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The California biomedical industry continues as a global leader in creating high-tech jobs, developing much-needed new medicines, delivering breakthrough life sciences research and improving health care. In California, our researchers and entrepreneurs are translating the newest research and discoveries into improving health care for the nation and the world. California is leading in breakthrough scientific and technological disciplines, including personalized medicine, regenerative medicine, mobile health (mHealth) and orphan diseases. Below are the highlights of the California biomedical industry as job and revenue creator. On the following pages, there are company and professional snapshots to give further insight into how this industry continues to innovate and overcome barriers to bring important medicines and health care products to patients in need.


On average, bringing an approved new drug from initial private investment to a patient takes more than 13 years and $1.9 billion, or an average of $146 million per year).1

For reference, the amount for the Mars Science Laboratory to develop, launch and analyze data from the Curiosity cost $2.6 billion over eight years, an average of $325 million per year).


The California biomedical industry directly employs 152,806 people, more than double that of the aerospace industry (~70,000).*

* NOTE: For previous reports, CHI, BayBio and PwC defined the biomedical industry as not only including core sectors such as biopharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers, but also portions of industries with peripheral contributions to California’s biomedical hubs, such as glass container manufacturers, wholesalers, and diagnostic laboratories. Using this broader definition of the industry, total employment in 2011 was 269,997. This year, CHI, BayBio and PwC have refined the definition of the biomedical industry to only include its core sectors. As a result, total employment in the core industry for 2011 is 152,806.

Total wages and salaries for the California biomedical industry are $15.5 billion.

Since 2007, biomedical jobs have held steady in California through the recession with an average annual growth rate of 0.5 percent. The number of biomedical employees in 2011 has recovered from 2009 levels, 152,806 from 150,453, respectively.

California universities led the U.S. in awarding more than 1,000 doctoral degrees in the biological and biomedical sciences in 2010.


Overall, U.S. life sciences (biotechnology and medical devices) investment for the first three quarters of 2012 is down 19 percent in dollars and 12 percent in deals from the same time period in 2011.

U.S. life sciences investment increased in dollars but declined in deal volume for the third quarter of 2012 with $1.7 billion going into 181 deals, comprising 26 percent of VC dollars invested, as compared to Q2 2012.

California attracted $1.98 billion in venture funding for life sciences for the first three quarters of 2012. Of that total, $1.18 billion went into biotechnology, and the remaining $799 million went into medical devices.

California leads the country in total life sciences investment. Venture capital in California in the first three quarters of 2012 is more than the combined total of the next eight states (Mass., Penn., Texas, Ohio, Wash., N.J., Minn., Ill.)

In the U.S., the percentage of early and seed stage biotech deals steadily declined from 65 percent to 58 percent from 2010 to 2012. However, in California over the past two years, the percentage of early and seed stage deals increased from 60 percent to 63 percent.

Capital Markets

In 2011, nine U.S. life sciences companies executed IPOs, raising approximately $472 million.

As of the third quarter 2012, 14 U.S. life sciences companies completed IPOs, raising almost $950 million. Twelve of the 14 U.S. companies are in drug discovery and development.

California companies account for half of the IPOs in 2012. These seven companies raised $315.5 million.

Federal Funding

The top 10 California universities and private research organizations received more than $2.5 billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding through mid-October 2012.

As of mid-October, NIH grants awarded to California organizations totaled more than $3.33 billion in 2012, on par with 2011 award levels. The next two states, Massachusetts and New York, received approximately $2.47 billion and $2 billion, respectively, in 2012.

Nationally, California received the most SBIR and STTR NIH funding through mid-October 2012, more than $127 million, which is 60 percent more than the No. 2 state, Massachusetts, and 215 percent more than the No. 3 state, New York.

New Therapeutics and Medical Products

In 2012, California companies were responsible for nine of the FDA’s 39 approved new molecular entities (NME), or roughly 23 percent. In total, 63 products were approved, 208 were marketed and 28 were in registration.

From discovery to market, California has more than 1,400 products in the pipeline, representing 21 percent of the total biomedical pipeline in the U.S. The total biomedical pipeline in the U.S. is 6,904 entities.

Total product sales were $35 billion in 2011.

Total revenue for the California biomedical industry was $69.2 billion.

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