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Biotech: Growing New Jobs in the Labs


Bioscience and pharma labs are not just incubators for new drugs and technology—they are building blocks for job growth.

Across the economic development landscape, biotech start-ups are ramping up to commercial production, while major pharma players work to speed new drugs to market.

This year’s Business Facilities Biotechnology Strength ranking illustrated that this red-hot growth sector is showing no signs of slowing down. However, some new players are gaining on industry leaders and aggressively vying for a place in the top tier. California, the undisputed birthplace of biotech,” has successfully defended its crown as the heavyweight champ of our Biotechnology Strength ranking. The Golden State remains home to more than a third of the nation’s leading biotechnology firms and continues to leverage its huge university system, moving forward with the establishment of a network of world-class genomics labs

Perennial contenders Pennsylvania and Massachusetts maintained their leadership positions in our biotech ranking, finishing third and fourth, respectively. Two emerging biotech powerhouses, Texas and Kansas, flexed their muscles in this year’s contest: Texas jumped into second place from last year’s mid-level showing of sixth, while Kansas vaulted into fifth place, up from the number nine slot in our 2009 ranking. Texas has continued to build its biotech industry, notching a 35 percent increase in biotech-related facilities and an 11 percent increase in total bioscience employment, according to the 2010 Battelle/BIO report. Battelle reported that Texas now has nearly 3,000 biotech facilities and about 65,000 bioscience workers.

What follows is a detailed sampling of some of the leading locations in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sector.

Hessen: Europe’s Hottest Biotech Hub

Smart life science companies locate to Hessen, a leading economic growth engine in Europe. Hessen, with Frankfurt at its core, is the ideal base from which biotechnology and service companies can access a most dynamic market.

“Looking back on a long-standing tradition as a chemistry and pharmaceutical location,” says Hessian Minister of Economics Dieter Posch, “we recognize a lot that still characterizes Hessen today: an excellent research landscape, commitment to promoting young researchers, and advancement of innovative technologies. These and other factors have contributed to Hessen being one of the leading biotechnology locations in Europe.”

Scientists and business people appreciate Hessen, a uniquely international business location in the heart of Europe with a global perspective. Its biotech sector encompasses 225 companies, produces Euro 5.2 billion in annual revenue and employs about 19,500 people. Of those, 59 companies generate more than 75% of their revenue with biotechnological products and techniques. These core biotech companies are an indicator for the location’s potential for innovation. In addition, Hessen has 900 medical technology companies. As an international IT and traffic hub, it does not only offer excellent infrastructure, but also a high availability of skilled personnel and close networking of science and industry.

Hessen offers proximity to strategic partners, suppliers and clients such as Aventis Pharma, Degussa, Fresenius or Merck and SMEs, such as Biotest, B. Braun Biotech and Stada plus access to regional partners and companies in its centers for science and innovation. The regional distribution of the Hessian biotechnology companies shows clear focuses in two regional clusters: in the central region around Marburg and Giessen, as well as in the Wiesbaden-Darmstadt-Hanau triangle with Frankfurt am Main at the center. Both clusters are characterized by a strong chemical/pharmaceutical industry and colleges that offer strong research programs.

The state of Hessen strongly believes in the value of advancing the development of this future-oriented sector and further enhancing business conditions with programs such as “LOEWE,” which is the Hessen State Initiative for the Development of Scientific and Economic Excellence that facilitates outstanding research activities. The state also has an initiative that supports start-up companies called “Science4Life.” Also, Minister Posch appointed the industry expert, Professor Dr. Theo Dingermann of Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Institute for Pharmaceutical Biology – BioCenter in Frankfurt, as Hessen’s spokesperson for the biotechnology sector to promote the sector success.

“The sector is going to expand, that is beyond question. In the future it will be next to impossible to identify fields where biotechnology is not applied—whether in the production of pharmaceuticals or consumer products, the food sector or medical diagnostics. When it comes to environmental protection, biotechnology is a showpiece technology.”

The Hessian biotechnology industry is dominated by the “red” or medical sector of biotechnology: 81.1% of all Hessian biotechnology revenues come from this sector. Hessen is the leading location for biotech patent applications among the German states (except city-states). What is particularly noteworthy is that in Hessen, over 83% of patents come from trade and industry—evidence of the location’s strong innovative capacity and economic potential. Over half of the new clinical development projects from Hessian companies stem from biotechnology. Hessen accommodates one third of German production capacity for biotechnological medicines. This makes Hessen a leading European location for biotechnology companies that put out products.

Hessen has 20% of all German biotech companies and is Europe’s leader in white biotech. Due to its significance as a traditional location for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, Hessen is an ideal starting point for industrial biotechnology. Nevertheless, observing the fields of activity undertaken by Hessian biotech companies provides impressive evidence of the balanced structure of the industry. The fields of activity are evenly distributed in the areas of research and development, production, equipment, service, and sales. 56% of Hessian firms have their own R&D programs and 58% are in the service sector.

Hessian biotech companies are looking positively to the future. 90% assess their own situation as positive, 71% of biotech companies also evaluate the situation in the industry as better than that of the economy overall. Even in the 2009 crisis year, 71% of companies surveyed were anticipating increasing revenues and 67% believed that income would be rising. Since 2002, Hessian biotechnology companies have nearly doubled their revenues, from $2.8 billion to $5.2 billion.

San Antonio Builds Economic Future on Bioscience

In 2010, San Antonio has been ranked as America’s second strongest job market by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and as fifth on Forbes’ list of “America’s Recovery Capitals” among major metropolitan areas. Giving San Antonio its edge is the city’s leading industry of bioscience and healthcare, helping the nation’s seventh largest city diversify its economy and outpace the nation in job creation and unemployment.

The industry boasts an annual economic impact of more than $16 billion and more than 116,000 employees, according to a recent Healthcare and Bioscience Economic Impact Study commissioned by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. One of every seven San Antonio employees works in this sector of cutting-edge research, world-renowned educational institutions, nationally recognized health care systems and leading biotech companies.

In August 2010, Becton Dickinson and Company (BD), a foremost global medical technology company, selected San Antonio as the site for its new North American professional services headquarters. The company plans to hire 296 people at the San Antonio facility.

The BD announcement follows the 2009 announcement by another worldwide medical technology company, Medtronic, Inc., which has established its new Diabetes Therapy Management and Education Center in San Antonio. The center is expected to generate nearly 1,400 jobs during a five-year period. According to company officials, Medtronic evaluated more than 930 locations across the United States, assessing quality of life, availability of a skilled workforce, local costs and business environment.

San Antonio is also home to several medical device companies born and built in the city, including Kinetic Concepts, Inc. a medical technology company focused on therapies and products for wound care, tissue regeneration and therapeutic support and Vidacare, a medical device company with an exclusive technology platform that “allows clinicians to access the interior of bones (the intraosseous space) quickly and relatively painlessly.”

DPT Labs, a San Antonio-headquartered contract development and manufacturing organization, works with global pharmaceutical companies to develop and manufacture therapies and drugs we use every day. DPT employs more than 600 scientists, researchers, lab technicians and support staff in San Antonio.

As part of the city’s healthcare and bioscience industry, companies like Medtronic, KCI, VidaCare and DPT are supported by a large medical research and education system. San Antonio is home to more than 700 Ph.D. bioscientists at academic institutions, the world’s largest genomics computing cluster, the nation’s only privately owned biosafety level four (BSL-4) maximum containment laboratory, and Southwest Research Institute—one of the nation’s largest non-profit, independent research and development organizations.

According to the San Antonio Medical Foundation, 45 medical-related institutions are based in the 900-acre South Texas Medical Center (STMC), with combined annual budgets, including research, totaling nearly $3.3 billion. The STMC has approximately 27,800 medically related employees. Capital improvements in progress and projected over the next five years total more than $1 billion, and the Center has nearly 300 acres available for future expansion. The STMC is recognized worldwide for the impact of its research, patient diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, degree programs, continuing education and state-of-the-art physical structures.

The future of this leading industry falls to the more than 100,000 students attending the area’s 14 universities and growing two-year community college system, preparing to enter the local workforce. Leading the way is the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which was named by Hispanic Business magazine a top-10 U.S. medical school for Hispanics. Trinity University’s Health Care Administration program was ranked as one of the top health-care management graduate programs in the country and earned a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools. Trinity also claimed the number one spot on U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 ranking of regional universities in the West, which also featured the University of Texas at San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary’s University and the University of the Incarnate Word.

San Antonio’s rich mixture of research, education and private companies makes it one of the nation’s leaders in healthcare, and an appealing place for bioscience professionals to pursue careers and for companies to do business.

Biotech is Booming at Brooks City-Base

Located on the site of the former Brooks Air Force Base, Brooks City-Base was jointly created by Congress and the State of Texas in June 2001. Since then, Brooks City-Base has been recognized as a leading research and technology center with over 2 million square feet of laboratory, office, educational, light industrial and recreational space with ample room for additional real estate development. Brooks City-Base is owned by the Brooks Development Authority (BDA), which in March 2010 became one of only 24 organizations in the United States to be named an Accredited Economic Development Organization by the International Economic Development Council. The BDA is able to offer a variety of unique incentives and financing alternatives for investment, making Brooks City-Base an attractive location for businesses looking to build or move into existing space.

To date, nearly $40 million has been invested in infrastructure improvements on the Brooks City-Base campus. In 2009, The BDA completed Phase I and initiated Phase II of its three-part extension of South New Braunfels Avenue from Southeast Military Drive to Interstate Loop 410. Phase I was an $8.9 million extension from Southeast Military Drive to Sidney Brooks and included street design, drainage, detention ponds, traffic signals, recycled water, sewers, landscaping and design of the new gateway entry into the Brooks City-Base campus. The $11 million Phase II extension is expected to be complete in 2012. The BDA also began the first of three phases that will extend Inner Circle Road from Research Plaza to South New Braunfels Avenue and will provide all infrastructure for development of the Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, which broke ground on Brooks City-Base in January 2010.

Research and technology development at Brooks City-Base is already going strong. DPT Laboratories’ pharmaceutical manufacturing facility sits on 37 acres of land in the southeast quadrant of the campus, occupying 200,000 square feet of space. The City/County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is also located within the research and technology section of the campus.

In 2009, the BDA formed a partnership with Transwestern, a nationally recognized commercial real estate firm that will help market the Brooks City-Base development nationally and internationally. It also established a partnership with the NRP Group in 2010 to market the existing residential housing available on the campus. This charming neighborhood is named Heritage Oaks at Brooks City-Base, a gated community of tree-lined streets and quality homes that has quickly become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the area.

While the BDA is focused on economic development on San Antonio’s thriving Southside, it is deeply committed to maintaining the beauty and history of the property. More than 180 acres have been set aside for quality green space and preservation on the Brooks City-Base campus. In addition, the campus is home to the historic Hangar 9 building, which was completed in 1918 and is the oldest wooden aircraft hangar in the U.S. Air Force.

Brooks City-Base is a completely unique development. There is no other concept like it anywhere in the United States. Its collaborative, innovative nature is built on solid partnerships with the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, as well as with state and federal governments. If you’re interested in learning more about the new era of innovation and enterprise at Brooks City-Base, visit www.bc-b.com.

Topeka: An Established Biotech Leader

Topeka, KS and Shawnee County provides an exceptional educated workforce to incoming businesses. The community is located in the heart of the Kansas “knowledge corridor”, with four universities in a 60-mile radius—The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Washburn University and Emporia State University. These universities have a combined enrollment of approximately 60,000 and an average graduation rate of more than 12,000 students per year. Thirty-six percent (36%) of the region’s population age 25 or older hold a bachelor’s degree or higher (compared to 27.5% nationally). One of the leading biology programs in the nation is at Washburn University. The University of Kansas has a focus in the human sciences and Kansas State University in the animal sciences.

The Topeka and Shawnee County region has established itself as a leader in the bioscience industry. Located in the center of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, where 40 percent of the animal science research in the world is conducted, Topeka is on the leading edge of innovations in both the animal science and life science fields. Between the high-profile medical and research facilities located in and around Topeka, and the developments being executed for the future, GO Topeka and the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce are continuing to build on the area’s reputation and sustainability in the biosciences.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition, headquartered in Topeka, is a major part of the city’s innovative foundation. As one of the world’s largest research and development facilities for canine and feline health research, this company mapped dog and cat genomes at its Science & Technology Center. This research has proven significant to a greater body of work with a 90 percent application to human science research. The animal science industry in Topeka anticipates another boost when the $650 million National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility is completed. The facility will focus on animal disease research to protect the American food supply and agricultural economy.

Over 13,000 people in Topeka and Shawnee County work in the healthcare industry. Industry partnerships with local and regional education institutions continue to feed a highly skilled workforce to the community each year providing a strong foundation for the growth and development of the biosciences.

In 2009, the state of Kansas developed a funding initiative for bioscience growth, dedicating $580 million exclusively to bioscience activity. In addition, the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. was named a regional health information center, solidifying the city and county’s standing in the region.

Looking forward, GO Topeka is assisting priority, primary-care providers across Kansas with implementation of a certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) Regional Center through the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care. Its initiatives include the development of a coordinated statewide effort to avoid duplication of services or funded activities, and the establishment of statewide health information technology standards for Kansas medical providers that will be a model for the entire nation.

Topeka has two commerce parks encompassing 1,500 acres in which your business can find a home of the future. Additionally, a science and innovation park is evolving near the two major hospitals in the community. This park will have access to primer recreation facilities and the infrastructure for bioscience companies.

The Topeka/Shawnee County area has a cost of doing business 15% lower than the national average, with an index of 85 according to Moody’s Economy.com, and a cost of living 10% lower than the national average (ACCRA). And because all machinery and equipment in Topeka is exempt from personal property taxes, Topeka is a less expensive to operate a business. Topeka also has the ability to offer incoming companies the most aggressive, flexible local incentive package in the Central United States.

To learn more about Topeka and Shawnee County as a business location go to www.GoTopeka.com.

KBA: Speeding New Drugs to Market

If you’re looking to get new drugs to market more quickly, Kansas has unique expertise and infrastructure to help you do exactly that.

With the deep concentration of companies and researchers in the region, drugs can move through the development pipeline more efficiently, effectively, and profitably—maximizing market years and return on investment.

While the Kansas City metropolitan area ranks 27th in population, it is 7th in the nation when it comes to the amount of clinical research conducted. A recent study placed the region in the top 10 in the nation for clinical trials and drug development activities, and the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy is perennially ranked among the best.

In fact, industry expert Michael Beckloff, president of Beckloff Associates, has noted that Kansas is part of one of the nation’s greatest clusters of experienced pharmaceutical development, clinical research, and bioscience companies.

“Companies here have helped develop more than 50 of the world’s top drugs,” Beckloff said, due to “well-organized industry, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, university expertise, and a deep talent pool to fuel growth.”

In addition to offering outstanding expertise and infrastructure, Kansas provides financial and hands-on business assistance through the $581 million Kansas Bioscience Authority, which is investing heavily in this critical human health sector—from R&D to commercialization.

For example, with cancer as one of the nation’s great bioscience challenges, the Kansas Bioscience Authority is contributing millions to a dramatic multi-year expansion of the University of Kansas Cancer Center so it can better share its renowned cancer fighting capabilities with the world.

The KBA is investing millions more in the industrial side of drug development with a wide range of companies expanding in Kansas, including both promising start-ups with innovative technologies and large companies that supply research labs globally.

Kansas Bioscience Authority CEO Tom Thornton said, “Despite a challenging economy, companies in Kansas are embarking on multi-million dollar expansions, and the state has the fastest growing research enterprise in the nation when ranked by increases in National Institutes of Health funding.”

Just as important though, according to Thornton, is the state’s leadership in finding new ways to bring drugs to the marketplace when the number of drugs approved annually today is no greater than the number approved in 1950.

“The industry is looking for the next innovation model,” Thornton said. “How do you turn medical innovation into entrepreneurship and also support commercialization? We have a model here in Kansas that effectively does what everyone is talking about. In an industry that is changing, this is a state that gets it.”

Recent KBA investments in drug development in recent years highlight the breadth of activity and innovation in the state:

• Remel / Thermo Fisher Scientific and SAFC Biosciences have undertaken multi-million dollar expansions in Kansas to satisfy customer demand for their products.

• PRA International is expanding with a new facility providing bioanalytical laboratory services for clinical trials in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Vince and Associates Clinical Research expanded its pharmaceutical clinical research trials capacity to meet significant increases in the demand for clinical studies, including Phase I trials.

• A leading cancer drug researcher who is a preeminent fellow at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., is working on an important collaborative cancer research project with Kansas researchers. Dr. Dale Boger and scientists at the University of Kansas Cancer Center are working together to select the best of the many novel compounds he has developed and to determine the most effective way to deliver these compounds to breast and prostate cancer tumors.

• SCF Technologies is advancing the uses of super critical fluids in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in food and agriculture markets. The core technology is the super critical fluid method of extracting organic solvents that will mean better drug delivery and targeting—and easier administration of medicines for doctors and patients.

• CyDex Pharmaceuticals’ research in multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer, is leading to a new drug formulation to be used in the high dose, pre-conditioning regimen prior to adult stem cell transplantation.

• Deciphera Pharmaceuticals is developing drugs to combat gastrointestinal tumors, mast cell leukemias, metastatic cancers, and autoimmune disorders using the company’s proprietary drug discovery platform. Using super-critical fluid technology, CritiTech is dramatically improving drug delivery and has developed the new drug Nanotax.

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