GOED Announces Denali Therapeutics Adding a Utah Office

Pete CodellaNews, Tax Credits

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is pleased to announce that Denali Therapeutics, Inc. plans to open an office in Utah, potentially adding up to 100 new high-paying jobs in the state in the next 10 years. 

“Denali Therapeutics will be a great addition to Utah’s growing life science industry,” said Dan Hemmert, GOED’s executive director. “Neurodegenerative diseases have impacted many Utah families, and we wish the company success as they continue to grow and develop medicine for these diseases.”

Denali is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and ultimately commercializing medicines to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, lysosomal storage diseases, and more. Denali has developed a proprietary drug technology platform to allow for the transportation of drugs across the blood-brain barrier and into the brain. 

“At Denali Therapeutics, our purpose is to defeat degeneration. This is an exciting time as our pipeline of potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases continues to advance and we have a need to build additional capabilities to meet our anticipated development program needs,” said Ryan Watts, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Denali. “After consideration of multiple locations for expanding our footprint, we decided that Utah offers the best overall environment and we look forward to being part of the growing life science community there.”

Denali may earn up to 15% of the new state taxes it will pay over the 10-year life of the agreement in the form of a Utah Legislature-authorized Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit. The GOED Board has approved a post-performance tax credit not to exceed $1,355,894. Each year that Denali meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the total tax credit. 

“With patience, seeds can sprout. Denali Therapeutics is a high-growth life sciences company that evaluated several western U.S. metropolitan areas before selecting Salt Lake City for an expansion,” said Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “Utah first got on their radar thanks to a proactive GOED/EDCUtah visit to their Bay Area offices in February 2018. We nurtured the connection since then. This is a win for the Global Strategy & Outreach effort.”

“After meeting with Denali leadership, I could not be more excited to hear the news of their expansion to Salt Lake City,” said Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake City mayor. “The company will play a critical role in expanding the life sciences industry in our community and their work to combat neurodegenerative diseases will be beneficial to the future of global public health. We welcome Denali Therapeutics to ‘Tech Lake City’ and look forward to their innovations and continued success in the future.”

State of Utah Tax Credit Projections by the Numbers

Tax Revenue$9,039,295
Capital Investment$40 million
Timeline10 years

About Utah Corporate Incentives

The Utah Legislature has authorized economic development incentives in the form of post-performance tax credits. Eligible companies work with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development to outline specific performance criteria. Once GOED confirms those criteria have been met, according to statute (U.C.A. 63N-2-106(2)), companies can receive a refund of up to 30% of the state taxes they paid for up to 20 years. The contract with the state is post-performance; it only provides a state tax credit if the company meets its obligations.