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Tri-Cities Research District

Article-Tri-Cities Research District

Medtech leaders discuss the hurdles and opportunities on the horizon for medical device companies in the coming year and beyond.


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Brachytherapy prostate seeds made by IsoRay Medical deliver high energy in a short time period.

High-tech ventures in the (Richland, WA) know how to squeeze every bit of value from the resources around them. One of the most strategic resources at the research district is the location itself. The 1600-acre research park, tucked into the sunny southeastern corner of Washington State, won a designation and funding last year as one of the state's innovation partnership zones. With nearly 800 acres available for development, its 80-plus companies employ more than 7000 people, housed in 1 million sq ft of building space.

Tenants can access 40 organizations that offer everything from intellectual property to business incubation space. One tenant, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has provided tenants and hundreds more tech firms with technology for licensing, free technology and business assistance, and access to some of the world's most sophisticated analytical instrumentation. Another tenant, Washington State University Tri-Cities, offers opportunities for research collaboration, interns, access to a bioproducts facility, and business counseling.

Four medical device firms call the research district home. Advanced Imaging Technologies developed the award-winning Aria breast imaging system for enhanced imaging of dense breast tissue. IsoRay Medical, a public company, makes Proxcelan brachytherapy seeds, using cesium-131, a medical isotope that delivers high energy over a short period of time. A nonprofit organization, Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN), designs, manufactures, and donates its patented orthopedic implant system to hospitals in 49 developing countries. And XL Sci-Tech is pion­eering MicroSeeds, a timed bioabsorbable microsphere-nanosphere for cancer treatment.

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