Report Is Bullish On Biotech

Compiled By Tonya Vinas One sunny spot of the U.S. economy is located in South San Francisco, according to a recent survey that reveals 70% of bioscience companies there will expand R&D operations in the next two years. Additionally, direct employment from the industry within the city is expected to grow by 1,000 jobs to 7,000. The California Healthcare Institute (CHI), La Jolla, Calif., a bioscience trade group, recently issued a report that included information on the survey, which was conducted in conjunction with PwC Consulting. The report is entitled "The Bioscience Industry South San Francisco: 25 Years of Achievement." It documents the industry's contributions to the region's economy and showcases medical and biomedical research, development and manufacturing. "Over the past 25 years, the City of South San Francisco and its bioscience industry partners have transformed an old industry economy into a world-renowned center of medical innovation," said Joseph Fernekes, the city's mayor, at the report's release on Nov. 27. "Our bioscience industry is the envy of many regions and states." Highlights from the report include these facts:

  • The number of bioscience companies in South San Francisco more than doubled in the last five years, from 20 firms in 1995 to 51 in 2000. The most famous resident company is Genentech Inc., often credited as the sector's founding company.
  • The city's bioscience firms invested $826 million on new product development in 2000. Total operating budgets of survey respondents exceeded $1.62 billion in 2000, with 51% of operating expenditures going to R&D.
  • Survey respondents predict future construction needs will grow to $436 million in the next two years, nearly double the $250 million in construction spent over the last five years.
  • South San Francisco companies have 70 drug candidates in various stages of development. About one-third of research products target cancer.
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