Massachusetts biopharma industry continues to grow
R&D focus brings new jobs, venture funding to Commonwealth supercluster
Massachusetts continues to outpace other states and countries for biotechnology industry growth and investment, according to an annual industry report produced by MassBio.
Biopharma industry employment topped 48,000 in 2010, and Massachusetts biotech companies received an all-time high share of venture capital investment last year, the report shows. The report, the 2011 MassBio Biotechnology Industry Snapshot, will be presented at a meeting of the Jobs Creation Commission tomorrow.
“As the biotech industry matures and companies explore new business models and partnerships, Massachusetts continues to be the hub of innovation, research & investment,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio. “We must retain our commitment to this industry as it grows, adds jobs and finds new treatments & cures for patients around the world.”
The latest data shows Massachusetts leads the nation in biotechnology research & development jobs, with over 26,000 positions in 2010. Massachusetts’ pace of employment growth in research & development is second only to California. Overall, Massachusetts maintained its position as the leader in R&D within the physical sciences, as defined by industry concentration.
"Massachusetts is seen as a leader in biotechnology and life sciences and this report solidifies our reputation as a gateway for cutting-edge technology and investment," said Senator Karen Spilka, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and co-chair of the Jobs Creation Commission. "Continued investment in these high-tech fields will not only present an opportunity for tremendous economic growth and job creation, it will also show our commitment to expanding health care options and our dedication to improving the overall quality of life of residents across the Commonwealth."
“The continued success of the biotechnology and life sciences industries is certainly a highlight of the resilient Massachusetts economy,” said Representative Joseph F. Wagner, House chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies and co-chair of the Jobs Creation Commission. “This growth is encouraging as both an indicator of economic development and job creation, as well as for those who benefit from important medical advances in the industry.”
Venture capital figures have varied—with Massachusetts-based companies seeing the lowest quarter of biotech investment since 2004 in Q1 2011, but reaching an all-time quarterly high in Q2 2011. The percentage of start-up and seed stage investment was higher in 2010 than in 2006 or 2002, the other years for which that data was available.
This year for the first time, MassBio released a look at the drugs in development from Massachusetts-based companies. Massachusetts-headquartered drug development companies have close to 900 investigational drug products in development, of which over 40 percent are focused on cancer. Between May 2010 and April 2011, 217 candidate drugs advanced in the development pipeline, a sign of strength for the future.
“The continued growth we are seeing in the biopharma sectors speaks to our state’s global leadership in the life sciences, and to the successful strategy that Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and our legislative leadership are pursuing to build on these strengths. This new data indicates that jobs are being created, investment dollars are flowing, and our pipeline of innovation remains strong, all good signs for the future of the life sciences in Massachusetts,” said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
These statistics are compiled annually by MassBio from sources including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages and others.
Additional highlights include:
- Massachusetts biopharma industry employment reached an all-time high in 2010, continuing the industry’s seven year pattern of growth, and now accounts for $4.6 billion in payroll.
- The industry rebounded from just 1 percent employment growth in 2009 to 3.9 percent growth in 2010.
- Massachusetts companies received 23.1 percent of all U.S. venture capital in 2010, an all-time high share.
- Massachusetts-headquartered companies account for about 10 percent of the U.S. drug development pipeline and 5 percent of the global pipeline.
- While Massachusetts has outperformed most other states in biopharma manufacturing growth since 2006, this sub-sector contracted in Massachusetts in 2010.
- Among U.S. counties, Middlesex County, MA has the greatest number of biotechnology researchers in the U.S. Suffolk, Essex and Worcester counties also rank among the highest in the country.
The goal of the Jobs Creation Commission is bring together leaders in all types of industries as well as state officials, and interested members of the public to address and better understand the long-term implications of the changing nature of the Massachusetts economy, as well as the tools that will be needed to ensure job growth well into the future.
The Commission meets tomorrow, September 28th at 9:30 a.m. at One Ashburton Place (21st floor) in Boston. The meeting is open to the public.