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  • New biosciences company driving innovation to improve patient care

    Mar 15, 2013 | Read More News
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    A new company that is gearing up to “change the entire field of microbiology” officially launched its objective AccelerateThursday with a grand opening of its new headquarters and state-of-the-art laboratory space.

    Accelerate Diagnostics, which moved into Pima County’spublic health department building on South Country Club, is working to developa rapid infection-detection testing system that could identify pathogens withinhours, instead of what can otherwise be days using current technology. And withantibiotic-resistant bacterial infections on the rise, the company is alsoworking toward rapid detection of drug resistance.

    CEO Larry Mehren, formerly an executive with Ventana Medical Systems, said therewere a number of advantages in moving the company from Denver to Tucson, including an affordable housing market and the proximity to the University of Arizona, as well as a growing sense of potential throughout the area. “This is absolutely the right place for us to be.”

    He thanked the County, including County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, for the creativity involved with the relocation, including meeting the company’s needs for a specialized wet laboratory space that uses liquids to conduct experiments on bacteria and fungi.

    Relying on a low-interest loan from the Arizona Commerce Authority, the County developed the lab space, which will be able to support biotech research for years to come.

    “We saw the potential of what could be,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Ramón Valadez, applauding what he characterized as the first of many future milestones. Through the efforts of a lot of creative people, he added, “We have come up with a solution that fits and that not only fits today, but fits into the future to help this industry grow in our community.”

    Mehren has already hired 30 people and is continuing to hire other scientists andengineers, with the potential to double the staff within the next year.

    “These folks are just the vanguard of what is to come,” he said, adding he also anticipates his company’s success will also attract other similar companies.

    Steve Eggen, the Chairman of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, said the companyserves as an example of the bigger blueprint to grow biosciences. “This is really a great, tangible seedling of what we want to do in really getting into the biosciences,” he said. “It’s exciting to see it.”

    The Accelerate opening came as Forbes named Tucsonone of the Best Cities for Jobs This Spring, based on survey results from hiring managers who anticipate a strong second quarter. To read more, visit http://www.forbes.com/pictures/efkk45egkig/no-3-best-city-tie-tucson-ariz/.

    Meanwhile, the March 2013 issue of Site Selection magazine looked at the number of corporate relocation and expansion projects in 2012, and ranked Tucson in the Top 5 for metros of all sizes in the eight states that make up the Mountain Region. To see the article,please visit http://www.siteselection.com/issues/2013/mar/top-metros.cfm.

     

    Tolearn more about Accelerate or to consider a career with the company, please visithttp://acceleratediagnostics.com/.