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The Top-10 Cities for Life Sciences Companies in 2013

Lower overall costs of occupancy — coupled with academic resources and an educated work force — have made clusters outside the nation's largest metro areas more attractive to multinational pharmaceutical companies focusing on right-sizing and R&D productivity. In the Midwest, Chicago remains an emerging cluster, while Minneapolis is holding steady as a top-10 cluster for the second year in a row. JLL’s second annual life sciences cluster report ranks top-10 cities for life sciences companies in 2013.

Area Development Online Research Desk (March 2013)

10. Seattle


Zymogenetics, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2010; Blue Heron, which was acquired by OriGene Technologies in 2010; and Sonosite, which is being acquired by Fujifilm.

One of the distinguishing features of the Seattle-area life sciences market is that very little manufacturing is done in the region. Nearly all Puget Sound-area life sciences industry activities are based on research and development. Among the R&D firms are expanding cancer and drug research companies.

Next: Minneapolis-St. Paul

9. Minneapolis-St. Paul


A number of major medical device manufacturers such as Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Smiths Medical and Boston Scientific are either headquarter or have major operations in the Twin Cities.

Industry-leading companies, a highly skilled work force, and world-class research capabilities have made Minneapolis-St. Paul the Midwest leader in medical device manufacturing. The area ranks second in the nation in this life sciences sub-sector with slightly more than 38,000 employees.

Next: Los Angeles/Orange County

8. Los Angeles/Orange County


The Los Angeles/Orange County cluster has the largest life sciences-related employment pool in the country, with over 118,000 individuals actively working in the industry. The region currently leads in medical device manufacturing, but also is emerging as a pharmaceutical and biotechnology development and manufacturing leader.

Next: New Jersey/New York City

7. New Jersey/New York City


Bayer HealthCare, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, Merck and Pfizer are among the companies with a large presence in New Jersey

The New Jersey/New York City area remains one of the most desirable locations for life sciences firms in the country, with the highest concentration of college graduates in the nation. The cluster directly employs more than 106,000 people.

Next: Washington, D.C., Metro Area

6. Washington, D.C., Metro Area


The Washington, D.C., Metro Area life sciences cluster has benefited tremendously from the area's large federal government presence. Government agencies - such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - have provided contracts for private-sector companies as well as a critical mass of scientists who have gone on to start or staff many of the region's private life sciences companies.

Next: Philadelphia

5. Philadelphia


The Philadelphia Metropolitan Area is home to more than 1,200 companies, ranging from the industry's largest multinational companies, including AmerisourceBergen, GlaxoSmi thKline and Shire Pharmaceuticals, to the sector's fastest growing firms, such as NuPathe, Tengion and PhaseBio.

Philadelphia's large concentration of leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies has positioned the city as a central life sciences hub in the Mid-Atlantic region, feeding the region's 432,000 jobs and $20.2 billion in life sciences earnings, and accounting for nearly 15 percent of the city's economic activity.

Next: Raleigh-Durham

4. Raleigh-Durham


Raleigh-Durham, which jumped five spots in the rankings, demonstrated large-scale growth and new development fueled by agro-technology companies Syngenta, BASF, Monsanto, and Bayer CropScience, which recently opened a new $20 million research greenhouse.

Next: San Francisco Bay Area

3. San Francisco Bay Area


Major corporations such as Genentech continually support academic programs at local universities through grants, scholarships and internship programs.

San Francisco maintains its third place ranking among the top 10 life sciences cities, bolstered by its proximity to institutions of higher education and venture capital funding, as well as its talented work force.

Next: San Diego

2. San Diego


A strategic combination of intellectual capital, research facilities, and public-private funding opportunities is causing San Diego to rise in importance as a life sciences hub, surpassing larger cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Diego recorded a staggering $13.8 billion in M&A activity in the last 12 months, including AstraZeneca's acquisition of Ardea Biosciences, Hologic's purchase of Gen-Probe, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's offer to acquire Amlyin Pharmaceuticals.

Next: Greater Boston

1. Greater Boston


The Greater Boston life sciences industry includes geographic markets that are both established and emerging. Cambridge is the state's core life sciences cluster. Here, large biopharma companies intermingle with start-ups, who begin her e and grow until they are acquired or relocate as they outgrow space options. While Cambridge is a mature market, there are multiple emerging markets outside of the city attracting attention. These emerging clusters include the Greater Boston Suburbs, the Seaport District and the Long wood Medical and Academic Area (LMA).

Established clusters, such as Boston, still top the chart of life sciences cities, with more than 74,000 employees serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device sub-sectors.



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