The Massachusetts Supercluster


Massachusetts is home to a biotechnology cluster that is second to none. Complementing its outstanding biopharmaceutical companies are 122 colleges and universities - over 40 of which offer advanced degrees in the life sciences, the top five National Institutes of Health-funded hospitals in the nation, and the highest educated workforce in the U.S. that offers unparalleled skills and productivity to employers.

The latest MassBio 2014 Industry Snapshot can be downloaded here: 2014 Industry Snapshot

Industry Strength

There are more than 550 biotech and pharma companies located in Massachusetts (MassBio, 2011); 314 of these companies are drug development companies. (Evaluate Pharma, 2012)

As of August 2013, there were 1,174 drugs in development, from research project to pending approval stage, in Massachusetts.   These figures do not include the substantial number of drugs being developed in Massachusetts by companies with headquarters outside of the state.


Pipeline by Therapeutic Area:

Therapeutic Area 2013

Souce: EvaluatePharma

Funding & Capital

Massachusetts received $2.5 billion in National Institutes of Health funding for basic research in Fiscal Year 2012.  Massachusetts researchers receive over 11% of all NIH research funds.

Massachusetts is home to half of the top 18 NIH-funded independent research hospitals (FY 2012)*:

1.               Massachusetts General Hospital ($352,991,454)

2.               Brigham and Women's Hospital ($334,072,073)

3.               Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ($135,871,030)

5.               Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ($124,380,684)

6.               Children's Hospital Boston ($122,338,322)

10.             Boston Medical Center ($37,309,152)

14.             McLean Hospital ($27,450,842)

16.             Tufts Medical Center ($27,396,798)

18.             Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary ($21,950,002)

*National Institutes of Health, 2013

On a per capita basis, Massachusetts receives over twice as much NIH funding (FY 2012) as the next closest state.

NIH per capita 2013

Venture Capital

Massachusetts biotechnology companies received $838 million in Venture Capital financings in 2012. 

VC for 2013

Source Data: 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers, National Venture Capital Association, MoneyTreeTM Report, Historical Trend Data.

Massachusetts biotech companies received 21% of all U.S. venture capital for biotech in 2012.

Talented Workers

Massachusetts has the highest educated workforce in the United States. It ranks 1st in the nation in percentage of residents with a bachelors degree or higher.  Its elementary and secondary students perform best in the nation on national assessments.

There are 56,462 biopharma employees in Massachusetts (2012) and the companies employing those workers are responsible for over $6.5 billion of in-state payroll.

The Massachusetts biopharma industry grew by 40% between between 2002 and 2011.

employment 2013

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and MassBio analysis


From the Laboratory to the Factory

Long known as a center for research and development in biotechnology, Massachusetts can count a growing number of manufacturing assets in Massachusetts because of a workforce highly skilled in biologics process development.  In addition to a number of contract manufacturers, Massachusetts is also home to commercial manufacturing for Genzyme, Biogen-Idec, AstraZeneca, Abbott Biosciences, Shire, and Pfizer.  Bristol-Myers Squibb will complete construction of its largest biologics manufacturing facility in the world at Devens, Massachusetts in 2011. In 2012, Shire's Lexington biologics plant will become the first U.S. plant using disposable manufacturing technologies to receive both EU and FDA approval.


Watch MassBio's Peter Abair discuss growth in the cluster with US Building Digest

  • Part 1: Economic Development & Global Affairs
  • Part 2: The Biotech Boom in Boston
  • Part 3: Developing for Biotech

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For more information, please email Peter Abair or call (617) 674-5130.