Study Shows West Virginia’s Biotech Industry Growing
According to a recent industry-wide study on the economic impact of the U.S. bioscience industries, West Virginia has seen an increase in bio-related employment growth since 2012. Additionally, with employment growth of nearly 10 percent since 2001, the bioscience industries nationally have been a leading performer among technology sectors over this period.
The study, entitled “The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life 2016”, 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 employed more than 6,400 in 2014 across 419 business establishments.
- The state industry has seen a slight increase in its employment base by 0.6 percent since 2012.
- Employment in drugs and pharmaceuticals in West Virginia is considered to be specialized and is 93 percent more concentrated in the state economy relative to the national average (location quotient is 1.93).
- Annual wages for state bioscience workers exceed $71,000, on average, and are 76 percent more than the overall private sector average.
- State patenting in the biosciences totaled 184 patents issued from 2012 through 2015 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 Mylan, which has a significant presence in Morgantown, is helping drive growth in this sector, as are state biotech companies like Protea Biosciences, CereDx, Cordgenics, Progenesis and Microbiological Consultants. Additionally, West Virginia University and Marshall University, among other state colleges, continue to grow their research and development programs.