MassBio: drug development pipeline, candidates in clinical trials on the rise

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: iStock/artisteer)
(Image: iStock/artisteer)

Related tags Clinical trials Pharmacology Nervous system Central nervous system

As more Massachusetts companies reach clinical trials, demand for biomanufacturing services in the state is increasing, says report.

According to the 2016 Industry Snapshot​, published by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), the number of drug candidates in clinical trials from Massachusetts-based companies increased by 14% from 2014, and the number of drug candidates increased 10%, to 1,645.

Researchers in the state are currently researching and developing products for patients with 362 different medical indications, according to MassBio. Of this pipeline, 36% is made up of oncology drugs, while systemic anti-infectives, central nervous system, and musculoskeletal therapeutic areas are also a focus. Thirteen candidates are pending FDA approval.

According to the Snapshot, over the past 10 years biopharma manufacturing employment in the state has grown by 34% to 10,616 jobs. Across the US over this same time period the country has lost 24,000 biopharma manufacturing jobs, marking a 7.9% decrease.

More Massachusetts companies are reaching clinical trials than ever before, and as this happens, the demand for biomanufacturing is also increasing​,” Elizabeth Steele, Director, Economic Development & Global Affairs, told

At the same time, we are noticing a trend of companies looking to keep their biomanufacturing close to their R&D centers in Massachusetts, and anticipate continued growth in this area​,” she added.

In 2015, biotechnology R&D jobs in the state totaled 31,469 positions – leading the nation in employment in the sector, as defined by industry concentration.

According to MassBio, total employment in the state’s biopharma industry grew to 63,026 in 2015, approximately 2,570 jobs more than 2014.

The council has also recently started tracking medical device performance, as combination products have become increasingly common in the industry.

According to its reports, medical device employment is down by 6.9% over the last 10 years, which MassBio said puts the state “in the middle of the pack​” with the largest number of medical device jobs.

Additional report highlights:

  • Massachusetts accounts for 13% of the US-based drug development pipeline.
  • There have been 7 Massachusetts biotech IPOs to date in 2016.
  • The top 4 NIH-funded independent hospitals in the U.S. in 2015 are in Boston.
  • 9 million square feet of commercial lab space has been added to inventory in Massachusetts since 2007.
  • Venture investment in Massachusetts rose to $2.1bn in 2015, with Massachusetts receiving 28% of all VC dollars in biotech in the US.

Snapshot statistics are compiled yearly by MassBio from sources including EvaluatePharma, National Institutes of Health, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, among others.

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