Biotech Hubs in U.S. and Abroad

Define Biotechnology Hub
Biotechnology Hubs are any area that encompasses universities with ongoing research and medical departments, pharmaceutical companies, drug discovery companies, biological/chemical products and services companies, clinical labs and services, government research facilities, as well as agricultural research facilities or companies. A flourishing biotechnology hub would have a good number of each of these sectors and attract many top scientists/researchers/students from all over the world to work and learn in an established scientifically rich environment. It also attracts emerging start-up companies wanting to make a place for its own among the already existing companies in these clusters. These areas harbor great economic growth potential in innovative research and technologies.

Biotechnology Hubs in the United States
In the United States, the most notable biotech hubs are located in California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Maryland, and Washington states. Smaller and less well known are in Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. The most notable cities are San Diego, Boston, and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, which are located in California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, respectively.

Here are some statistics according to the Milken Institute study in 2004 on where the top biotech hubs are located in the United States. It lists the top 12 metros and their composite scores.

Source: Milken Institute 2004 Biotech Index (Top 12 metros and their composite scores)
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California ranks top as the state with the most biotech hubs with cities as San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Orange County making up these clusters. The most notable and thriving city is San Diego with its many well known companies and research institutions making up the backbone of this hub. Some well known companies include Pfizer, Takeda, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, BD Biosciences, Biogen Idec, Invitrogen, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Eli Lilly, Amgen, and Genzyme. Well established research institutes include Scripps, Burnham, Salk, J.Craig Venter Institute, and Hubbs Sea World Research Institute for marine lovers. Research and medical universities include UCSD (University of San Diego) and SDSU (San Diego State University). San Diego is also a major naval base in the U.S. and has its own Naval Medical Center. With San Diego’s many biotech companies, research institutes, universities, and medical centers it makes a very good biotechnology hub indeed! San Diego is a growing hub with new companies popping up and companies moving in to join this scientific community.

Boston Massachusetts ranks as one of the top biotechnology hubs. With its list of top medical and research universities including Harvard, Tufts, MIT, Brandeis, Boston University, and Northeastern University and with research institutes including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Forsyth Institute, Whitehead Institute, and Broad Institute it makes for a great melting pot of innovative research and discovery. Biotechnology companies in or near the Boston area include Genzyme, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, EMD Serono, Millipore, Merck, Perkinelmer, Verenium Corporation, Semprus Biosciences, Acceleron Pharma, Parexel, New England BioLabs, and many more drug discovery/product & services companies making up this scientific cluster.

North Carolina
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill in North Carolina, also referred to as the Research Triangle, is a noteworthy biotechnology hub. This research triangle draws attention to many new start-up drug discovery companies as well as products & services companies. Medical and research universities include Duke University and University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. NCSU (North Carolina State University) concentrates more on plant biology, crop sciences, agricultural research, and veterinary medicine. Biotech companies in these areas include Syngenta, Telacris Biotherapeutics, Novartis, Pfizer, Argos Therapeutics, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Biogen Idec, Bayer Crop Science, BASF, BD Technologies, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, Monsanto, and the Hamner Institute for Health Sciences. Although not biotech related, the research triangle is also residence to computer and software companies including IBM and Cisco.

East Coast States of U.S.
Besides Massachusetts, other states on the east coast are also notable as emerging biotech hubs which include Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Maryland, especially the Washington D.C. and Bethesda area, is home to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Surrounding areas of companies include Qiagen, Origene Technologies, Human Genome Sciences, Genentech, and Eisai to name a few. Research universities and institutes include Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland,  Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and J.Craig Venter Institute.

New Jersey’s biotech cluster includes companies such as BASF,  Genzyme, Celgene Corporation, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson , Proctor & Gamble, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Schering-Plough, and many others. Notable medical and research universities include Princeton University and Rutgers University.

New York City has many medical and research universities including Columbia University, New York University and Medical Center, Rockefeller University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Outside of NYC on eastern Long Island, notable research institutions include Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Stony Brook University. There are not many biotech companies in New York City itself, but outside the city in neighboring Long Island there are notable companies including Forest Laboratories, Enzo Life Science, OSI Pharmaceuticals, and Labcorp to name a few.

Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, has biotech companies including Genentech, Pfizer, Discovery Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Reaction Biology Corp., GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth, and Enzo Life Sciences to name a few. Research and medical universities include University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Drexel University, Temple University, and Thomas Jefferson University.

Other U.S. States
Seattle Washington and Austin Texas are also emerging biotech hubs. Near Seattle WA, biotech companies include Qiagen, Blue Heron Biotechnology, Gilead Sciences Inc., and Amgen to name a few but there are many more. Research institutes and universities include Benaroya Research Institute and University of Washington. Near Austin TX, biotech companies include Luminex Corporation, Stratagene, Applied Biosystems, and Amgen just to name a few. Research universities include University of Texas, and Texas A & M University.

List of Top Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies headquartered in U.S.
Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Abbot Laboratories, Merck & Co., Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth, Amgen, Genentech, Baxter International, Proctor & Gamble, Alcon, Forest Laboratories, Genzyme, Allergan, Gilead Sciences, Biogen Idec, Bausch & Lomb, Cephalon, MedImmune, Celgene, Abraxis BioScience, ImClone Systems, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, United Therapeutics, LifeCell, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Enzo Biochem, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Targacept, Human Genome Sciences, Isis Pharmaceuticals

Biotechnology Hubs Outside of the U.S.

Canada: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia
In Canadian biotech hubs, Ontario leads at the top with the city of Toronto and the suburb of Toronto, Mississauga, where many of these biotech companies reside. Many U.S. and European Pharmaceutical companies have their subsidiaries located here. Montreal and Quebec City is the second largest hub located in Quebec province. Vancouver is the main biotech hub in British Columbia of western Canada.

List of Top Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies headquartered in Canada
QLT, Cangene, AEterna Zentaris, Bioniche Life Sciences, Ambrilia Biopharma

Asia-Pacific: Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea, India (Bangalore, Hyderabad), Malaysia, Australia

Japan is the top Asia-Pacific biotechnology hub due to its earlier start in establishing itself as a center for scientific research and advancement. But other countries are following its lead to be the next comparable asian-pacific biotech hub. Countries like Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea, India, Malaysia, and Austrailia all have an interest in research and development and are drawing attention to big pharmaceutical companies to base their research subsidiaries in these countries by building attractive research parks and scientific centers/clusters.

Singapore: Biopolis (biomedical research park) home to the Genome Institute of Singapore, Bioinformatics Institute, and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. Also base for GlaxoSmithKline pre-clinical research center for neurodegenerative diseases and vaccine manufacturing plant.
China: Novartis R&D Center (Shanghai), Genzyme R&D Facility (Beijing)
India: Genome Valley (Hyderabad)

List of Top Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies headquartered in Asia-Pacific
Japan: Takeda Pharmaceutical, Astellas Pharma, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Taiho Pharmaceutical
China: SINOPHARM, Sinovac Biotech
Austailia: CSL, Life Therapeutics, Peptech
India: Biocon

Europe: Germany (Munich), United Kingdom (Cambridge), Switzerland (Basel), France, Denmark/Sweden (Medicon Valley), Netherlands, Belgium, Norway (Oslo)

After the United States, Europe is home to the second largest biotech clusters with a successful list of well-known and well-established pharmaceutical companies notably in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and France.

List of Top Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies headquartered in Europe:
Switzerland: Roche, Novaris, Serono, Nycomed, Actelion, IsoTis
United Kingdom: GlaxoSmithKline, Acambis, Protherics, Vernalis
France: Sanofi-Aventis
Sweden: AstraZeneca (Sweden/UK), Vitrolife, Medivir Group
Germany: Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, MorphoSys, MediGene, GPC Biotech
Denmark: Novo Nordisk, Bavarian Nordic, Genmab
Netherlands: Akzo Nobel, Crucell
Belgium: UCB, Solvay, Innogenetics

Other Countries:
Israel: A notable pharma company is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries headquartered in Israel.