Boston Herald: Bio-charged: VC funding, employment continues climb in Bay State’s biotech sector

Sep 11, 2023

By Rob Palaez, Boston Herald

The following is an excerpt from a Boston Herald story published on September 10, 2023:

A MassBio report of the life sciences industry reveals that Massachusetts’ increased research and development workforce and venture capital funding underscore the state’s vitality in America’s biopharma work.

The business group’s 2023 Industry Snapshot was highlighted by the 114,000 employees within Massachusetts’ biopharma sector. Biopharma employment has rapidly rose in the Bay State, since 2018 after staying moderately consistent in prior years.

For instance, a total of 74,256 individuals were employed in Massachusetts’ biopharma sector in 2018, nearly 40,000 fewer than in 2023. Previous to that recent jump, it took 16 years for the Bay State to add 40,000 jobs to the industry, from 2002-2018, according to the report.

Takeda, Sanofi and Moderna are listed as the state’s top three biopharma companies, with a collective employment of more than 15,000, according to the report. Vertex, Pfizer, Novartis, Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie, AstraZeneca/Alexion, Alnylam and Foundation Medicine all have more than 1,000 employees, according to the report.

The state’s 8.5% increase in employment in the research and development sector since 2022 was more than in competitor states such as California and Pennsylvania. Both states saw a 6.8% increase this year.

Employment in Massachusetts’ biomanufacturing sector increased by 6.3% since 2022, more than New Jersey, 5.8%, and Maryland, 4.6%, according to the report. Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, CEO and President of MassBio said biopharma job openings have increased every month since March.

“We never like to see company closures or layoffs, but we also know the nature of our industry is one of the big risks for researchers, founders, and investors, and big rewards for patients with unmet medical needs around the world,” O’Connell said in a letter included in the industry report.

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