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Why the Memphis Bioworks Foundation Decided to End Operations After Two Decades


The Memphis Bioworks Foundation facilitated the reinvigoration of the former site of Baptist Memorial Hospital in the Medical District, bringing it millions of dollars in investment. Bioworks played a key role in the rise of GTx, Memphis’ would-be blockbuster pharmaceutical company that ultimately stumbled and moved to San Diego. It backed and nurtured an array of promising local medical device and bioscience startups, from SweetBio to Hera Health Solutions, which seem poised for further growth. This summer, about two decades after its founding, Bioworks closed its doors, officially passing the torch over to Epicenter — the bustling startup development organization it helped create. Bioworks has gradually liquidated real estate holdings — selling some to Baptist, and some to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) — and prepared to close.

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