CAMBRIDGE, MA — The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) today released its 2022 Industry Snapshot, which shows significant growth across the life sciences industry in 2021 in both workforce and real estate and reveals resilience in the face of some notable headwinds. Venture capital (VC) funding of the biopharma industry remains strong in 2022 despite a downturn in biopharma stock valuations, with the first six months of the year boasting $5 billion invested in Massachusetts-headquartered biopharma companies. Companies located outside of Cambridge, in communities such as Waltham, Bedford, and Watertown, received 57 percent of these investments (up from 42 percent in 2021).
“Sustained investment in biopharma companies in Massachusetts is contributing to research and development that gives hope to patients locally and around the world who are facing medical challenges,” said Joe Boncore, CEO of MassBio. “With an unrivaled cluster of early-stage companies, and nearly all the world’s top biopharma companies operating here, Massachusetts’ drug development pipeline outpaces all but one state. Though the headcounts, square footage, and dollar amounts in this snapshot are essential to demonstrating the strength of the life sciences industry, what keeps us on top is the sustained passion and drive to innovate and advance therapies, cures, and vaccines.”
“The strength and resilience of the Massachusetts life sciences industry is on full display in this Industry Snapshot, as significant funding continues to push good science forward, and investments made over the last few years have positioned the state to weather strong headwinds,” said Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President and COO of MassBio. “The Massachusetts biopharma workforce is one of the fastest growing sectors in the state. By concentrating our efforts on recruitment and training, and the continued expansion of the industry into new and emerging clusters around the state, we will not only safeguard the economic engine this industry has become; we will ensure more residents and communities share in this Massachusetts success story.”
The biopharma research & development (R&D) workforce continues to be the core of Massachusetts’ cluster, exhibiting 17.2 percent year-over-year employment growth, second only to California. Meanwhile, the regional expansion of the biomanufacturing industry has led to significant year-over-year employment growth compared with competitor states, growing 15.2 percent between 2020 and 2021. With 1.7 million square feet of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) under construction in Massachusetts, this trend is expected to continue.
The $5.1 billion in VC funding into Massachusetts companies in Q1 and Q2 of 2022 was more than all of 2019 ($4.73 billion) and represented a full 26 percent of VC funding invested nationally. Strong VC funding along with additional expansion by established biopharma companies contributed to a sustained high demand for new life sciences space across the state in 2021. Now totaling 55 million square feet, more than 15 million square feet of life sciences specific space came online in Massachusetts in 2021, a three-fold increase over the previous year’s growth.
The strength of the Massachusetts early-stage ecosystem has translated into a drug development pipeline for Massachusetts-headquartered companies that outpaces all but one competitor state, representing 15.6 percent of the U.S. pipeline and a nearly 25 percent increase in drug candidates over last year’s snapshot. Importantly, only one of the 18 top biopharma companies globally that have a presence in Massachusetts contribute their R&D to the state drug pipeline total.
Read the full 2022 report here.