Biopharma Companies the Fastest-Growing Public Companies in Massachusetts

Published: Jun 22, 2015

Biopharma Companies the Fastest-Growing Public Companies in Massachusetts
June 22, 2015
By Mark Terry and Riley McDermid, Breaking News Staff

Massachusetts is once again demonstrating how important biotech and pharma companies are to the state. Of Boston Business Journal’s list of fastest-growing public companies in the state, the top nine are all life science companies—compared to seven from 2014.

MassBio reported more than 900 biopharma, medical device and diagnostics companies located in Massachusetts.

The top 5, based on percent change of revenue from 2012 to 2014 are:
Biopharma Companies the Fastest-Growing Public Companies in Massachusetts

Ariad Pharmaceuticals startling growth is related to the approval in both the U.S. and Europe of its drug Iclusig (ponatinib). Iclusig is used for the treatment of adults with T3151-positive chronic myeloid leukemia or T3151-positive Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the U.S. In Europe, it is approved as an orphan drug product for adults with chronic phase, accelerated phase or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who are resistant or intolerant to dasatinib or nilotinib, who have the T3151 mutation, and in adults with Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia resistant or intolerant to dasatinib.

For the company’s first quarter report it indicated net product revenues from sales of Iclusig were $23.9 million for the first quarter 20155, an increase of 12 percent over the fourth quarter off 2014.

Boston Business Journal broke the top lists down in several different ways. Based on revenue growth from 2013 to 2014 (as compared to a two-year period), the top five companies are:
Biopharma Companies the Fastest-Growing Public Companies in Massachusetts

Based on 2014 revenue, the top 5 are:
Biopharma Companies the Fastest-Growing Public Companies in Massachusetts

In June, Don Seiffert, writing for the Boston Business Journal, took a look at Massachusetts and, in particular, Boston-based life sciences companies who were the beneficiaries of Genzyme Corporation’s work—either because executives of the companies came out of Genzyme or their work had. At its simplest, that list had 43 companies in it.

This was a part of MassBio’s Impact 2020 report, “Advancing Massachusetts Leadership in the Life Sciences for Patients.” MassBio is the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Inc., an association of more than 620 biotech companies, academic centers, foundations and other organizations.

Although Boston is the heart of the Massachusetts life sciences industry, it’s even more narrow than that, specifically Kendall Square, part of Cambridge. In Kendall Square there are 163 technology companies, life sciences and information technology, per square mile. Palo Alto, Calif. the next densest cluster, had 36 tech companies per square mile.

Part of the success for Massachusetts in the life sciences is related to the state being home to 30 public and 94 private universities, and it receives the second highest level of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among states. There are also numerous venture capital firms in the state that are active in the life sciences, including Atlas Venture, Flagship Ventures, HealthCare Ventures, MPM Capital, Polaris Venture Partners and Third Rock.

“Massachusetts continues to see growth not only in research and development biotechnology jobs, but in a range of careers across the life sciences ecosystem,” Robert K. Coughlin, president and chief executive officer of MassBio, the Massachusetts life sciences trade association, told BioSpace . “These jobs are an important piece of the Massachusetts economy, but more importantly mean that there are more treatments and cures in the pipeline to help patients around the world.”

Boston remains one of the world’s best places to find top-notch life science talent. “Massachusetts has the highest educated workforce in the United States. It ranks 1st in the nation in percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher,” said The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council in a statement. “Its elementary and secondary students perform best in the nation on national assessments.”

The council is an association of more than 650 biotechnology companies, universities, academic institutions and others dedicated to advancing cutting edge research. According to the council, there were 57,642 biopharma employees in Massachusetts in 2013 and the companies employing those workers are responsible for over $7.2 million of in-state payroll. There are more than 550 biotech and pharma companies located in Massachusetts, 284 of which are drug development companies.

“The Massachusetts biopharma industry grew by 41 percent between 2004 and 2013. Massachusetts is home to a biotechnology cluster that is second to none,” it said, adding that money used to fund the industry continues to pour in.

“Massachusetts received $2.3 billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for basic research in Fiscal Year 2013. Massachusetts researchers receive over 11 percent of all NIH research funds. On a per capita basis, Massachusetts receives over twice as much NIH funding (FY 2012) as the next closest state, Texas”.

As Rumors Swirl About GlaxoSmithKline Bid, Who Could Suitors Be?
Rumors are swirling that Swiss-based Roche and U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson are eying the U.K. company for approximately $143 billion. But Roche and J&J aren’t the only companies though who have been thought could go after the elephant that is Glaxo.

Last month there was buzz that Pfizer Inc. was considering acquiring Glaxo, a year after it failed to acquire AstraZeneca PLC . Just this month over a third of respondents in a poll conducted by BioSpace believe that AstraZeneca PLC could be in the running to acquire struggling GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

So BioSpace wants to ask our readers again what they predict for this new dealmaking bonanza. Will Glaxo go—and if so, to whom?

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