Biosciences & Biotechnology
Biotechnology and the life science industry continue to expand in the Houston region with more than 100 institutions and companies attracting over $2.2 billion in research and development funding annually. In April 2018, the Texas Medical Center (TMC) announced the launch of TMC3, a new multi-institution research campus that will foster collaboration amid a culture of competition. The 37-acre expansion is expected to include about 1.5 million square feet of shared research space among the founding institutions which include TMC, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A multi-story building will resemble the double helix shape of a DNA strand and will feature core laboratories, restaurants, retail and commercial space. Groundbreaking for the new research campus is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020 with an estimated completion expected in 2022. The new campus is expected to have a $5.2 billion impact on the city of Houston and is projected to create 30,000 new jobs.
The state-funded Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has invested $1.63 billion through more than 1,056 grants since 2010. CPRIT funding has attracted nearly 100 cancer researchers and their labs to Texas and prompted $910.8 million in follow-on investment in CPRIT-supported companies. Leading research efforts in the area represent established and emerging industries, including nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, genetics/genomics, biodefense and infectious diseases, stem cell research and oncology.
Outside of the TMC, Black Forest Technology Park, located in The Woodlands (30 miles north of downtown Houston), is a long-standing major research center designed specifically for scientific, research and biotechnology companies. Other established business parks/organizations geared toward biotechnology commercialization in the Houston region include the Genesis Biotechnology Park and BioHouston, Inc. Genesis Biotechnology Park comprises 16 innovative life science companies and researchers located just south of the TMC. The Park was developed to increase venture capital interests in Houston and is committed to supporting start-up companies by providing tenant options for shared office, wet laboratory space (including equipment) and flexible leases. BioHouston, Inc., a non-profit corporation founded by Houston-area academic/research institutions, is actively leading a broad-based effort to strengthen Houston’s position as a global competitor in life science and biotechnology. BioHouston’s Resource Center, the first incubator facility serving the Houston life sciences community, is housed at the Genesis Biotechnology Park, adding a key component to ongoing commercialization efforts. The Center is specifically designed to serve start-up biotech and life sciences companies by offering access to shared laboratory space, research resources and networking opportunities with a community of biotech entrepreneurs.
The BioScience Research Collaborative built by Rice University is an innovate-space where scientists and educators from Rice University and other TMC institutions work together to perform leading research that benefits human medicine and health. Shortly after opening in 2010, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) and Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Space Medicine joined the Collaborative. Funded by NASA in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, the NSBRI is studying and solving the health risks and problems related to long-duration spaceflight.
From its base of cutting-edge research, Houston has taken the next step in its evolution as a primary lifescience cluster by creating an environment conducive for private companies to develop and market life science products. With key initiatives in place to bring together the public and private sectors, as well as significant improvements to the scope of services and incentives available to private companies, the infrastructure is in place to capitalize on Houston’s strong research base and convert it into commercialized product. With this process now in motion, the biotech future in Houston looks bright.
This Biosciences & Biotechnology overview is part of the annual 2019 Houston Economic Outlook.
Sections covered in the full report include:
Population Growth | Employment Sector | Business Climate | Global Energy Capital | Petrochemical & Plastics Industry | Port Houston | NASA/Johnson Space Center | Mobility Infrastructure | Airport System | Texas Medical Center | Biosciences & Biotechnology