State Remains Biotech Leader
California remained the top provider of jobs for the biotech industry last year, but the industry has yet to make a profit, according to a report issued Thursday by the California Healthcare Institute, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
The report found that the biotech industry generated $62 billion in revenue for the state last year. The 2,700 biotech companies that operate in California and its 260,000 employees exceeded the numbers in other states.
The state also received almost half of the $5.9 billion in venture capital that was invested in the industry nationwide last year. Biotech scientists in the state also received $3.6 billion in grants from the National Institutes of Health in 2004, according to the report (Elias, AP/Ventura County Star, 10/19).
According to the report, three-quarters of biotech companies plan to expand to other states, bringing jobs with them.
Tracy Lefteroff of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company that compiled the report, said that if policymakers do not "create an environment conducive to keeping companies here, they will look elsewhere" (Scott, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/20).
Although billions of dollars are poured into the industry, the report did not emphasize profitability. Companies have lost a combined $52 billion since the industry's inception 30 years ago.
Analysts predict that the industry will break even within five years and will generate an overall profit within 10 years.
As companies begin to receive federal approval for drugs, revenue will rise, Lefteroff said (AP/Ventura County Star, 10/20).