August 29, 2015

Philly ranks seventh in U.S. life sciences clusters

Diverse mix of established companies and innovative start-ups keeps city's life sciences sector resilient, study finds

Science Medicine
Philadelphia skyline Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

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For the second year in a row, Philadelphia ranked number seven in the nation for its economic climate in the life sciences.

The list, compiled annually by Chicago-based Jones Lang La Salle, a professional services and investment management firm, takes multiple factors into account when determining its rankings.

The firm tracks, in order of importance, a region's percentage of employees in the life sciences, venture capital funding, National Institutes of Health funding, life sciences patents, and percentage of life science businesses and life science employment growth, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

There are, according to the study, 1,578 life sciences establishments in the Philadelphia area that employ more than 54,600 workers. Altogether, these businesses attracted $271.4 million in venture capital funding last year.

Among the major takeaways from the analysis is that Philadelphia's combination of established pharma firms and startups make for strong market fundamentals. A sizeable millennial workforce also signals growth in the nearly 90 hospitals and 100 colleges and universities throughout the region as life sciences companies increasingly tap in a deep talent pool.

In terms of real estate, Philadelphia stands as a global leader, with more than 11 million square feet dedicated to the life sciences. Between world-class academic institutions, medical centers and clusters of venture capital firms, the diversity of mature corporations and startups keeps the city resilient.

The top three cities on the list, in order of their ranking, are Boston, Raleigh-Durham and San Franciso. Philadelphia came in one spot ahead of Long Island and a step behind Los Angeles.