Future Hub of Biotech: Boston or San Francisco?

San Francisco and Boston sit on opposite coasts and each has a rich history and character that make them distinct. However, they share some similarities: both cities are centers of top biotechnology hubs in the US.

San Francisco and Boston sit on opposite coasts and each has a rich history and character that make them distinct. However, they share some similarities: both cities are centers of top biotechnology hubs in the US.

According to Ernst & Young’s “Beyond borders: Global biotechnology report 2012,” the San Francisco Bay Area led the country in number of public companies in 2011 with 68; New England was second with 46. The two regions also led the country in market capitalization, but in this case, New England was first, and San Francisco took second.

Xconomy journalist Luke Timmerman’s Jan. 21, 2013, article delves into the ongoing rivalry that exists in these regions within the biotech community. He cites from a report by the California Healthcare Institute that, of the 39 FDA-approved new molecular entities, nine came from California-representing nearly 25%.

But the article also mentioned Boston. Greater Boston has many renowned academic institutions. Specifically, Cambridge is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in addition to Sanofi’s Genzyme, among other companies, that have taken advantage of many opportunities for close-proximity public–private partnerships. According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2012 Life Sciences Outlook report for the Greater Boston region, the hub was top in the nation in funding from the National Institutes of Health with $2.27 billion.

It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds. Our sister publication, BioPharm International, would like your take on this topic. Please take a minute and take our survey to let us know which region you think will be the largest biotech hub in five years.