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  • Pima County welcomes promise of medical diagnostics

    Mar 29, 2013 | Read More News
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    Emerging technology that can help detect diseases and help doctors pinpoint therapeutic interventions to keepBiosciences patients healthier longer will be key to capitalizing on the region’s expanding biosciences market, according to a new study.

    With the region already home to leaders in the biotech arena, such as Ventana Medical Systems, Sanofi and others, Pima County applauds the new strategy unveiled by Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities that identifies a new recruitment and retention focus on medical diagnostics.

    County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said developing a critical mass in the biosciences will be important not only for the synergy created when companies can share talent, facilities and infrastructure, but for four primary reasons:

    ·    Diagnostics has significant potential for economic benefit, which is why Pima County has already made substantial investments to support this emerging niche. Pima County supported the recent expansion of Roche by forgiving roughly $8.3 million in property taxes. More recently, Pima County invested in wet lab space to secure the relocation of the new corporate headquarters of the bioscience company Accelerate Diagnostics. Such investments are paying off. Accelerate, which held its grand opening mere weeks ago, has already hired 30 employees and is recruiting for more than a dozen other positions. The average annual wage for its research and development team: $102,040.

    ·    Fast, accurate diagnostics strengthen public health and wellness in a multitude of ways. Depending on the application, they can be used not only to diagnose and monitor disease, but can have predictive capabilities that can help evaluate future risk of illness. With one of Pima County’s core priorities ensuring the health and wellness of our community, the Pima County Health Department provides services that support the health, safety and well-being of our residents.

    ·    Earlier diagnoses can help reduce the costs of care associated with hospitalization by making sure patients have more information about managing and preventing chronic illness. As a partner with University Medical Center – South Campus, Pima County is supportive of such efforts to lower costs and improve patient outcomes.

    ·    The more timely and accurate the diagnoses, and the more that treatment plans can be tailored to individual patients, the stronger the likelihood that fewer unnecessary tests and ineffective services will be ordered. As a consumer of health care for employees, Pima County supports all of the puzzle pieces that work together to rein in the ever-increasing cost of health care.

    “Not only are these new technologies breaking ground in providing effective patient care, but they represent a new frontier in economic development that really meshes with our regional strength in biosciences,” said Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, who sits on the TREO board. “We look forward to working with our other partners in the region to help target the growth of this industry.”

    To read the full report, please visit