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California Leads Nation In Biotech


California remains the nation’s strongest biotech job market, growing by 2% between 2014 and 2015, according to a new California Life Sciences Association report. There are now 884,200 people directly (287,200) or indirectly (597,000) employed by this sector. San Diego County employs nearly 9% of the state’s population, but 13% of its life sciences workforce. The Bay Area employs 21% of California workers, but 24% of the state’s life sciences workforce.

The report found Los Angeles County is emerging as a life sciences powerhouse, now accounting for 20% of the state’s life sciences workforce. Data shows the top National Institutes of Health grant recipients in LA County attracted more than $760M in grants.

“Frankly, there simply is no state that compares to California,” CLSA president/CEO Sara Radcliffe says. “The numbers speak for themselves.”

The Golden State added 192 life sciences companies in 2015, for a total of 3,040, the report said. These businesses generated $147.7B in revenue. California also remains the national leader for science research dollars, with researchers awarded $3.47B in funding last year by the NIH, while $2.52B went to runner-up Massachusetts. The state’s universities also led the nation in 2014 in producing biotech scientists, with 1,318 life sciences doctorates awarded.

California’s growing digital health sector is projected to lead the nation in 2016 for venture capital in this sector, attracting $1.6B in investments. Additionally, the state’s overall life sciences sector will lead in VC nationally too, with $4.4B invested. Massachusetts is projected to be second, with nearly $3B in VC funding.