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Where does a global biospecimen company place its headquarters and consolidate operations to support patients better?

The answer shouldn’t be surprising.

HudsonAlpha, a nonprofit organization in Huntsville, AL, uses the power of genomics to improve life through research, educational outreach, and economic development. HudsonAlpha is deeply involved in many areas within the life sciences industry, including significant work in agtech.

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, AL plays an integral role in the region’s vital economic development initiatives, supporting more than 45 resident associate companies on its campus. (Photo: HudsonAlpha)


HudsonAlpha is home to resident biotech and agtech companies of various sizes and stages, as well as the HudsonAlpha AgTech Accelerator, which recruits high growth agtech startups from around the world. To further the impact of HudsonAlpha’s plant genomics and sustainable agriculture work, the Institute recently opened 14,000 square feet of state-of-the-art greenhouse, research and education lab space.

Having this capability coupled with adjacent trial fields allows for discovery-based research and commercial application testing in close proximity. This approach promotes the transformation of innovation into real-world utility in a shorter time. HudsonAlpha’s renowned scientific teams are advancing plant genomics through research in sex-determination prediction in dioecious plants, improvement of biofuels with energy-rich grasses, development of improved cultivars of crops such as barley, peanuts and timber and foundational de novo sequencing of plant genomes. HudsonAlpha faculty investigators often collaborate with resident associate companies or pursue commercialization ventures from their research.

In October, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey cut the ribbon on a 93,000-square-foot global headquarters for Discovery Life Sciences on the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology campus. Along with its research and educational outreach mission areas, HudsonAlpha plays an integral role in the region’s economic development initiatives and supports more than 45 resident associate companies on its campus.

Discovery Life Sciences is a comprehensive commercial biospecimen inventory and procurement network with multi-omic biomarker service laboratories. It offers end-to-end solutions, spanning drug discovery to Phase 3 clinical trials, with a streamlined process for sample collection and advanced data analysis. It employs more than 900 people worldwide and operates across the U.S. from coast to coast.

“We are thrilled to open our new global headquarters in Huntsville,” said Glenn Bilawsky, CEO of Discovery Life Sciences. “This city, county, and state have embraced our commitment to health care research, innovation, and excellence. These state-of-the-art facilities will cement our market leadership position and enable us to accelerate the research and development of new therapies, diagnostics, and technologies by the global healthcare product industry, as well as expand our support of important academic and government- sponsored research worldwide.”

The latest expansion of the HudsonAlpha Biotech Campus was made possible through funding by the State of Alabama, Madison County, and the City of Huntsville.

It is located at 900 Hudson Way in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park.

“Discovery has continued to grow in Alabama and make an impact throughout the world,” said Gov. Ivey. “When Discovery chose the HudsonAlpha Biotech Campus in Huntsville for their global headquarters, I knew this was a milestone moment for Alabama as we work to recruit other life science companies to the state. With innovative leadership, a talented workforce, and a state that is focused on the life sciences, good days are ahead for Discovery.”

Prior to this campus expansion, HudsonAlpha operated near capacity, with Discovery occupying space within each of the Institute’s buildings. The new global headquarters will aggregate Discovery’s

operations under one roof and free up space for startups and established businesses looking to take advantage of HudsonAlpha’s biotech ecosystem.

The Institute has tens of thousands of square feet of state-of-the-art lab, office and collaboration space, as well as incubator-like concierge assistance to aid companies as they start, grow, and scale.

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