Dallas' Growing Biotechnology Ecosystem Attracts BioLabs to

|Sep 22|magazine24 min read

DALLAS, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Following recently unveiled plans by J. Small Investments, in partnership with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, for a 23-acre, mixed-use office campus designed to bolster local biotech, social impact and corporate innovation, Pegasus Park announces that BioLabs, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, has selected Dallas as its first location in the central United States. Pegasus Park is strategically located minutes from downtown Dallas, between the Design District and the Southwestern Medical District.

BioLabs at Pegasus Park, a new fully equipped 37,000 square foot flexible life science co-working facility offering shared and private laboratory and office spaces for early stage scientific ventures, will be strategically located in the heart of the rapidly expanding innovation district. The lab will contribute to the building of the already thriving start-up community in North Texas and positions Dallas as the next major hub for biotech and healthcare innovation. The lab, scheduled to open in 2021, will be equipped with a broad array of premium scientific equipment and will offer additional services and amenities for resident companies.

"BioLabs is one of the biggest names in the biotech start-up industry. Their decision to choose Dallas as their first location in the central U.S. is significant for our city, region, and state. We are excited to team up with BioLabs as the key operator of the biotech laboratory and co-working facility," says Nicole Small, CEO, LH Capital, Inc. and Lyda Hill Philanthropies. "Their presence is a signal of what is to come and will help accelerate our burgeoning North Texas biotech ecosystem already ripe with top-tier universities, corporate partners, and investors." 

Small added that "attracting entrepreneurs, scientists, companies, and investment funds to our community will bring high-paying jobs, big ideas, new technologies, and overall game changing innovation to North Texas."

Commenting on BioLabs participation in the Biotech+ Hub, BioLabs Founder and President Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D. said, "We understand just how hard it is to take great academic science from the bench into the clinic and ultimately improve human health, because — as entrepreneurs, startup founders, and funders ourselves — we've experienced this many times. Considering current extraordinary challenges in healthcare, the launch of BioLabs at Pegasus Park couldn't be timelier and more relevant. We have no doubt that our proven business model will foster cross-creativity and collaboration with the region's premier life science and healthcare innovators in North Texas. We are excited to partner with Lyda Hill Philanthropies to launch a BioLabs site in Dallas." 

"Pegasus Park is a big win on all counts -- an economic engine bringing highly desirable STEM jobs to Dallas and West Dallas, a community for nonprofits to collaborate for the greater good, and a hub for corporate enterprise," said Dallas City Council Member Omar Narvaez. "Best of all, J. Small Investments and Lyda Hill Philanthropies are renovating abandoned buildings in my district and transforming them into a state-of-the-art campus unlike any in North Texas. A key component of the Pegasus Park vision, the Biotech+ Hub will develop innovation across life sciences and enhance the region's reputation for healthcare excellence. I am elated to have such an asset in my district."

Biotech+ Hub

For many years, local entrepreneurs, scientists, and researchers have moved to the east or west coasts to launch their enterprises due to easier access to funding and resources. The Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park allows them to stay in North Texas to develop their new ventures. Benefits to the local communities will include a surge in top-quality and high-paying technical jobs, an increase in intellectual capital, and a rise in access to cutting-edge healthcare. The "plus" in Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park refers to the broadest definition of bio-innovation across life sciences to include new drugs, diagnostic tools, devices, and digital solutions to prevent, detect, and treat diseases and promote human and planetary health.

This ambitious development requires a united coalition of scientists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academia, health systems, philanthropists and government. Early proponents of the project include national biotech ecosystem builder LaunchBio and organizations that have been supporting the biotech community in North Texas for years, including the City of Dallas, Southwestern Medical Foundation, bionorthTX, Health Wildcatters, Dallas College, Southern Methodist University Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, University of North Texas Health Science Center, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center and many more.

Eric Olson, Ph.D., a widely respected UT Southwestern Medical Center research scientist who has worked for decades in the biotech industry, is looking forward to the benefits the new Biotech+ Hub will bring to the region.

"I was thrilled to learn of the collaborative efforts to develop a centralized biotech hub for entrepreneurs in North Texas. Our region has talent, funds, world-class research institutions and facilities, but they are scattered. Pegasus Park offers the opportunity to coalesce these strengths into a central location. With the addition of nationally prominent organizations – including BioLabs, LaunchBio, and others – I envision Pegasus Park becoming the next national biotech hub," said Olson, a serial biotech entrepreneur and Annie and Willie Nelson Professor in Stem Cell Research, Pogue Distinguished Chair on Cardiac Birth Defects and The Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

"The Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park project helps to set the foundation for Dallas to be competitive in the biotech space in the 21st century and provides the backbone for biotech investment, jobs and economic spending for Dallas," said Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson, Chief of Economic Development and Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization for the City of Dallas.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies is a key partner in the project. "Biotechnology has been a significant component of my investment portfolio for many years," said founder Lyda Hill. "A string of recent successes and exits by local biotechnology companies has enabled me to increase my philanthropy and investment in this space. The opportunity to support the Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park would not be possible if it were not for so many previous and current local leaders who have been thinking about and working towards this for decades. We are optimistic that partnering with BioLabs and many other community partners and thought leaders will enable North Texas to continue to emerge in the landscape of biotech clusters."

North Texas is already home to several seasoned and immensely successful life science ventures that have laid the foundation for the Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park, such as Peloton Therapeutics and ZS Pharma. Dallas is also home to a growing cohort of biotech leaders who prefer to stay in the region as their businesses grow.

"The business plan for the Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park is impressive and unlike anything else in Texas. Biotech is an economic engine that generates immense revenue," said former Peloton Therapeutics CEO and current The Column Group Venture Partner John Josey, Ph.D. "Pegasus Park will attract investors interested in the unique and promising opportunity to finance start-ups coming from some of the top scientists in the world who are based in North Texas."

Pegasus Park strives to leverage the diverse sets of scientific expertise from regional universities and corporations. Dallas is ranked as the 5th-most ethnically diverse population in a recent study of 500 of the country's most populous cities. This powerful diverse demographic is a compelling research component for biotech innovators and start-ups that will result in enriching clinical trials with populations of diverse backgrounds.

"Our ability to attract and grow tech talent is one of the Dallas Region's most important drivers for our unprecedented economic growth," said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, "Pegasus Park and the Biotech+ Hub will strengthen us even more and make us more competitive nationally and globally. We're looking forward to the Pegasus Park's Biotech+ Hub generating a significant number of high-paying technical jobs, and the Dallas Region enjoying more access to cutting-edge healthcare as a direct result of this exciting project."

For more information, visit www.pegasuspark.com or call 214-351-6300.

About Pegasus Park
A dynamic ecosystem that promotes collaboration, cross-creativity and entrepreneurship, J. Small Investments, in partnership with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, has unveiled plans for Pegasus Park, a 23-acre, 550,000 square foot mixed-use office campus designed to bolster local biotech, social impact and corporate innovation. Boasting new state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, such as a conference center and shared wet labs (BioLabs at Pegasus Park), the repurposed development will open in 2021 and feature four components – a biotech "plus" hub, a social impact hub, commercial tenants, and entertainment/dining venues. Learn more at www.pegasuspark.com.

About J. Small Investments
J. Small Investments, LC (JSI) is a real estate investment, management and brokerage firm located in Dallas, Texas. Founded in 1997, JSI specializes in value-add investments and identifying unique properties in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, with a special expertise in the Love Field, Medical District and Stemmons Corridor submarkets.

About Lyda Hill Philanthropies 
Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving for founder Lyda Hill and includes her foundation and personal philanthropy. The organization is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature, empowering nonprofit organizations and improving the Texas and Colorado communities. Because Miss Hill has a fervent belief that "science is the answer" to many of life's most challenging issues, she has chosen to donate the entirety of her estate to philanthropy and scientific research.

About BioLabs www.biolabs.io
BioLabs is a membership-based network of shared laboratory facilities located in key geographies with proven biotech innovation clusters. BioLabs offers beautifully designed co-working environments that pair fully equipped and supported lab, office, and event spaces with relevant programming and unparalleled access to capital and industry partners. These fertile, supportive ecosystems allow young companies to shift their focus from start-up operations to experimentation and innovation so they can reach their scientific potential quickly and achieve business success. Companies can start with a single lab bench and scale-up as they grow. The expanding BioLabs and Affiliates US network of labs includes sites in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and is actively developing additional domestic and international sites. 

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SOURCE Pegasus Park