Two biotech companies relocate to Arizona for state’s resources, potential

October 18, 2006

By Flinn Foundation

Illinois bioscience firm Genomics USA and California dietary powder company NutraCea Corp. are both relocating to Arizona.

Genomics USA has already relocated its research and development headquarters from Chicago to The University of Arizona in Tucson. According to sources close to the negotiations, the company might move its information technology group to Tucson as well.

Aided by a three-year, $2.8 million Department of Homeland Security small business grant, Genomics USA is developing a low-cost genetic screening process for evaluating the effectiveness of vaccinations against such threats as bird flu, anthrax, and small pox.

Genomics USA’s move to Tucson “shows the importance of the university as a resource,” Joe Snell, president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc, told the Arizona Daily Star. “This has the potential to start small and grow much bigger.”

NutraCea, a small, publicly traded nutraceutical company based near Sacramento, has announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Phoenix.

Nutraceuticals are natural, bioactive chemical compounds that have health-promoting, disease-preventing, or medicinal properties. NutraCea uses patented processes to convert rice bran, a rice waste product, into additives that are used in other food products and dietary supplements sold to consumers.

The company plans to lease 25,000 square feet of space in the former Qwest Communications building north of 40th Street and Camelback Road. By next summer, the company aims to have 80 employees, NutraCea Chief Executive Officer Brad Edson told Arizona Republic.

Phoenix is an attractive home base because of its international airport, large universities, and other nutraceutical companies, said Edson.

For more information:

Biosciences firm will relocate to UA lab from Illinois,” Arizona Daily Star, 10/03/2006

Chicago chip maker raising stake in Arizona,” Business Journal, 10/03/2006

Calif. dietary powder firm moving office to Phoenix,” Arizona Republic, 10/16/2006

Genomics USA

NutraCea Corp.