Long a hotbed of life sciences titans like Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International and Takeda Pharmaceuticals that have established the northern suburbs as a biotechnology hub, the Chicago area has recently seen a rush of startups as schools including Northwestern and U of C have pushed to commercialize faculty research in ways championed by universities like Stanford and MIT.
The biomedical and biotech sectors accounted for 44 percent of the $877 million in funding raised by all 942 startups spun out from Illinois universities between 2013 and 2017, according to data from the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group.
But the number of local facilities available for clinical tests and that also offer the equipment startups need hasn’t grown as quickly. One reason lab space isn’t pervasive is that it is expensive and risky to build. Structures like these need special ventilation, electrical and safety systems to accommodate chemical reactions, and extra security to protect highly valuable intellectual property.
The fully occupied ISTP in Skokie, on the site of the former research complex for pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle, today houses several life sciences companies that originated at Northwestern. Read more in this article from Crain’s