Biotech Companies Growing, But They're Not A Panacea

Genentech is doubling its workforce. The South San Francisco company is getting swamped by job applications -- 14,000 a month -- with 700 jobs left to fill by January. Gilead Sciences is riding so high that it has joined the top rank of the world's biotechnology companies. And for the first time, Bay Area biomedical companies are getting more money from venture capital investment than the longtime heavyweight champ in the region, software. But as Silicon Valley seeks economic recovery, experts warn that the biomedical industry won't grow fast enough to replace the high-tech jobs lost over the past three years. Although the state estimates that the Bay Area saw a 40 percent increase in biomedical jobs between 1993 and 2003, that amounted to just 13,640 new jobs. That's nowhere near the 200,000 jobs lost in Silicon Valley after the high-tech bubble burst.

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