CLSA in Bloomberg: Life Sciences Industry Helps California, Report Says


By John T. Aquino, Bloomberg BNA
Posted on Dec. 9, 2015

BNA Snapshot

Development: California’s life sciences sector has increased the state’s employment, wages, research funding and venture investment, a report says.

Takeaway: State association that co-published the report advocates bolstering research funding and support and protecting patent rights.

Nov. 12 — Califflagornia’s life sciences sector has increased the state’s employment, wages, research funding and venture investment, although policy challenges remain, according to a report released Nov. 12 and a same-day follow-up webinar.

The report, which was published by the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that biopharmaceutical and medical device employment has grown in California by 6 percent from 2010 to 2014 while it has decreased in states such as New York and Massachusetts.

Overall, California’s 2,848 life sciences companies directly employed 281,000 people in 2014 and indirectly employed another 581,000, totaling nearly one million, the report said.

Policy Challenges

Peter Claude, a partner in PwC’s pharmaceutical and life sciences advisory division, said in the webinar, “Our collective research has shown that California’s life sciences companies and innovators are leading in nearly every measurable facet of growth and creating a new era in health care marked by the convergence of technologies, information sharing and focused investment.”

“While the news is good, it can always get better,” CLSA President and Chief Executive Officer Sara Radcliffe said. “The California life sciences industry isn’t on autopilot. Its success was hard won, and it does not ensure future success.”

For the life sciences sector to continue to grow and thrive in California, Radcliffe said, “We need to make it easier for our entrepreneurs to move new ideas forward. This includes encouraging sound government policies, particularly tax, intellectual property, regulatory and coverage and payment policies that recognize and reward the value of life sciences innovation.”

The association advocates bolstering science research funding and support, protecting patent rights, improving the review processes at the Food and Drug Administration, repealing the 2.3 percent medical device tax and promoting policies to ensure that patients have timely and affordable access to new, life-saving medical technologies and therapies, Radcliffe said.

Report Highlights

Other highlights of the report are:

  •  the state’s 2,848 life sciences companies generated $130 billion in revenue in 2014;
  •  the California life sciences industry paid its employees $30.6 billion in wages during 2014 with an average annual salary of $108,893, an 8 percent increase from 2013;
  •  California life sciences companies have 1,235 new drugs in the development pipeline in 2015, including 366 cancer treatments, 151 for infectious diseases and 109 to address nervous system conditions, compared to 876 five years ago, Claude said;
  •  California scientists received $3.26 billion for 7,328 National Institutes of Health research grants in federal fiscal year 2015, the most of any state; and
  •  venture capital investment in California life sciences is projected to be $4.79 billion in 2015, which is first in the nation, more than double that of the second-ranked state (Massachusetts) and 60 percent of all life sciences investment nationwide.

Radcliffe said, “California is the birthplace of biotechnology and a leader in exciting new fields such as digital health, genomics and precision medicine. It’s no coincidence that California is excelling in life sciences job creation, research funding, venture capital investment and so many other measures.”

To contact the reporter on this story: John T. Aquino in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lee Barnes at

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