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October 15, 2013
Where Are the Biopharma Clusters, Really?
Here's a look at where the biopharma companies really congregate, courtesy of Luke Timmerman at Xconomy. There's also a revealing comparison to the situation ten years ago.
His cutoff is for a company to have at least $100 million in cash (and short term investments) on hand to fund its operations. Companies with less than that, he says, rarely end up making an impact without crossing that threshold along the way (and I'd agree with that assessment). The most notable thing about the list is the degree to which things have proliferated in the Boston/Cambridge area. It was already a strong list in 2003, but in 2013 it outdistances everyone. It's now a self-perpetuating effect, to a good degree: companies come here because there are a lot of investors and a lot of good people in the workforce, and people come here because there are a lot of companies, and so on.
The San Francisco Bay area was number one ten years ago, but although it's grown since 2003 (24 companies versus 19), the growth in Boston has outstripped it. San Diego's in similar shape, but on a smaller scale. Seattle is clearly the laggard of the list, small and getting smaller. And the NJ/NY area has one fewer on its roster than it did ten years ago, in a process that is not showing any obvious signs of reversing.
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