Biopharma continues to thrive in CA

Dive Brief:

  • California is now home to more than 3,040 life sciences companies, including 1,326 biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms, according to the 2017 California Life Sciences Industry Report released Nov. 16.

  • Expectedly, this heavy biopharma presence drove a significant amount of economic activity in the state. Combined, these companies generated more than $147 billion in revenue, received $4.4 billion in venture capital funding and paid $15.6 billion in taxes.

  • California’s life sciences community excels at moving ideas out of labs, through regulatory processes and on to patients, the report says, touting the region's well-known prowess.

Dive Insight:

Unsurprisingly, California's life sciences industry dominated investment flows into the biopharma sector, according to the report

As in previous years, California ranked first among states in 2016 for life sciences venture capital investment at $4.4 billion: $3.3 billion of which was directed towards biotechs. Massachusetts was second at $2.9 billion.

Across biotech, investment declined in later-stage companies, but increased dramatically for seed-stage startups, the report says.

“Frankly, there simply is no state that compares to California,” Sara Radcliffe, the association’s president and CEO, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “The numbers speak for themselves.”

All told, the state's life sciences firms employed 287,000-plus people in 2015, up 2% over the previous year. Another 597,000 people were indirectly employed, bringing the grand total to 884,200. The industry's average annual salary topped $116,000, rising to $157,352 for biopharma. 

Although the Bay Area continued to attract the most direct life sciences jobs, the industry also has a large presence in LA County, Orange County and San Diego Country. 

While not surprising, CLSA's report underscores California's strength as a node for the life sciences ecosystem. Even as other areas in the country begin to emerge as biotech hubs, the Bay Area and greater Boston/Cambridge area remain the heavyweights.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing
Top image credit: Flickr; John Loo