Fitzsimons Innovation Community growing as life sciences hub in Aurora – CBS Denver

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Fitzsimons Innovation Community just north of the Anschutz Medical Campus is drawing scores of new companies that aim to transform the future of health care. The plan calls for 45,000 jobs at full buildout. There is already a $10 billion annual economic impact in the single square mile.

“Bioscience 5 is our step into cell and gene therapy and our ability to take those technologies and have a place for them to scale, for companies to manufacture,” said Fitzsimons Innovation Community Vice President for Business Development April Giles.

(credit: CBS)

The massive Bioscience 5 building at Fitzsimons is on track to open this fall.

The Benson Hotel (named in honor of former University of Colorado President Bruce Benson) is under construction, and 800 of 1400 planned units of housing are completed. Restaurants and other amenities are designed to fuel life scientists creating new therapeutics and medical devices for Coloradans and the world.

Eighty companies are already at work at Fitzsimons.

“These companies every single day are working on treatments and technologies that really will change the trajectory of how we each respond to whatever disease state it is that we’re facing,” Giles said.

The vision for Fitzsimons is to collaborate with University, Children’s, and VA hospitals and the University of Colorado to move new medical breakthroughs into commercialization faster. Six hundred clinical trials are underway now.

“Many times those relationships are with companies that are in the Fitzsimons Innovation Community doing their work, their research, their manufacturing right across the street,” added Giles.

Foresight Diagnostics – founded by Stanford University scientists – is a startup focused on cancer surveillance. Foresight is developing technology that can detect cancer relapse 200 days earlier than current detection methods.

(credit: CBS)

Foresight Diagnostics CEO Jake Chabon said, “During those 200 days the cancer is expanding and becoming harder to cure. So it’s very important to determine as early as possible whether or not a patient still has cancer and should be receiving additional treatment.”

Chabon has lost family members to cancer and knows first-hand that early detection increases the probability of a cure. New technologies also enable more effective personalized treatment.

“The overall mission of impacting how we treat cancer patients is really what helps get everybody out of bed in the morning and it’s this overarching mission that unifies us all,” Chabon said. Collaboration he says is what makes the Fitzsimons Innovation Community stand out.

“It’s just a very supportive ecosystem. It’s growing and it’s going to become one of the major hubs in the country for life sciences innovation and the biotechnology industry.”

That square mile made up by Anschutz and the Fitzsimons Innovation Community is the second largest economic driver for Colorado behind Denver International Airport.

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