San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego life science ranks 4th in U.S.

Drops two places from last year; Raleigh-Durham rises to #2, Boston remains dominant

By Bradley J. Fikes | July 21, 2015

San Diego County’s life science cluster ranks 4th in the nation, down from 3rd place last year and 2nd in 2013, in a new report from the commercial real estate company JLL.
But the fall in rankings is less drastic than it seems, said researchers with the Chicago-based company, formerly called Jones Lang LaSalle. In the weighted score that determines the rankings, San Diego is fairly close to 2nd-place Raleigh-Durham and the San Francisco Bay area, which ranked 3rd. First place went to the greater Boston area.

Life science, including biotech, is highly sought after because it offers well-paying jobs and the promise of improving health. San Diego area companies like Illumina with a market value of nearly $35 billion, illustrate the financial potential. Receptos, developer of a multiple sclerosis drug, was sold last week for $7.2 billion. San Diego County institutions got more than $830 million last year from the National Institutes of Health.

As the industry grows, so does the need for real estate. Nationwide, the top clusters are running short on laboratory space, the report stated. Rents rose over the last year by 15 percent in San Diego, and nearly 17 percent in Boston. Nearly 100 percent of lab space in the sixth-ranking Los Angeles/Orange County area is occupied, the report stated.

Read full article at The San Diego Union Tribune.