Best Places to Work in Biopharma 2023 Report Reveals Most Sought-After Employers
BioSpace revealed the top life sciences organizations that have been selected as Best Places to Work.
In the 2023 “Best Places to Work,” there are many echoes of previously reported data indicating that the most desirable companies offer workplace flexibility - namely remote work options, work-home balance awareness, cultures of inclusion and progressive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies.
Many of the markers this year’s survey respondents cited most frequently in the winners, such as workplace culture, outscored more traditional benchmarks like compensation. The significance of these markers to the life sciences community was indicated in 2022 by BioSpace in both the Q3 Recruitment Market Report and in the Diversity in Life Sciences series.
“As indicated in BioSpace’s own research, Q1, 2023 promises to be a volatile marketplace,” said Josh Goodwin, CEO of BioSpace. “Many employees in the industry - 76%, in fact - will be looking for a new job next year. At the same time, some companies are on hiring freezes and other constrictions requiring a more judicious approach to hiring and procuring the right talent.”
“’Best Places to Work" highlights top life sciences organizations that are doing the best they can to remain competitive, demonstrate core values, engage and retain employees and attract top talent.”
About Best Places to Work
The list includes 60 U.S.-operating employers that have been recognized as “Best Places to Work” by the life sciences community, with 30 ranked in large and small employer categories, respectively.
Following nominations, BioSpace received more than 2,000 submissions from biopharma industry professionals to identify which companies are currently the most sought-after in the industry.
Companies are classified by size. Large companies have 1,000 or more employees; small companies, fewer than 1,000.
For the second year, mRNA leader Moderna was ranked as the No. 1 most desirable large employer. Though scoring well on all key employer attributes including culture, diversity, equity and inclusion and reputation, it was its high rating for innovation that set Moderna apart. The biotech giant develops therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare and cardiovascular diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.
Moderna continues to expand. Its COVID-19 response efforts and scaled investment in research and development continued to necessitate hiring in 2022, and the company grew from 1,800 employees to more than 3,400 in one year.
At No. 2, Genentech boasted breakthrough research milestones this year in retinal vein occlusion, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, lymphoma and influenza in young children. Genentech has forged successful partnerships as well. In September, BioSpace reported its deal with Arsenal Biosciences, a multi-year collaboration to identify critical success circuits in T cell-based therapies for solid tumors.
Pfizer comes in at No. 3, boasting high ratings in reputation and innovation, in particular, among survey respondents. With strong Q3 earnings in 2022, the company recently announced a new, single-dose-vaccine candidate combining its modRNA-based influenza vaccine with its Omicron-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine based on proprietary technology.
Holding consistent at No. 4 from the 2022 survey, Amgen rated highly on innovation and internal leadership. The California-based company focuses on six therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, oncology, bone health, neuroscience, nephrology and inflammation, with the aim of creating medicines in spaces where limited treatment options exist.
At No. 5 and located in Chicago, AbbVie scores well on DEI initiatives and reputation. The company focuses on immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology applications.
Small to Mid-Size Companies
Seattle-based Sana, a company based on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines, came out on top for small employers. Sana scored highly not only for innovation but also for flexibility and remote work, workplace culture and DEI.
This showing is particularly notable, as Sana makes its first appearance on the list at No. 1.
Located in Biotech Bay, Sutro is a clinical-stage drug discovery, development and manufacturing company. Using precise protein engineering and rational design, Sutro seeks to advance oncology therapeutics. At No. 2, survey respondents cited Sutro’s remote work options, company culture and competitive compensation as particularly attractive assets.
Coming in at No. 3, up from last year’s No. 5 showing, Intellia uses a modular genome editing platform to create diverse pipelines, spanning a range of therapeutic indications. Guided by this approach, it focuses on CRISPR/Cas9-based medicines for patients with genetic diseases and creates new engineered cell therapies for cancers and autoimmune diseases.
At No. 4, Terray scored well on fostering positive work culture, remote work opportunities and DEI initiatives. Terray’s experimental platform and rapid iteration between experimentation and computation deliver actionable chemical data, allowing the company to deliver more precise therapies to patients faster.
At No. 5 and located in Cambridge, Mass., Agios received high praise from respondents on the culture created at the office. “Failure is seen as an opportunity for learning,” not something to be punished. Employees are all encouraged to voice their opinions, regardless of rank, creating “psychological safety.” Besides workplace culture, Agios is also a leader in the field of cellular metabolism, pioneering therapies for rare and genetically defined diseases.
View All Winners
To view the complete lists of 2023 Best Places to Work, click here.
Nominations for Best Places to Work were open from May to June 2022. Voting was conducted from August to September 2022. Best Places to Work includes responses from over 2,000 life sciences professionals. Respondents were asked to identify their top three most desirable biopharma companies, segmented by large (more than 1,000+ employees) and small (less than 1,000 employees) companies. Respondents were also asked to rate their top choice organizations on attributes including: compensation, innovation, career growth opportunities, leadership, culture, DEI, reputation and flexibility and remote work.