Which 15 Biopharma Employers are Leading in Opportunities for Promotion?

It’s no secret (or surprise) those in the biopharma industry of all genders and generations want to advance in the workplace. However, not every company offers numerous opportunities for these promotions, nor do they all promote from within. So, this begs the question: who in the biopharma industry is leading with opportunities in promotion?

In an effort to find an answer to this question and many others, BioSpace recently surveyed over 2,700 life sciences professionals for the current Ideal Employer Report. A wide variety of attributes were proposed to respondents, who rated how important that area was to them in an employer. This data was analyzed and included in the comprehensive report. The employers on this list are leaders not only in the biopharma field but also when it comes to fostering chances for growth and encouraging their employees to climb the ladder of advancement.


2019 Top 15 Life Sciences Employers for Opportunities in Promotion

1 Ilumina
2 Regeneron
3 bluebird bio
4 Gilead Sciences
5 Biogen
6 GlaxoSmithKline
7 AstraZeneca
8 BioMarin
9 Bayer
10 Pfizer
11 Takeda/Shire
12 Abbott
13 Thermo Fisher Scientific
14 Novartis
15 Verily

Biotech Bay

True to its name, Biotech Bay encompasses the San Francisco Bay area and surrounding communities. Verily, a research organization that’s devoted to the study of life sciences was previously an offshoot of Google known as X, but it’s now under the umbrella of Alphabet Inc. Some examples of Verily’s projects include work in nanoparticles and surgical robotics. Another company on the list is BioMarin. This particular company has its headquarters in San Rafael, California, although it does have several offices located around the world. BioMarin’s specialty is enzyme replacement therapy, and the company has created treatments for rare diseases like Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome, Batten disease, and Morquio A Syndrome. They are currently working on developing a better treatment for hemophilia. Gilead Sciences, based in Foster City, California creates antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and influenza.

Biotech Beach

Biotech Beach is a geographical region in Southern California. The area includes the San Diego and Los Angeles area. The genetics company, Illumina, is number one on this list and develops integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. Based in San Diego, California, they create DNA sequencing systems, as well as tests that can detect things such as blood cancers. The company also makes genotyping and gene expression equipment.


Genetown consists of companies based in Massachusetts. One of the businesses in this area is bluebird bio, who specializes in gene editing, cancer immunotherapy and gene addition therapy. The company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Another company in this category is Biogen, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They specialize in therapies that treat neurological diseases, and they created several drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, as well as those for spinal muscular atrophy and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, owns over 100 different brands, making and selling equipment under the names of Matrix Technologies LLC and Flux Instruments. Another company that will move its U.S. headquarters in December, Takeda/Shire, is the maker of Vyvanse and other pharmaceuticals.

Pharm Country

Companies on the East Coast, such as those in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island, are in Pharm Country. They include Eastview, New York-based Regeneron, which started with the main focus revolving around neurotrophic factors including their regenerative capabilities before advancing into the cytokine and tyrosine kinase receptors realm. One of the international businesses on the list includes GlaxoSmithKline, a British company best known for Advair and Lamictal. They also make nasal strips, smoking cessation aids, and more. One of the company’s U.S. hubs is in Pennsylvania. while New York City-based Pfizer’s best-known product is Viagra. Rounding out the area companies on the list is Bayer (maker of Xarelto and Cipro), based in Whippany, New Jersey.


BioCapital includes companies in the D.C. area, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. AstraZeneca, number seven on this list, is the creator of Seroquel and Symbicort, has U.S. headquarters located in Wilmington, Delaware. 


BioMidwest consists of companies in ten different Midwestern states, including Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska and even Michigan, among others. One company in this location that made the list is Abbott. The company makes medical devices like diagnostic tests and screening equipment and is based in Abbott Park, Illinois.


Many companies have a global based presence. Number 14 on the list, Novartis, a Swiss company with offices located in various U.S. regions, makes treatments for cancer, psoriasis and more. 

Though diverse and versatile in nature, each of these highly inventive biopharma companies is paving the way for their innovators to advance and offering abundant opportunities for promotion.

Download the full report for access to detailed insights.

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