North Texas’ burgeoning biotech reputation just got a significant boost from a name that carries weight: Google sister company Verily is setting up shop in the region.
The life sciences- and healthcare-focused company, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., announced Thursday it will open a new office dedicated to the scaling and maturation of its business in the Cypress Waters development northwest of Dallas.
It’s the company’s first office in Texas.
Verily says the Dallas location offers deep healthcare and technology capabilities and diverse talent pools to support its growth. It also gives the company a base midway between its operations on the East (Boston) and West Coasts (South San Francisco), the company told Dallas Innovates in an email.
IT, sales, and scale
San Francisco-based Verily, formerly a division of Google X, plans to scale its IT infrastructure and commercialization. Initially, the Dallas operation will focus on building out its IT, sales, and marketing teams with additional roles to follow later this year.
Verily Chief Information Officer Preston Simons will helm the Dallas office.
The company expects to hire as many as 115 employees by the end of 2022. The new Cypress Waters location has the capacity to expand into two more floors, housing 115 employees on each, Simons said.
Launched in 2015, Verily sits at intersection of healthcare, data science, and technology. Aiming to make the world’s health data useful, the company develops tools and devices that collect, organize, and activate health data.
The company recently closed its first major acquisition in SignalPath, a privately held company that makes clinical research software based in Raleigh, to strengthen and expand clinical trial research abilities. Its product suite also includes integrated tools and devices that prevent and manage disease.
Verily looks to diversify product offerings in areas like telehealth—and could be eying a potential IPO, according to a Sept. 21 Business Insider report.
Dallas’ tech and health innovation center
“Dallas represents a growing center for technology and health innovation—a growth powered by a vibrant community of diverse, experienced, and highly-skilled people—individuals we know will add to Verily’s leadership in the health sector,” Simons told Dallas Innovates in an email.
The healthcare sector will continue to grow as the regional population expands, and “Verily is positioned to be a major economic contributor and community leader for healthcare in the Dallas Fort Worth region,” he said.
The region’s evolving status as a center for technology and health innovation—where healthcare represents 15 percent of economic activity, amounting to more than $52 billion annually—was attractive to the company.
Chief Operating Officer Stephen Gillett cites the region’s “long legacy of fostering a vibrant business community” and sees Dallas playing a role in fueling Verily’s expansion.
Verily is widening its footprint globally, which is demonstrated with the recently opened offices in Waterloo, Canada, and Haifa, Israel to enhance R&D and operational capabilities.
“This growth is powered by an exciting and talented population of diverse, experienced, and highly-skilled professionals we know will add to Verily’s leadership in health technology,” Gillett said in a statement.
Gillet says the new Dallas office will improve cost-competitiveness and collaboration across Verily’s operations organization and provide an “exceptional work environment” for its employees.
Verily will be housed in a temporary office in the Cypress Waters development starting Jan. 4. Its permanent location will open in the development in June 2022.
“Once we occupy our new offices and begin to immerse ourselves into the DFW business community, we’ll certainly look to engage and collaborate with the local life science community as well as academic research centers to further advance our company’s mission by leveraging the talent and resources in the region,” Simons said.
Cypress Waters, which sits in District 6, currently has 83 corporate tenants within its 16 office buildings.
“[Verily’s] commitment to improved data collection in healthcare services is extremely crucial especially during these trying times,” Omar Narvaéz, councilmember, City of Dallas District 6, said. “This is a great opportunity for many folks to gain much-needed employment in our great city.”
‘There’s a talent and a job rush in Dallas’
North Texas executives are optimistic about Verily’s potential to fill the jobs—the region has the fifth largest pool of high-tech talent in the U.S. and a strong collection of research universities.
“There’s a talent and a job rush in Dallas,” Lucy Billingsley, a partner at Billingsley Company, said in a statement. Billingsley developed the Cypress Waters development.
“As exemplified by Verily’s attraction to the area, Dallas offers IT experts, marketers, sales leaders, and many other highly skilled tech jobs,” she said.
“Their presence makes us stronger players in the high-tech world.”
Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, echoes the sentiment, noting that the Dallas region is quickly becoming an attractive hub for life sciences and emerging technology.
Dallas’ bio boom
The biotech is the latest in a string of next-gen life sciences pioneers that have chosen Dallas as its destination to accelerate.
According to Mike Rosa, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s SVP of Economic Development, in recent years, the DRC has led bids that advanced DFW as a finalist for new biotechnology manufacturing facilities by Genentech, Novartis, and a few others. Some stellar centers of biotech excellence like Alcon in Fort Worth and UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, the only academic medical center in the world to serve as home to six Nobel Laureates, helped.
But, the region often was overlooked because its biotech ecosystem was not as deep or evident compared to the winning locations.
That’s changing quickly.
There are more than 60 companies and 27,000 jobs in biotechnology and life sciences in DFW, Rosa notes.
Last year, BioLabs, which provides lab space and wrap-around services to incubate and accelerate biotech, announced it was putting its first central U.S. location in Dallas.
BioLabs will operate in a 37,000 square-foot flexible life sciences coworking facility at Pegasus Park, and in August, renovations began for the space.
“North Texas is well-positioned to be a market leader in the convergence of healthcare and technology for years to come,” Petrosky said.
“The expansion of Verily here is the latest example of that success.”
Quincy Preston contributed to this report.
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