The old adage that money doesn’t change everything could well be said of this year’s Top 10 U.S. biopharma clusters as listed by GEN.
Nearly all regions saw significant increases in NIH funding (thanks to the $2 billion boost agreed upon by Congress for the current fiscal year) and in venture capital or “VC” funding (thanks to a market that was bullish on biopharma until this fall).
On NIH funding, the top region racked up more than a half billion dollars in grant funding from the agency since the start of the 2016 federal fiscal year on October 1, 2015—compared to $312.797 million collected by the top region on last year’s GEN List of Top 10 U.S. Clusters. And when it comes to VC money, this year’s number one region collected 47% more than the $1.82 billion raised a year ago.
Yet all those extra dollars didn’t result in any new regions joining the list, and very few of the regions have changed positions since annual rankings of the regions list last year. That may change in the near future, if regions near the top-10 cutoff continue to grow. Highest among those regions is Denver, which recorded more biopharma jobs (26,817) than Seattle, enough to place 10th on that single criterion, and just outside the top-10, raking eleventh, on lab space (3.6 million square feet) and VC funding ($56 million in six deals).
GEN ranks regions based on five criteria:
NIH funding—Taken from the publicly available NIH RePORT database, for the current federal fiscal year, from its start on October 1, 2015, through March 27, 2016.
Venture Capital (VC) funding—Taken from 2015 figures furnished by the publicly available MoneyTree Report.
Patents—Based on the number of patents containing the word “biotechnology” awarded since 1976 in namesake cities and suburbs where key companies are located.
Lab space—Based on total-size-of-market figures, in millions of square feet, furnished by the commercial real estate brokerage JLL in its Life Sciences Cluster Reports for 2015.
Jobs—Based on JLL’s report. While job numbers are ranked this year compared with last year’s Top 10 US Clusters list, less weight had to be given to job totals in regions where GEN has found widespread discrepancies in job figures. However, workforce size was factored in when deciding the ultimate position of a region.