Phoenix’s biotech industry has reached new heights over the past several years, making this Southwestern tech hub a fierce competitor in the life sciences space. As more startups and tech companies decide to take their chances in the Arizona desert, the state as a whole has seen a surge in biotech interest. According to the Arizona Bioindustry Association, biotech employment across Arizona has risen by 15 percent since 2016, while the state’s biotech companies have generated $349 million in VC funding since then.
Throughout Phoenix and surrounding cities, the life sciences sector continues to expand, leaving in its wake a burgeoning biotech community. These life sciences leaders are experts in a variety of disciplines, utilizing both technology and scientific expertise to develop groundbreaking discoveries in cancer research, DNA exploration and even agriculture. Whether they have been in the Phoenix area for decades or are relatively new to the Arizona tech scene, these organizations are united by a mutual determination to change millions of people’s lives by merging time-tested research with 21st Century innovation. These 13 biotech companies in and around Phoenix are breaking down barriers across the life sciences sector — one revolutionary solution at a time.
Biotech Companies in Phoenix to Know
- OncoMyx Therapeutics
- GenoSensor Corporation
- Systems Oncology
- Amnio Technology
Focus: Oncolytic Immunotherapies
What they do: OncoMyx Therapeutics focuses on developing oncolytic immunotherapies based on a myxoma virus (MYXV) platform. The company’s proprietary therapeutic platform is intended to orchestrate an immune response that makes it possible to target tumors. OncoMyx Therapeutics’ pipeline is composed of monotherapies and therapies to be used in combination with immune checkpoint blockade and other immuno-modulatory approaches.
Focus: DNA Exploration
What they do: Exploragen develops apps that allow people to explore their own DNA so they can live healthier and smarter lives. Once consumers have sent in a sample of their DNA, the company gives them the opportunity to explore their results and start shopping for products that span categories like fitness, nutrition and ancestry. Exploragen bases each of its apps on published, peer-reviewed studies pertaining to the associations between different genes, lifestyle traits and preferences.
Focus: Lung Cancer Detection + Treatment
What they do: Founded by Dr. Alan Nelson, VisionGate is a clinical-stage oncology pharmaceutical and diagnostics company that focuses on the early detection and treatment of lung cancer and lung dysplasia. The company’s Cell-CT platform utilizes optical projection tomography to render cells visible in 3D, boasting the ability to morphologically recognize over 700 structural biomarkers of normal and abnormal cells. VisionGate’s lead diagnostic product, the LuCED lung test, is designed to detect abnormal cells that indicate lung cancer and bronchial dysplasia.
Focus: Neurological Disorders Detection + Tracking
What they do: Situated in nearby Scottsdale, Saccadous has created a solution for the detection and tracking of neurological disorders. The company’s cloud-based, non-invasive platform analyzes microscopic eye movements called microsaccades in an effort to identify patterns, which could provide insight into different disorders. Saccadous’ current studies focus on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, concussions and ADHD/ADD.
Focus: Cancer Diagnostics
What they do: RiboMed Biotechnologies provides proprietary epigenetic and genetic biomarker tests used for detecting and treating diseases. The company offers various clinical services including GliomaSTRAT, a tool for brain tumor stratification. RiboMed Biotechnologies is also focusing on developing epigenetic-based biomarker tests for endometriosis and ovarian cancer.
Focus: Genomic Technologies
What they do: Based in nearby Tempe, GenoSensor Corporation is dedicated to developing products for genomic research, drug discovery, predisposition gene screening and more. The company’s specialties include microRNA expression profiling, genome alteration analysis, gene expression profiling, custom microarrays and target gene amplification, quantitation and labeling. GenoSensor Corporation’s mission is to improve human healthcare by providing products and services to those who conduct genomic research or are in need of genomic solutions in all life sciences.
Focus: Human-Derived Biomaterials
What they do: Humabiologics is dedicated to providing human-derived biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The company’s products are designed to be used alone or alongside other biomaterials in various fields like bio-printing, diagnostics and screening, pharmacology and cell culture. Humabiologics’ mission is to provide biomaterials at an affordable price in order to help researchers innovate regenerative medicine therapies.
Focus: Cancer Drug Discovery
What they do: Located in neighboring Scottsdale, Systems Oncology focuses on cancer drug discovery. The company utilizes a cognitive computing platform in order to aggregate and mine disparate types of biomedical datasets to reveal contextual vulnerabilities in cancer and exploit those vulnerabilities with agents. Systems Oncology then partners with pharmaceutical companies to transform new agents into groundbreaking cancer therapies.
Focus: Disease Diagnostics + Treatment
What they do: The Translational Genomics Research Institute, otherwise known as TGen, is a nonprofit medical research institute that offers expertise in a variety of common and complex diseases. The institute focuses on the development of diagnostics and treatments for cancer, neurological disorders, rare childhood disorders, infectious disease and more. TGen is currently conducting various studies for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, ALS and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).
Focus: Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Arrays (NAPPA)
What they do: Ordinatrix specializes in the development and refinement of Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Arrays (NAPPA) technology. The company’s technology is designed to minimize direct manipulation of the proteins and produces them promptly for experiments, which avoids problems with protein purification and stability. Ordinatrix’s mission is to develop technology that aids in the development of new drugs, diagnosis of disease and approaches to personalized medicine.
Focus: Amniotic Tissue Allografts
What they do: Amnio Technology focuses on optimizing the regenerative potential and clinical use of amniotic tissues. The company develops and distributes amniotic tissue allografts, which provide physical, biological and physiological properties to cover and protect wounds. Amnio Technology aims to advance the science and use of amniotic tissue to improve quality of life for patients in need.
Focus: Cancer Immunotherapy + Infectious Diseases Treatment
What they do: Located in neighboring Tempe, Susavion Biosciences focuses on the design of novel peptides for cancer immunotherapy and treatment of infectious diseases. The company’s MultiValent Peptide Mimetic technology (MVPM) platform is intended to identify activators of the immune system in order to dramatically boost innate immunity and expand the efficacy of endogenously produced polyclonal or exogenously administered monoclonal antibodies. Susavion Biosciences’ aim is to develop drugs that harness the power of the immune system to combat cancer and other diseases.
Focus: Body Regeneration
What they do: Situated in nearby Scottsdale, BioLab Sciences is dedicated to finding new ways for the body to heal itself. The company’s focus areas include orthopedic injuries, wound care, pain management, aesthetic medicine and cardiovascular indications. BioLab Sciences’ mission is to provide products that help optimize body performance.