Over 5 years, Ventana to invest $180M, add 500 jobs
J.D. Fitzgerald / Special to The Explorer, Gov. Jan Brewer, left, and Ventana Medical President Hany Massarany, second from right, answer questions from the media Wednesday, when Brewer and Massaranay announced Ventana's plans to invest $180 million and add 500 jobs over a five-year period in Oro Valley's Innovation Park.

Ventana Medical Systems Inc., the Oro Valley leader in cancer diagnostics, is investing $180 million over five years to expand its operations in Oro Valley's Innovation Park, adding up to 500 new jobs.

Gov. Jan Brewer was in Oro Valley to make the announcement on Wednesday, along with Ventana Medical President Hany Massarany, Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath and others.

The expansion is expected to increase Ventana's Arizona work force, now numbering more than 900, by up to 50 percent. Property tax incentives and stimulus funds totaling near $10 million are part of the package driving the decision by Ventana's parent, the Roche Group, to invest in Northwest Tucson.

"Modern medical research is dedicated to improving the lives of all patients afflicted with cancer, and the people of Ventana continue to discover, develop, and deliver medical diagnostic systems that are shaping the future of healthcare – and it's happening right here in Arizona," Brewer said in prepared remarks. "Our state is a national and global leader in this important industry, with opportunities for promising new jobs for Arizonans."

"I am delighted to join the governor in announcing this major expansion of our company right here where it all started in Pima County," said Hany Massarany, president of Ventana Medical Systems. "On behalf of everyone at Ventana and Roche, I would like to thank the state and local supporters for helping our company grow and prosper here, and for their commitment to developing Southern Arizona into one of the premiere bioscience regions in the United States."

Massarany thanked Brewer, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Pima County and the Town of Oro Valley "for their strong support and pro-active involvement in helping the company make Arizona its choice for expansion," a release said.

Ventana has been present in Tucson for more than 25 years. It began in a garage belonging to University of Arizona professor and pathologist Dr. Thomas Grogan. Today, the company has developed into the world's leading developer and manufacturer of automated tissue-based diagnostic systems and tests focused on the detection of cancer.

Reactions to the Ventana announcement

"This decision by Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, to expand their US headquarters in Oro Valley is a testament to the strong relationship Oro Valley has shared with the company for many years. The bioscience industry is a key target growth area for Oro Valley's economic development efforts, and to have Ventana lead the way is an honor. We congratulate all of the organizations that came together in the spirit of collaboration. We thank our state, regional and local public sector partners for realizing the possibilities that this company brings to all Arizonans."

- Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath

"This announcement is a huge boost to the job market for all of Pima County, and demonstrates the success of Pima County's public-private partnership with TREO. This is a great addition to Pima County's bioscience sector, and I congratulate Ventana on their expansion. I thank every one who worked to make this possible."

- Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, vice chair of the board and co-chair of the TREO board

"This is wonderful news for our region and I couldn't be more excited. A prestigious bioscience firm like Ventana Medical Systems is exactly the kind of company we want to see expanding at beautiful Innovation Park. It has tremendous significance for Oro Valley, Pima County and all of Arizona. Ventana's continuing success helps solidify our region as a leader in bioscience and provides our workforce with the type of high-tech, high-wage jobs we need to be attracting."

- Pima County Supervisor Ann Day

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