Salt Lake City

Mayor's Office

Erin Mendenhall | (801) 535-7704 | mayor@slcgov.com

Mayor Mendenhall Releases Health Care Innovation Blueprint to Help Empower Upward Mobility for Underserved Residents

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Initiative Coincides with Downtown Expansion of Recursion and Addition of Denali Therapeutics

February 22, 2022

SALT  LAKE CITY – Building on the success of Salt Lake City’s robust health care innovation sector – and doing so with an eye toward increasing education and employment opportunities for underserved City residents – is the new centerpiece of Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s Tech Lake City economic development strategy.

In addition to unveiling “A Blueprint for Growing Salt Lake City’s Health Care Economy,” Mayor Mendenhall highlighted the potential and dynamism of the industry by announcing that clinical-stage biotech company Recursion seeks to more than double the size of its west downtown footprint and that Denali Therapeutics, which develops therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, plans to open offices and manufacturing space nearby.

“Salt Lake City is the center of the health care innovation industry in Utah and one of the fastest-growing health care clusters in the nation,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “Today, we celebrate this blueprint that will not only bolster our economy locally, but will also have massive impacts on global health and well-being as a result of the progress we’ve made and the innovations to come.”

The new economic development approach was developed for the City by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, with the involvement of an Advisory Group composed of diverse stakeholders from business, academia, government, and community. The document outlines recommendations in four areas to build the industry and create more job opportunities:

  • Brand, Promote, & Grow: Build global brand; Increase awareness of job opportunities; Highlight successes.
  • Increase Investment: Maximize industry partnerships; Capitalize on private capital; Target social impact investments.
  • Emphasize Pathways & Partnerships: Create education-to-workforce partnerships; Connect pathways to education and employment; Identify alternative pathways to education and employment.
  • Strengthen Foundation & Remove Barriers: Create a baseline; Reduce business barriers in regulations and zoning; Inventory R&D opportunities; Ensure lab and office space is available.

Each of these is described in greater detail in the Blueprint, available here.

“The idea is to refocus the City’s economic development efforts to proactively capitalize on our strong foundation of health care innovation assets – universities, hospitals, businesses, associations, nonprofits – to expand economic opportunity and improve health and well-being for all residents,” said Ben Kolendar, Salt Lake City’s Economic Development Director. “We can’t do it alone and much of our work is accomplished through partnerships and convening key stakeholders to raise awareness of needs and unearth effective ways to meet our goals.”

“Given the diverse office and lab space Recursion needs to help accomplish its mission, we are thrilled to continue expanding our footprint and capabilities at both the Gateway and INDUSTRY,” said Recursion President and Chief Operating Officer Tina Larson. “We have undergone a period of significant growth as a company, and this is in part thanks to the fact that we are proudly headquartered in Salt Lake City and surrounded by a life science and health care innovation ecosystem in the Biohive.”

“We are excited to bring our work to the beautiful and vibrant state of Utah with the construction of our new, state-of-the-art biologics clinical manufacturing facility,” said Ryan Watts, Ph.D., Denali’s Chief Executive Officer. “Salt Lake City also broadens Denali’s access to local talent and expertise in the life sciences. We are very pleased to be in Salt Lake City for this important expansion of our work.”

The expansion of Recursion Pharmaceuticals and arrival of Denali Therapeutics in downtown Salt Lake City’s Innovation District highlights the strength and dynamism of the industry.

About Recursion

Recursion is the clinical-stage biotechnology company industrializing drug discovery by decoding biology. Enabling its mission is the Recursion Operating System, a platform built across diverse technologies that continuously expands one of the world’s largest proprietary biological and chemical datasets, the Recursion Data Universe. Recursion leverages sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to distill from its dataset the Recursion Map, a collection of hundreds of billions of searchable inferences across biology and chemistry unconstrained by human bias. By commanding massive experimental scale — up to millions of wet lab experiments weekly — and massive computational scale — owning and operating one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Recursion is uniting technology, biology and chemistry to advance the future of medicine. 

The company is proudly headquartered in Salt Lake City, where it is a founding member of BioHive, the Utah life sciences industry collective. Recursion is adding nearly 100,000 square feet of additional space to its headquarters and 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space at INDUSTRY, a repurposed former silver foundry in the City’s fast-growing Granary District. Recursion also has offices in Toronto, Montréal and the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at www.Recursion.com, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn

About Denali Therapeutics

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Denali Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing a broad portfolio of product candidates engineered to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. Denali is applying its scientific and drug development expertise to discover effective molecular therapeutics and has developed a proprietary technology that aims to deliver biologic therapeutics to the brain.

Denali’s plan for its Salt Lake City office includes approximately 65,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space at INDUSTRY, adjacent to Recursion’s new space. 

About INDUSTRY SLC 

INDUSTRY Salt Lake City is an adaptive reuse, modern office space located in the Granary District of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. What was once an iron and steel foundry circa 1907, is now an approximately 300,000 SF (and growing) multi-tenant creative office space that includes; shared conference rooms, kitchens, an event space, an interior courtyard, and a public café. Tenants include a mix of burgeoning and established companies, naturally creating an ecosystem of differing thoughts, industries, and people. INDUSTRY SLC provides an environment that matches the progressive, active and balanced lifestyle of today’s individual.

Resources

Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall’s Office – slc.gov/mayor

Salt Lake City Economic Development – slc.gov/ed

Recursion Pharmaceuticals – recursion.com

Denali Therapeutics – denalitherapeutics.com 

Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute – gardner.utah.edu

BioHive – biohive.com

BioUtah – bioutah.org

INDUSTRY SLC – industryoffice.com/slc 

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