Six months after its formal launch, California’s statewide group for biopharma and other life sciences industries has offered a snapshot of the industry in the Golden State showing job and business growth compared with a year earlier.
California’s life sciences sector directly employed 281,198 people last year, according to the California Life Sciences Industry Report, released this week by the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and PwC. That’s up 4% from the 270,289 people as of 2013 counted a year ago by PwC and the California Healthcare Institute—which earlier this year merged with San Francisco regional life-sci trade group BayBio to form the CLSA.
Another 581,000 jobs reflect “indirect” employment—jobs that support and are supported by the sector. When these are included, life sciences employers account for 862,000 total jobs in the state, the report concluded.
CLSA also counted 2,848 life sciences companies in the state, up 8% or 212 companies from a year earlier. However, biopharma accounts for 42% (1,186) of California’s 2,848 life sciences companies; the majority consists of device and medical equipment manufacturing concerns, a category that also includes diagnostics.
The companies counted by CLSA generated a combined $130 billion in total revenues, up from $101 billion a year ago.
Life sciences employers paid employees a total $30.6 billion in salaries and wages during 2014 with the average annual salary at $108,893. Total salaries and wages rose almost 12% from $27.4 billion in 2013, and the average wage increased 7% from $101,540.
The report also highlighted two longstanding trends: California was tops in the nation in venture capital investment last year at $4.8 billion, $1 billion more than 2013. The state was also number-one in NIH grants awarded at $3.8 billion, though the figure was about the same as the previous year.
Also trumpeted in the report is the pipeline of 1,235 drug candidates under development by the state’s biopharmas, up 30 or 2.5% from a year earlier. The largest percentage (nearly 30%) of IND-filed pipeline therapies were for cancer drugs, which numbered 366, followed by 151 infectious disease treatments, a category that includes HIV.
“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,” CLSA president and CEO Sara Radcliffe said in a statement. “California’s life sciences ecosystem is driving the economy and delivering life-changing medicines and technologies that benefit health and well-being far beyond our state’s borders.”
Radcliffe and Peter Claude, partner in PwC’s pharmaceutical & life sciences advisory group, said in a “Letter to Stakeholders” within the report that the upbeat numbers generated by California’s life sciences sector underscored the need to enact policies to drive that growth further.
“We are working with industry and state, local and federal policymakers to increase research and education funding, streamline regulation, adjust the tax code and deliver other changes that will make it easier for our entrepreneurs to move new ideas forward,” Radcliffe and Claude wrote.