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.