U.S. bioscience industry has demonstrated stability through turbulent economic times. California continues to lead the biomedical industry worldwide, despite financial challenges. In US, the states namely California and the Bay Area in particular remain the nation’s top spots for biomedical entrepreneurs and employees, though many such businesses find it tough to get financing.
California has 2,321 biomedical companies, more than any other state. California biomedical firms developed nine of the 39 new medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012. The state received $3.33 billion in biomedical-related financing from the National Institutes of Health in 2011, more than any other state and about 15 percent of the total the agency handed out nationwide. The combined revenue of California’s biomedical companies was $69.2 billion in 2011, compared with $66.3 billion in 2010. Their total exports totalled $20 billion, up from $18.2 billion, according to the reports given by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the business groups California Healthcare Institute and BayBio.
California companies are developing 1,460 biomedical products, and 21% of the current biomedical R&D pipeline comes from California laboratories. Therefore, the state remains the nation’s leading source of biomedical companies, jobs and new treatments for patients. Within the state there are various products that are in the process of development, which include products for cancer treatments, neurological conditions and infectious diseases.
In the first three quarters of 2012, California biomedical companies obtained nearly $2 billion in venture capital investment, which is more than any other state of US and equal to the combined total for the eight states with the next highest venture-capital amounts, but is less than $4.5 billion in 2007 and also less than $3.5 billion in 2011, as said by Tracy Lefteroff, managing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers at a San Francisco conference.
In Bay Area, there are 847 companies which is the biggest biomedical cluster in the state with 47,019 workers totally. San Diego County had the next largest workforce, numbering 25,883. California firms had employed 152,806 people in 2011 for core biomedical activities which are double as compared to the workforce in Massachusetts, the second biggest concentration, per the study.
Many California firms are facing financial difficulties which is considered as a very serious problem for start-up biomedical companies, according to Thomas Prescott, CEO of Align Technology of San Jose, which makes teeth-straightening products.