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MORGANTOWN — Bioscience is a rapidly growing industry in West Virginia, Bryan Brown, executive director of the Bioscience Association of West Virginia, said Friday at the state Bioscience Innovation and Economic Impact Forum.

The goal of the forum was to connect bioscientists with policymakers and the general public to talk about the economic impact the industry has in West Virginia, Richard Giersch, director of the WVU Health Sciences Innovation Center, said.

“I want to tell the story about how investment into science is producing results,” he said.

Charleston, W.Va. (June 6, 2018) – According to an industry-wide study released on June 5th on the economic impact of the U.S. bioscience industries, “West Virginia’s bioscience industry is growing rapidly...State bioscience firms grew their employment base by 14 percent from 2014 through 2016, well outpacing national growth (4.4 percent) to reach nearly 8,000 total industry jobs”.

The study, entitled “Investment, Innovation and Job Creation in a Growing U.S. Bioscience Industry 2018, was conducted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) – the national trade association representing the bioscience industries.

According to the report:

  • West Virginia’s bioscience industry directly employed 7,834 in 2016 across 489 business establishments. The industry’s total employment impact supports over 22,000 jobs in the state.
  • The industry has seen a substantial 14 percent increase in its employment base since 2014, as well as an 11 percent increase in the number of bioscience firms operating in the state during the same period.
  • Annual wages for state bioscience workers exceed $75,000, on average, and are significantly more than the overall private sector average.
  • NIH funding to West Virginia research institutions has grown from $19 million in 2014 to more than $28 million in 2017.
  • Employment in the Agricultural Feedstock and Industrial Biosciences sector grew by 169% between 2014-2016.
  • Employment in drugs and pharmaceuticals in West Virginia is considered to be specialized and is more concentrated in the state economy relative to the national average (location quotient is 1.93).
  • State patenting in the biosciences totaled 179 patents issued from 2014 through 2017 with a focus in medical and surgical devices, biochemistry, and drugs and pharmaceuticals. While modest in number, the state’s patent totals have increased in recent years.

Bryan Brown, executive director of the West Virginia Bioscience Association, said, “It’s remarkable to see West Virginia’s bio industries growing over the past two years given the economic challenges facing the state.  This is a testament to the skill and perseverance of the entrepreneurs and researchers – both in private companies and on university campuses – who are creating innovative products and technologies in the Mountain State.”

Brown said companies like Alcon in Huntington and Mylan in Morgantown, are helping drive growth in this sector, as are state biotech companies like Randox, Cordgenics, Valtari Bio, Progenesis, Microbiological Consultants and New River Labs.  Additionally, West Virginia University and Marshall University, among other state colleges, continue to grow their research and development programs.

The BIO report includes individual profiles for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and can be found on the BIO website at bio.org/jobs2018.

Officials from Marshall, West Virginia University and several businesses related to the bioscience industry gathered Thursday at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus for the eighth annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit.

"Approximately 7,000 jobs currently exist in the bioscience industry in West Virginia," said Richard Giersch, director of the Health Sciences, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization for West Virginia University. "It also has over a dozen startup companies in the last three years or so. It's a robust part of the economy that is small, but is growing."

The Bioscience Association of West Virginia will host the 8th Annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit on Thursday, April 19 at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall, on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

State and regional leaders - from the life sciences, academia and government - will inform, educate and inspire attendees on a variety of topics, such as the incredible innovation coming out of state biotech companies, university commercialization activities, funding opportunities and much more.  And, stay tuned for prominent keynote presenters to be announced soon!

The event will begin at 10:00 am on Thursday, April 19 and will include a keynote luncheon followed by an afternoon of featured presenters. An agenda will be announced soon.

Register today by clicking here!

Exhibitors

Exhibit space is available but may fill up quickly.  To reserve exhibit space, email Bryan Brown by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sponsorship

Event Sponsorship is being provided by the following: Marshall University, Mylan, BIO, VWR International, WVU Corporate Relations, TechConnectWV, PhRMA, Amgen and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.  

Additional sponsorships are available.  For additional information, contact Bryan Brown at (304) 546-5500 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We look forward to seeing you in Huntington on April 19 for the 8th Annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit!

The West Virginia Bioscience Summit, held April 25 in Morgantown, brought together representatives from our state’s research universities, biotech companies, technical assistance providers and others to hear from experts in the field on how to grow the state’s lifescience industries.  And, boy did they deliver. 

Dr. Mary Hendrix, President of Shepherd University and a nationally recognized leader in cancer research, joined Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert and West Virginia University President Gordon Gee for a special “fire side chat” to discuss university and industry collaborations to drive lifescience growth.  The segment was moderated by Dr. Sally Hodder, director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

All three presidents agreed that the American education system breeds creativity and collaboration more so than their counterparts in other countries around the world.  This creative and collaborative spirit has led to America’s leadership in problem solving and the discovery and innovation that follows. 

About BioWV

The purpose of the Association is to promote the bioscience industry in West Virginia, expand the knowledge and expertise of West Virginia’s businesses concerning the life sciences through seminars, educational publications and to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in West Virginia. BioWV represents the interests of the bioscience industry in West Virginia before federal, state and local legislators and regulators.

PO BOX 20065 | Charleston, WV 25362 | (304) 546-5500