The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by BioSpace on October 12, 2023:
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, the nation’s oldest biotech trade association, released its 2023 Industry Snapshot on September 6. The report found that biotech and pharmaceutical companies in Massachusetts added more research and development and biomanufacturing jobs than in most other states in 2022.
The biopharma R&D workforce in Massachusetts had a year-over-year growth rate of 8.5% between 2021 and 2022, according to the report. During the same period, the R&D workforce grew by 6.8% in California and Pennsylvania and by 1.9% in New Jersey. Biomanufacturing, meanwhile, grew by 6.3% in Massachusetts, compared with 5.8% in New Jersey, 4.6% in Maryland and 1.8% in North Carolina.
The biotech and biopharma ecosystems in Massachusetts have many factors working together to spur growth, Ben Bradford, head of external affairs for Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), told BioSpace. One is that the state government tends to support these industries, regardless of which party is in power. This support includes funding for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which administers an internship program and gives grants and loans to life sciences companies in the state, among other initiatives, Bradford said.
Another factor is that the nonprofit ecosystem in Massachusetts, including universities, hospitals and healthcare groups, provides strong talent and R&D pipelines. “Nonprofits bring in the National Institutes of Health dollars from the federal government,” Bradford said. Although just 2% of the U.S. population lives in Massachusetts, nonprofit entities in the state received 9% of all NIH funding in 2022. The state ranked third in the country, behind California and New York, in the number of grants approved and the total amount of funds awarded by the NIH.
Pandemic-era expansion created an excess inventory of lab space across Massachusetts, which gives lessees flexibility when choosing a location. Biopharma startups now have 61.9 million square feet of lab space from which they can choose. Projections for expansion during the coming year are between 14 to 17 million square feet.
“The commercial real estate component has been building the space that companies in Massachusetts need to continue to expand, so they can put their VC money toward research and development,” said Bradford.