Amidst empty labs, signs of biotech’s resurgence emerge

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In 2023, a year of accelerated regulatory success, a significant number of biotech labs sat empty in major hubs like San Francisco and Boston. The FDA approved 55 groundbreaking therapies in 2023, including Leqembi for early Alzheimer’s and Zurzuvae for postpartum depression. The approval number marked the second highest count in three decades. Amidst this contradiction, the seeds of biotech’s next boom are taking root.

In 2024, 72 late-stage therapies are poised for FDA approval, hinting at the potential for resurgence within the life sciences. While post-pandemic lab construction meets a wave of approvals, a slowdown in venture funding and job growth casts a temporary shadow. Additionally, the biotech lab space real estate picture is not as simple as it seems, with a marked shift in the scale and nature of drug development driving evolving space needs.

Even amidst this p…

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Rice Biotech Launch Pad plans to make Houston a top-tier biotech hub

Rice Biotech Launch Pad: A collaboration hub at TMC’s Helix Park. [Image courtesy of TMC Helix Park | Texas Medical Center]

Houston boasts many world-class assets that have made it a formidable player on the global stage. From the world’s largest medical complex to mission control for the cosmos, few other cities can compete with its diverse strengths. Houston is also home to the prestigious Rice University, renowned for its leading science and engineering programs.

Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, has not traditionally been a leader in biotechnology, but Rice University’s new Rice Biotech Launch Pad aims to change that. As Omid Veiseh, director of the Launch Pad, explains, “What we wanted with the Launch Pad was something different.” The goal is to capitalize on Rice’s research strengths and the vast medical expertise at the nearby Texas Medical Center.

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