Top 12 Hot BioPharma Regions For Growth And Expansion
September 23, 2014
By Renee Morad, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Within the biotech industry, the hottest regions for innovation, growth and promise are often put on a pedestal.
In 2012, for example, former President Bill Clinton declared San Diego the “human genome research capital in America,” during CNBC’s “Closing Bell” program. “Now not every city can do that,” he lauded.
Meanwhile, North Carolina has been admired for its “explosive growth over the past 30 years,” according to Wake County Economic Development, and industry experts are dubbing Massachusetts the next Silicon Valley for biotech and bio-pharmaceuticals.
Companies are strategically positioned in these hotbeds. “Most of our nine campuses around the world are located in biotechnology hubs,” said Mariellen Gallagher, a spokesperson for Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, the drug discovery unit for Novartis. “We are located in Emeryville, Calif. to leverage the rich intellectual talent in the San Francisco Bay Area, collaborating with academic institutions and biotechnology companies to improve patient outcomes.”
In celebration of BioSpace’s 30th anniversary, we zeroed in on the 12 biotech regions with the greatest potential and our plan is to launch a series of clickable vintage-inspired 2015 hotbed maps and calendars. We sifted through a number of factors, such as research and development dollars, job opportunities, quality of workforce, funding and leading research institutions, to arrive at the most promising regions for biotech growth and expansion.
Our unique collection of maps that honor the top biotech regions has garnered great fanfare in the past. The original 1989 Biotech Bay map, for example, was once on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Terry Guyer is the artist behind BioSpace’s hotbed map series. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Guyer specializes in traditional and digital techniques, graphic design and digital production. Get your company on the map!
Take a peek at the top 12 biotech hotbeds for growth and expansion in no particular order or ranking, and find out if your region made the cut.
1. Biotech Bay: San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California
Known as the birthplace of biotechnology, the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California have the largest concentration of biotech companies in the nation.
According to the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, the Bay Area is home to nearly 1,377 life science and biotech companies that employ more than 140,000 people. Bioscience companies based in the Bay Area reported total worldwide revenues of $4.1 billion, exports of $2.7 billion and NIH grant awards of $1.2 billion, with over $500 million going specifically to San Francisco companies. The largest aggregation of research universities and federal research institutions in the U.S. is also in the Bay Area.
This hub features companies like Gilead Sciences , known for its flagship Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, the Johnson & Johnson Innovation center, aimed to deliver cutting-edge healthcare solutions, and Bio-Rad Laboratories , which launched new rapid cell lysis kits this past August that are aimed at improving gene expression results.
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2. Biotech Beach: Southern California
The Biotech Beach community, located in Southern California, is one of the top regions for life sciences in the country. The San Diego region has more than 600 life science companies and more than 80 research institutions, according to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.
Major pharmaceutical companies include Pfizer , Johnson & Johnson and Merck Research Laboratories , as well as companies such as Arena Pharmaceuticals (developer of chronic weight management drug BELVIQ) and Genentech (focused on drugs that treat age-related macular degeneration).
The San Diego life science sector, alone, employs more than 42,000 people. The highest average wages in the region is $107,000 for biotechnology and pharmaceuticals and $99,500 for biomedical devices and products, according to the San Diego Economic Development Corporation.
According to the Biocom 2013 Southern California Economic Impact Report, the very roots of Southern California’s life sciences industry cluster began with UC San Diego. Today, Southern California’s life sciences cluster provides more than 107,000 jobs and roughly 9,100 more positions within the industry are expected over the next two years. These jobs pay a total of $27.9 billion in wages and salaries, with an overall impact of $76 billion in economic activity.
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3. BioCapital: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The Mid-Atlantic's life science community spans Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. This cluster gives access to key federal agencies in Washington, D.C., including the National Insitutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Delaware’s biotechnology industry includes leading companies such as Agilent Technologies , which recently announced its latest innovation in ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography, and the U.S. headquarters of AstraZeneca , which has most recently made headlines for its aim to develop an experimental drug to combat Alzheimer’s disease. The state is also home to the 40-acre research center Delaware Technology Park.
In Maryland, there are more than 2,000 life science businesses that generate $16.99 billion in economic activity, according to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Johns Hopkins University ranks first in the nation in total NIH awards.
Virginia, situated in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic’s life science cluster, is home to companies such as McKesson , LifeNet Health, Pfizer, Merck & Co. and Abbott Laboratories. Virginia’s life sciences industry employs roughly 23,000 people at over 800 establishments, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
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4. BioMidwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin
BioMidwest highlights the biotech community of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Illinois has more than 440 research and development facilities and more than 200 academic government and nonprofit research institutions for life sciences. Key companies include Abbott Laboratories , Astellas, Baxter Healthcare Corporation and Hospira. Illinois has generated $98.6 billion in economic output in biotechnology, supporting 81,000 jobs, according to a 2013 report by the nonprofit trade group Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Another state in this cluster, Indiana, has the second highest concentration of biopharmaceutical jobs in the nation, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Major players include Baxter, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Bayer. Indiana alone has more than 850 life science companies within the state. About 18 percent, or $69 billion, of Indiana’s economic output is tied to the life sciences industry.
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5. Bio NC: Research Triangle Park and North Carolina
The Bio NC life sciences cluster, which includes Research Triangle Park and North Carolina, has experienced “explosive growth over the past 30 years,” according to Wake County Economic Development.
Industry giants such as GlaxoSmithKline , Quintiles and Syngenta are located in the Research Triangle region.
There are more than 525 life science companies throughout North Carolina, with the majority concentrated in Wake County and the Research Triangle region. These companies collectively employ about 57,000 people at an average wage of close to $75,000 per year, according to Wake County Economic Development.
Throughout the last decade, North Carolina has invested more than $1.2 billion in the life sciences industry, Wake County Economic Development reported.
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6. BioForest: Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington
This biotech hotbed spans the Pacific Northwest: Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
According to the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, the life sciences industry in Washington directly employs more than 34,000 people, about two-thirds as many people as are employed in the software industry. Those life science jobs support 58,000 additional jobs throughout the state’s economy, contributing to a total employment impact of more than 92,000. In 2011, the life sciences industry generated nearly $11 billion of GDP and $7 billion of personal income.
Major players in this hotbed include BioAlberta, Gilead Sciences , LabConnect, LLC, LifeSciences British Columbia and the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association.
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7. BioCanada: Canada
The BioCanada hotbed is comprised of biotech and pharma organizations throughout Canada. Ontario’s biotech cluster is Canada’s largest and North America’s third largest, according to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. Ontario’s life science cluster employs more than 160,500 people and includes more than 125 companies with revenues of almost $10 billion and R&D expenditures of $1.3 billion.
Ontario is also one of the largest biomedical research centers in North America, with 25 research and teaching hospitals employing 10,000 scientists, clinical investigators and researchers.
This cluster is home to companies such as AstraZeneca Canada Inc. , Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and BIOQuebec.
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8. Genetown: Massachusetts
Industry experts predict that in the next few years, Massachusetts could become the next Silicon Valley of biotechnology and bio-pharmaceuticals.
According to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, 1,198 life sciences companies were operating in New England and employing 103,006 workers, as of 2012. More than half of these firms are located in Massachusetts, home to about 514 medical device companies, 232 drug development firms, 147 contract research and manufacturing enterprises and 146 produce research products and instrumentation for the life sciences.
Recently, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, a division of GE Healthcare based in Piscataway, NJ, chose Forest Park in Marlborough as the new headquarters for its U.S. operations. In other news, Vertex , which is one of the three largest Mass.-based biotech firms (along with Biogen Idec and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals), delivered long-awaited trial data this past June about its cystic fibrosis drug, which sent shares soaring.
Mass. state officials thank a $1 billion public initiative launched six years ago for the growth of the Genetown cluster. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has provided $535 million in loans, grants and other spending, according to the center.
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9. Pharm Country: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island make up the Pharm Country biotech cluster.
Connecticut’s life sciences industry employs more than 18,000 people and spends more than $6 billion annually on operations. Research at Yale University, along with the success of traditional drug companies like Pfizer Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, help fuel industry growth, according to Connecticut Economic Development.
New York is known for its $1.4 billion in NIH funding and huge concentration of Nobel Prize-winning researchers. To help revitalize the biotech industry in New York, the state received a big boost at the end of July 2014 when Accelerator Corp., a Seattle-based venture capital firm, announced an investment of $51 million to support small, scientist-run companies that will operate in the Alexandria Center. The Accelerator fund includes the investment arms of Lilly, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
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10. Lone Star Bio: Texas (NEW!)
In this cluster, all biotech and pharma in Texas has a place to shine. Texas is home to more than 3,600 biotech firms, according to the Texas Economic Development Corporation. These firms employ more than 92,000 workers at an average annual salary of over $69,000. In 2012, Texas ranked No. 2 nationally for the number of life and physical scientists employed, with 47,770, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF).
In fiscal year 2013, Texas public institutions of higher education expended more than $2.6 billion on medical and life sciences research. Texas has more than 990 private scientific R&D firms that employ more than 20,000 workers. Many of the largest private R&D firms in the world have operations in Texas, including Covance , Quintiles , INC Research and Radiant Research. Others include Base Pair Biotechnologies and Myriad RBM, Inc..
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11. Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Services & Suppliers
This hotbed features U.S. medical device and diagnostic companies across the country, including major players such as Theorem Clinical Research and Bio-Rad Laboratories .
This cluster has made recent strides, such as several companies working on developing a larger number of injectable drugs, from insulin to the flu vaccine, to be injected without the use of needles. PharmaJet Inc., for example, recently received FDA clearance to use a Needle-Free Injection device to administer the influenza vaccine to the public.
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12. NextGenBio: U.S. Startup Companies (NEW!)
This hotbed features U.S. startup companies, which is a bustling industry that fuels continued growth and expansion. Startup companies are vital to biotech, since the churning out of new companies, research and ideas each year help propel the industry forward.
Biotech startups are a hot commodity. New York City’s Alexandria Center for Life Science, for example, is home to pharma giants like Pfizer and Eli Lilly and Company , but is also on a mission to recruit startups to boost the city’s biotech sector. The center plans to allot roughly $30 million to the initial funding to create startups at the Alexandria Center.
Biotech startups are crucial to innovation. A University of Washington biotech startup called Compliment Corporation has made headlines this September for its aim to develop game-changing cancer therapies. Across the nation, a UConn startup, Dura Biotech, is hard at work on an innovative heart valve replacement that could save many lives. Meanwhile, a San Francisco bay area startup called SureClinical is automating the manual processes involved in the clinical trial regulatory content management lifecycle.
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