Top 12 Best Places Around the World To Land a Biotech Job


This year’s List features 12 hotspots, up from seven last year, reflecting the increasing globalization of biopharma as greater amounts of government fundseducational and research resources, and investor capital are committed by nations.

Belgium Long known for home-grown pharma anchors like UCB and theFlanders Institute for Biotechnology, Belgium’s biopharma industry has been enhanced in recent years by younger biotechs, two of which went public this year.

In May, Mechelen-based Galapagos completed Europe’s largest-ever IPO and one of the largest of any biotech worldwide, raising259.3 million in net proceeds primarily toward advancing clinical programs.

The IPO has yet to yield an avalanche of new jobs: Since filing its registration statement, the company’s workforce has grown to 427 employees as ofSeptember 30, 10 more than a year earlier.

Another Belgian biotech successfully completing an IPO was Celyad, which generated some $90 million in net proceeds from its first public offering of itsAmerican Depositary Shares in the U.S. While most of the money will advance clinical programs, $5 million can be expected to fund additional jobs thatSupport our growth globally by expanding general, administrative and operational functions in our headquarters in Belgium and the United States,”according to a company official.

In April, Bone Therapeutics opened a new headquarters at the GosseliesBiopark, part of the public-privateWalloon Cell Therapy Platform” initiative designed to transform the Wallonia region into a cell therapy hub by creating roughly 100 direct jobs and another 200 indirect jobs.

Canada The nation’s biopharma industry group BIOTECanada committed the nation in May to becoming one of the world’s top three economies by the year 2025.

Canada took many steps in that direction during the past year.

Among them: Medicago plans to more-than-double its workforce by 2019 by adding 200 people to the 180 now based in Quebec City’s Estimauvilleinnovation park, where on May 19 the company announced a $245 million production plant that will make vaccines and therapeutics using plant technology, Later that month, Gilead opened a $100 million laboratory in northeast Edmonton that added 83 employees to the more than 300 the company already employed in the capital of Alberta province.

In June, South Korea-based Green Cross Biotherapeutics broke ground on the nation’s first intravenous immunoglobulin and albumin manufacturing plant, aC$315 million facility that will employ 200 scientists, engineers, microbiologists, chemical engineers and other professionals.

Officials hope to address quality concerns that they fear may threaten biopharma growth although numerous companies disclosed expansion plans this year across China.

In September, Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine announced a $240 million biopharma plant in Jiangsu, two months after disclosing plans for a $137 million biologic drug manufacturing facility in Suzhou.

Other companies developing new facilities include BeiGene, which is building its first commercial cGMP plant at bioBAY industrial park in Suzhou; GenovateBiotechnology, which began phase I of construction for a RMB 350 million insulin plant in Changzhou National Hi-tech District; Green Cross, which is building a cell therapy facility in Guizhou province; and Tianjin CanSinoBiotechnology, which broke ground on a $317 million manufacturing site for vaccines against Ebola and other diseases, set to open in 2018.

One source of pride for the industry took place in January, when Marseilles-based drug developer Trophos was acquired by Roche for up to470 million.

Paris-headquartered Sanofi has perhaps the largest facility project in progressnamely120 million in vaccine production and processing upgrades for unitSanofi Pasteur underway in Marcy-l’Étoile.

The company’s animal drug business Merial is also in construction mode inLyon-Saint Priest, where it is investing more than40 million to build a new line of biomanufacturing systems that will enable the company to double its production capacity at the site.

GlaxoSmithKline issued a statement saying it would create 300 production jobs in France during 2015-2016, even as the company began marketing for sale its manufacturing site in Les Ulis.

So far this year several companies have announced new projects that will increase those numbers further, immediately or eventually: Industrial biotechClariant opened a 100-person lab-office facility in Planegg near Munich, while home-grown pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim said in June it created 50 new jobs by more than doubling its annual filling and packaging capacity for itsRespimat® inhaler to 50 million units, in a72 million expansion of its headquarters Ingelheim site.

Another home-grown pharma, Merck KGaA will consolidate 200 existing employees at a new65 million R&D building to open in 2017 within itsDarmstadt headquarters-though executives said the building will eventually drive future company growth.

India Since taking office last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken often about growing India’s biotech industry.

On November 14, Modi’s government committed the nation to at least triple the number of biotech startups, now at 500: “We plan to scale it up to 1,500 to2,000 in the next two to three years,” Renu Swarup, Ph.D., senior advisor toIndia’s department of biotechnology and managing director of the BiotechnologyIndustry Research Assistance Council, told Indo-Asian News Service.

Ireland Even the phase-out of theDouble Irishtax loophole by 2020, which began this year, did not end the parade of bio pharma’s expanding within the republic.

Ireland’s government in January contributed15 million to an85 million venture capital fund aimed at increasing life sciences employment.

In another Dublin suburb, Blanchardstown, Alexion Pharmaceuticals announced a450 million expansion in May that will add 200 jobs over four years.

In Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Amgen opened a new 340-employee, $300million syringe filling facility.

Russia In the fifth year since President Vladimir Putin launched theComprehensive Program of Biotechnology Development in Russia to 2020″-through which Russia aims to grow into a biotech heavyweight by 2020-thenation reaped some rewards from its cluster-building efforts.

Kaluga is also where AstraZeneca in October opened a new $224 million manufacturing and packaging facility that will employ 170 by next year and be fully operational in 2017, with an annual capacity of about 40 million of packages and 850 million of tablets.

Singapore With a biomedical industry that has grown to 16,800 employeesgenerating $21.5 billion in goods and services last year, Singapore likes to sum up its approach to growing biopharma in three words: “Dream, design, and deliver.” A series of openings this year went a long way toward fulfilling theDeliverpart of that phrase most recently on November 18, when ThermoFisher Scientific officially opened an expanded GMP facility that is 60% larger than the previous site and double the cold chain capacity.

Training more professionals in anticipation of future industry demand is the goal of Singapore’s-year-old Biologics Overseas Skills Training program, which will train 150 specialists over three years, as well as that of the Development andApprenticeship program, which will train another 300.

In November, Seo Jeong-sun, president of the Korea Biotechnology IndustryOrganization and the founder and chairman of Seoul-based genome sequencing firm Macrogen, announced a plan to incubate no fewer than 1,000 KBIO biotech startups over several years, by partnering them with successful home-grown biotechs such as his own and Celltrion, as well as drawing support from the government.

In March, several government agencies revealed plans to spend a combined$300 million on biotech this year, up from $199 million last year.

Contract manufacturer Samsung BioLogics in February said it will carry out a$700 million expansion of its biologics manufacturing site in Songdo, Incheonthe number of jobs has not been disclosed, though the company employs about1,000 people.

The site will consist of three plants one set to start operation next year, the second in two to three years, and a third that started construction this month.

According to its third-quarter regulatory filing, Biogen shelled out CHF 65.1million for the site, under a contract that includes environmental remediation costs.

A U.S. vaccine developer, PaxVax, told online magazine Newly Swissed it was gearing up for product approvals that could expand its Swiss facility inThörishaus, where the company preserved nearly 80 jobs last year by acquiringCrucell Switzerland.

One industry concern, according to the association, remains the ability to hire specialists from abroad following voter approval last year of the initiativeAgainst mass immigration.” United Kingdom A year after theGolden Triangle” was re-brandedMedCity,” southeast England-co-anchored by London, Oxfordand Cambridge-continues to expand in biopharma.

The region can boast of the biotech with the most private financing ever raised in Europe and second-most worldwide, Oxford-based Immunocore with $320million.

Thirst for biotech growth extends across the U.K. In April, the UK BioIndustryAssociation unveiled its vision to create a kingdom-wide top-tier cluster over the next decade in part by creating 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs.

Two months later, Mayor Johnson proposed aMegafundof £10 billion intended to support drug development in his city and across the U.K. Among companies in expansion mode, Gilead said in February it will double its UKworkforce to 600 this year with the creation of a new U.K. commercial headquarters in the Holborn section of London, and expansions of its U.K. R&Dheadquarters in Cambridge and its U.K. headquarters in Uxbridge.


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