Thursday, December 4, 2008

Arizona Biotechs Won’t Escape Pain in Economic Upheaval, Communications Consultant Says

[Source: Bioregion News] - The economic upheaval will hurt the prospects of Arizona life sciences companies seeking capital for growth, a marketing and communications consultant to life-sci and other tech companies has told the Arizona Daily Star.

“I wish I could say otherwise, but the current economic situation is going to hurt biotechnology and all emerging tech sectors — and now even green/clean tech will probably take a hit, too. Everybody is holding onto their cash,” Sandra Kay Helsel, founder and managing director of SK Helsel & Associates, told the newspaper.

“The emerging technology sectors such as biotechnology are the very businesses that will eventually bring us out of this collapse. Innovation and emerging tech are the drivers of the future,” added Helsel, whose firm has offices in Tucson, Ariz., and San Diego. “The downward spiral of the economy may slow things down a bit, but the strengths of Tucson and the greater Arizona biotech cluster are evident.”

Tucson’s strengths, Helsel said, include research activity at the University of Arizona, cohesion among life-sci and civic leaders, and the region’s quality of life. But the region lacks a regional focus on how to compete against aggressive biotech clusters elsewhere, she added.

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