Chicago To Become Home To New Biotech Hub At Merchandise Mart
CHICAGO (CBS) — The state of Illinois has provided $4 million to help launch new startup help for healthcare technology companies in downtown Chicago.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the Merchandise Mart already is home to 1871, a hub for digital technology startups. Now – thanks to a $2.5 million investment, and a $1.5 million loan from the state – biotech startups have their own hub, Matter, modeled after 1871, located just down the hall.
Gov. Pat Quinn said, with the big medical research universities located in the city – like Rush, Northwestern and the University of Chicago – and the Medical District on Chicago’s West side, the City is a perfect place for a biotech hub.
“We want to make sure those institutions are teammates here, so that we really move in the 21st Century to a bio-hub that is going to make a difference for Illinois, for the United States, and for the whole world,” he said.
Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker said Matter will help biotech entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running in a booming field.
“Over the next decade, this entire healthcare sector will be transformed, as we experience an entrepreneurial revolution in medical devices, in sensors, in diagnostics, data collection, and data analysis,” Pritzker said.
Matter will provide a home, advice, and support for medical technology startups.
“Chicago intends to be the leader in developing next-generation health technology companies,” Pritzker said.
Paragon Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeff Aronin, who co-chairs Matter’s board, said it’s a good time and place for this type of facility.
“With our depth and established companies, universities, and hospitals here in Illinois – and along with the rapid advances of medical technology generally – Chicago has the opportunity to become an unparalleled leader in this sector,” he said.
Tim Walbert, CEO of Horizon Pharma and co-chair of Matter’s board, said they also will provide help in securing financing for new biotech firms.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing significant private-sector funding to support the substantial investment in Matter by the state,” Walbert said.
Quinn said he hopes hundreds of jobs will be created with the help of the new biotech hub.