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Adams County, CO: A Leader in Life Sciences

World-class research and education facilities and a legacy of collaboration power innovation in this Colorado community.

By Brittany Anas on June 22, 2022

Researchers collaborate at the University of Colorado Denver.
University Communications/CUA

When it comes to top science and technology hubs, Colorado is considered a national leader, and Adams County is at the heart of the state’s burgeoning bio and life sciences industry. Helping propel life sciences innovation are world-class research and education facilities, and a strong legacy of collaboration.

Here, researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have pioneered groundbreaking medical discoveries, from innovative cancer clinical trials to examining the benefits of equine therapy for children with autism.

Life Science Pioneer

Groundbreaking discoveries that have happened at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus include:
• The first use of human cell cloning to study genetics and cancer
• The development of the first vaccine for shingles
• The first liver transplant performed in the world

Solving Global Problems

Anchoring health care and life sciences in Adams County is the Anschutz Medical Campus, a world-class medical destination at the forefront of transformative education, science, medicine and health care.

The Anschutz campus is unique because it’s an integrated health sciences campus, which means researchers, clinicians, faculty and students can explore the most pressing questions in health care and have the facilities to support an entire spectrum of research, from the lab to patient application.

So, not only is this campus producing innovative research, but it is also teaching future medical professionals and treating patients. The campus is home to six health professional schools offering over 40 degree programs.

Current research taking place at Anschutz includes looking at the bark of neem trees to see if it can protect against coronavirus variants and using datasets to better understand the complex immune responses in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Campus researchers are also leading a multi-institution effort to study long COVID.

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Fitzsimons Innovation Community

An Innovation Community

Working in tandem with the medical campus is Fitzsimons Innovation Community, which provides health care innovators the facilities, support and services they need to change lives. Together, Anschutz and Fitzsimons give Adams County a powerful advantage, making the region a magnet for top talent.

When Jake Chabon, the CEO and co-founder of Foresight Diagnostics, was looking to grow his company, which is developing noninvasive cancer detection technologies, he came across a challenge: There wasn’t much preexisting lab space on the market.

Enter Fitzsimons, which offers turnkey lab space, flexible leases and shared conference rooms. Instead of building out his own lab, which would require a lot of time and capital, Chabon was able to locate his company within Fitzsimons, which has nearly 500,000 square feet of specialized science labs.

“I’d say what has surprised me the most about Fitzsimons is in addition to the operational advantages we have of moving into an existing lab space and having access to the core facilities has been how supportive and friendly everyone in the community is,” Chabon says.

Making Connections

The community is home to more than 80 life sciences organizations that, combined, employ more than 800 people. That allows Fitzsimons to leverage a robust network of established industry leaders and entrepreneurs. Organizations in the community raised $21 million in capital to advance research and development, support clinical trials and accelerate commercialization.

For Chabon, Fitzsimons has also fostered mentorship and networking opportunities.

“Everyone is willing to get a coffee and connect you with who you need to be connected with. It’s a supportive community and everyone wants to see each other succeed.”

Jake Chabon, Fitzsimons Innovation Community tenant

Next up for Fitzsimons is a new bioscience building, “Bioscience 5,” which is expected to be completed in 2022. The 90,000-square-foot facility is the first building in the community with full-scale manufacturing for cell and gene therapy, which will allow commercial companies to take significant products to market.

From the board of directors to the newest company on campus, those in the Fitzsimons Innovation Community know that easy access to collaboration has direct results on success, says April Giles, vice president of business development.

“Our customized workspace, collaborative campus and proximity to one of the top health systems and medical schools in the country make our community the perfect place to put down roots and get to work,” she says.

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