California Life Sciences Association Release: 2017 California Life Sciences Industry Report Shows Increased Employment, Growth and Robust Treatment Pipeline

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and PwC US issue new report indicating that California’s life sciences industry has 1,269 new medicines in the development pipeline, and in 2015, employed more than 287,000 people, brought in $148 billion in total revenue, paid over $116,000 in average wages, attracted $4.4 billion in venture capital investment and more.

SAN FRANCISCO, LOS ANGELES & SAN DIEGO--()--California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and PwC US today released the 2017 California Life Sciences Industry Report. With over 350 data points, the annual report shows that California’s life sciences community is continuing to grow and remains a global hub for innovation, creating high-wage jobs, bringing new therapies to patients, and attracting significant investment from venture capitalists, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and more.

The report examines California’s unique life sciences ecosystem, demonstrating how commitment from the state’s political, academic, and business leaders has created a strong life sciences enterprise, which is now home to more than 3,040 life sciences companies – 192 more than the previous year. California continues to lead the nation’s biopharmaceutical and medical device jobs, venture capital (VC) investment, digital health VC investment, doctoral recipients in life sciences disciplines and more.

Governor Jerry Brown: “The California Life Sciences Association is an important partner in our efforts to foster a stronger biomedical industry and boost job growth in California. This state is committed to supporting this critical sector, both economically and through strong public policy. Life Sciences is a cornerstone of California’s economy and I look forward to working with leaders in this sector as we continue to contribute to a healthier society, strengthen our economy and advance new medical technologies.”

Key Findings:

• Life sciences directly employed 287,200 people throughout the state in for-profit companies, universities and nonprofit research institutes in 2015. When indirect and induced employment was factored in, the industry accounted for 884,200 jobs. The Bay Area led the state with over 68,300 direct life sciences jobs. Los Angeles County following closely with 57,174, while Orange County and San Diego County reported 43,327 and 38,694 life sciences jobs, respectively.

• There are 1,714 medical device and equipment manufacturing firms, and 1,326 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Collectively, these total 3,040 life sciences companies in California - 192 more than the previous year – producing new technologies to improve patient care and boosting the state’s economy.

• Biopharmaceutical and medical device employment combined grew 7 percent between 2011 and 2015. By contrast, during that same period, those numbers declined by 4 percent in the second-ranked state, New York.

• As of Sept. 7, 2016, California companies had 1,269 investigational new drugs in the development pipeline, including 404 for cancer and 134 for infectious diseases.

• In 2015, 264 medical devices developed by California companies were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

• California is projected to lead the nation in VC life sciences investment, with $4.4 billion in 2016. Massachusetts is projected to be second with nearly $3 billion.

• California’s nascent digital health sector is projected to attract $1.6 billion in VC investment for 2016, leading the nation.

• Grants from the NIH exceeded $3.5 billion in California for federal fiscal year 2016, a billion dollars more than Massachusetts.

• The industry paid workers $33.5 billion in salaries and wages during 2015 with the average annual salary over $116,000.

• The report also includes a first-ever regional spotlight, which took a closer look at Los Angeles County, an emerging life sciences powerhouse. Data shows that the top NIH grant recipients in Los Angeles County attracted over $760 million in grants, and Los Angeles County accounts for 20 percent of California’s total life sciences workforce.

• California’s stellar academic excellence remained on full display, with 11 of the state’s universities in the Shanghai Index’s top 100. Again, this leads the nation. California universities produced 1,318 life sciences doctorates in 2014.

“California’s life sciences sector is delivering incredible value for the people of the Golden State and patients around the world,” said Sara Radcliffe, President and CEO, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA). “Whether it’s pharmaceutical drugs, biologics, medical devices, digital health technologies, genomic diagnostics or other subsectors too numerous to count, our life sciences community is providing a steady stream of innovation and having a tremendous positive impact on healthcare.”

“This report indicates sustained and strong growth for the California life sciences industry over the course of the past year,” said Peter Claude, Partner, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences Advisory, PwC. “Our research confirms that the state continues to lead the nation in attracting both VC investment and NIH grants, life sciences employment, commercializing new products, boosting the overall economy, and most importantly, improving patient care.”

“This is more than an industry, it’s an ecosystem,” added Radcliffe. “Excellent academic institutions produce well-trained scientists who continue in academia, join industry or start their own companies. This process leads to new innovation and investment to transform innovative ideas into products, generating income, employment and life-changing technologies.”

Click here for more information and to view the full report.

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About PwC

PwC’s Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences practice, part of PwC’s Health Industries Group, is a leading advisor to public and private organizations across the entire health industries landscape. This group also includes PwC’s Health Research Institute, which provides new intelligence, perspectives, and analysis on trends affecting health related industries. We provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for our clients and their stakeholders. More than 223,000 people in 157 countries across our network of firms share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. For more information visit:

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