To highlight the strengths of Seattle's life-science community, as well as its challenges, look no further than two major deals that kicked off 2018.
The first was Microsoft’s agreement to pursue an ambitious multi-disease diagnostic test with Fred Hutch spinout Adaptive Biotechnologies. If it works, it would be a groundbreaking marriage of artificial intelligence and immune system expertise. Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech giants are quickly ramping up their presence in healthcare. In Seattle's urban boom, can information technology serve as a new foundation for Seattle’s life sciences economy?
The question looms even larger in light of the second major deal, which saw another anchor of Seattle’s biotech community, Juno Therapeutics, snapped up by an outside buyer. Juno will remain a standalone subsidiary—but what does its acquisition portend for Seattle’s biotechnology community? Will key Juno execs launch new enterprises? Can other major companies emerge from the local immunotherapy hub—one of the world’s most dynamic—to call their own shots? And beyond cancer, which diseases are Seattle startups poised to fight?