia, Stryker and more expand operations to Greater Phoenix.

The biggest update: Due to the rapid expansion in the bioscience sector, including areas like translational neuroscience and medtech/medical devices, GPEC hired a dedicated VP of Business Development to enhance Greater Phoenix's appeal as a key destination market.

Why it's important:

  • Greater Phoenix had a 66% growth rate — the fourth-highest in the U.S. — in bioscience employment from 2015–2023, with regional employment for this sector growing 2.5 times the national average.
  • The STEM completion growth rate in Greater Phoenix was twice the national average from 2012–2022, outpacing peer markets like Atlanta and Houston when compared to the total population.
  • The region saw a 147% growth in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing — more than 6 times the national average of 23%.
  • The health care and biomedical sector received more than $4 billion in capital investments from 2019–2023, generating more than 10,000 new jobs.
  • Total funding across Arizona from the National Institutes of Health reached $364 million in 2023, tripling the national growth rate.
  • Greater Phoenix added new bioscience and life science business locations at a rate 1.3 times higher than the national average.

In other words: "For more than two decades, the bio sector has grown its allocations of funding for research and has drawn increasing capital investment for startups while creating high-paying jobs at an extraordinary rate," said Ryan Helwig, principal and project director at TEConomy Partners.

How it's done:

👉West Valley Health Quarter houses AKOS Telemedicine, Copper Springs Hospital, Phoenix Children's Southwest Specialty and Urgent Care Center, the Arizona Center for Cancer Care, Integrated Medical Services, and many others.

👉 Barrow Neurological Institute cares for people with brain and spinal diseases, conditions, and injuries. It was chosen as the inaugural pilot site for Elon Musk's Neuralink PRIME study.

👉 CND Life Sciences develops cutaneous diagnostic tests to detect key biomarkers for Parkinson's and dementia — and local hospitals use them for patient diagnoses and treatment plans.

👉 GT Medical Technologies, a Tempe-based medical device startup, treats brain tumors using a conformable collagen matrix with brachytherapy (radiation) seeds.

👉 Mayo Clinic Discovery Oasis, a biotechnology innovation hub of collaboration, offers research and clinical trials spanning cell and gene therapies, next-generation diagnostics, biomanufacturing, medical devices, transplant technologies and more.

👉 Phoenix Bioscience Core houses the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), part of City of Hope, and Dignity Health's Cancer Institute.

👉 Scottsdale Cure Corridor offers Translational Drug Development services for Phase I-III clinical trial design, planning and execution — and the Scottsdale Clinical Trials research site conducts Phase I-IV studies.

👉 The Phoenix Medical Quarter is a hub for medical research — for example, the Barrow Neurological Institute's Ivy Brain Tumor Center offers the largest Phase 0 clinical trials program in the world.

The takeaway: Greater Phoenix is becoming the next bioscience hub on the West Coast.

With a spirit rooted in strength, collaboration and resilience, the region pursues innovative and entrepreneurial-focused companies looking to thrive and scale in a vibrant, dynamic area.

Explore the full report.


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more