Dallas Snags Coveted Biotech Research Hub

Research Laboratory
Research Laboratory | Image by Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

North Texas is slated to become one of the top areas in the United States for biomedical breakthroughs.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced Tuesday the launch of ARPANET-H, a nationwide health innovation network that will make Dallas one of three regional hubs dedicated to biotech research.

“ARPANET-H is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and innovation in health care. With its vast array of cutting-edge health capabilities, this dynamic nationwide network embodies our unwavering mission to propel forward health outcomes in every corner of the country — and beyond,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, according to a press release.

ARPANET-H will operate three regional centers in the United States: a customer experience hub in Dallas, an investor catalyst hub in the greater Boston area, and a stakeholder and operations hub in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The customer experience hub, which will be located at the 26-acre Pegasus Park campus in Dallas, “will focus on developing health solutions that will be accessible, needed, and readily adopted.”

The Dallas-based hub will accomplish this by taking “a proactive approach to diversify clinical trials, reach representative patient populations, and more, leading to better and more equitable health outcomes for all.”

“ARPA-H has an enormous opportunity and responsibility to improve the well-being of all Americans,” said Renee Wegrzyn, ARPA-H director, per the press release. “Through this nationwide hub-and-spoke network, ARPANET-H will enable ARPA-H to create breakthrough capabilities and achieve health outcomes for everyone that are accessible, tangible, and measurably better.”

This could be a major economic win for Dallas and the North Texas region, at least according to Hubert Zajicek, co-founder and CEO of Health Wildcatters, a mentor-driven seed accelerator and investing consortium focused on supporting entrepreneurs in healthcare.

Although the life science and biotech industry is mostly located on the coasts, Zajicek said North Texas has an opportunity to become the dominant biotech market in the United States thanks to its robust population, consortium of universities, business-friendly environment, and educated workforce.

“There’s a lot of reasons to be bullish for Dallas,” said Zajicek, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Dallas has transformed into a completely different market over the past 20 years, according to Joseph Pancrazio, vice president for research and innovation at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“We’ll be able to look back on this as one of the significant milestones on the journey to establishing North Texas, but more importantly, Texas as a life science state,” said Pancrazio, per the DMN. “This is an expansion of our robust portfolio and it makes our economy more resilient.”

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