Massachusetts maintains national strength in biotech despite downturn

Massachusetts maintains national strength in biotech despite downturn
August 25, 2010
Commonwealth grows in employment, industry concentration in 2009

Massachusetts has improved its position as a nation-leading  biotechnology cluster, increasing jobs not just in research & development, but also in manufacturing.

"Despite the difficult economy, we continue to be the top choice for biotech and pharmaceutical companies looking to discover the latest cures and therapies, and the top choice for the people who invest in those companies," said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio.

The latest data shows Massachusetts was one of just four states which added biotechnology manufacturing jobs in the last decade. Overall, Massachusetts has improved its position within the physical sciences, as defined by industry concentration, by 100 percent.

Venture capital figures have also held steady, with the first two quarters of investment in 2010 reaching an historic high.

These statistics, showcased in the MassBio Industry Snapshot, are compiled annually by MassBio from sources including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages and others.

Additional highlights include:


  • Massachusetts biopharma industry employment reached an all-time high in 2009, continuing the industry's six year pattern of growth, and now accounts for $4.2 billion in payroll.
  • Between 2005 and 2009, Massachusetts biotech jobs grew 19.7 percent compared with 5 percent job growth for all jobs in the state.
  • R&D employment in Massachusetts grew at a greater rate than in any competitors states during the past two years.
  • Massachusetts received 26 percent of all U.S. biotech venture capital investment in Q1 and Q2 2010.

•Companies headquartered in Massachusetts have commercialized 141 products that treat 90 different medical conditions. Together, these conditions have U.S. patient populations totaling over 160 million people.