Hiegel: the Cure Corridor sets Scottsdale apart

Scottsdale has so much going for it. We live here, and visitors join us, for the great weather, excellent restaurants, world-class golfing and shopping, and fine cultural attractions.

There’s one other thing that sets Scottsdale apart, though many of our residents may be unaware of it: the Cure Corridor.

Mark Hiegel

Mark Hiegel

Nearly one of every seven Valley bio-life sciences employers are based in Scottsdale, stretching from SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, to Honor Health-Shea and the Mayo Clinic.

They employ more than 20,000 people and pump $2.5 billion directly into the city’s economy. More importantly, they’re developing technologies and procedures that save and enhance lives.

The Scottsdale Business Development Forum will celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of the bio-life and health-care sector at a luncheon Dec. 9 at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.

Dr. Joon Yun, president of a California health-care investment management firm, is the keynote speaker. Four local bio-science leaders will make short presentations on their exciting work.

I encourage you to register by going to the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce’s website, scottsdalechamber.com, and clicking on “events.”

At Mayor Jim Lane’s suggestion, any proceeds from the event will support Business United for Scottsdale Schools, the chamber’s workforce development and education initiative, as well as future Cure Corridor initiatives.

That’s just one more way bio-science makes Scottsdale a better place. As if they weren’t already doing enough. For instance:

  • Neolight, founded by ASU graduates just two years ago, developed a phototherapy technology to treat jaundice in newborns.
  • HonorHealth hosted the first human clinical trial for late-stage pancreatic cancer patients, who generally face high morbidity rates. Patients treated with a combination of three drugs through the trials were still alive two years later.
  • Goxtudio is leading the way in wearable robotics for paraplegics and others with injuries that limit mobility. Using the company’s bionic running leg, a Special Forces amputee was able to run 8 MPH just four months after losing his limb.

There’s a lot of complicated science I don’t pretend to understand, but essentially a robotic tendon stores and releases kinetic energy, significantly reducing the need for an external motor. The company is also developing more accurate fitness measurement technology and creating self-powered sleeves or socks to increase performance, reduce fatigue and prevent injury for walkers and runners.

And it’s happening in Scottsdale!

Why here? Quality of life, for one. Overhead and geography, for another.

Neolight CEO Vivek Kopparthi said that by starting at SkySong, his company enjoys easy access to West Coast venture capital firms but isn’t “suppressed by exorbitant overhead as a result of the high price of real estate like other startups and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area.”

The Cure Corridor has created some health tourism – people visiting Scottsdale to receive treatment for their medical conditions. As with traditional tourism, we who live here garner the benefits year round.

As Mayor Lane recently said, because these bio-science innovators call Scottsdale home, “the people of our community have access to the best possible health-care services, cutting-edge research, and other opportunities.”

That’s something to celebrate. Come join us on Dec. 9.

Editor's Note: Mr Hiegel is a resident of Scottsdale, a Charro and a longtime community advocate

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