Invest in USA - Pennsylvania

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Case Studies Pennsylvania

  • Grupo Losan
  • Hine Group
  • Digna Biotech

Life Sciences


Pennsylvania has long been home to a robust life sciences ecosystem – from our world-renowned research institutions, to the early state companies that get their start here, to mature and global pharmaceutical companies. Pennsylvania's life sciences community has been developing the drugs, vaccines, devices, and diagnostics that are saving lives and improving the quality of life around the world. The commonwealth is focused on creating an economic climate where great ideas and outside-the-box thinking are not only encouraged, but embraced.

In 2010, Pennsylvania's pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry added $7.5 billion in value to the economy, which is 7 percent of the state's total manufacturing industry and 5.7 percent of the U.S. pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing added value. Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing is a prominent state industry subsector. It currently comprises 2.2 percent of total Pennsylvania manufacturing and 3.5 percent of the national medical devices industry.

Pennsylvania added $2.2 billion in value to the medical devices and diagnostics industry in 2010 and employed more than 19,500 individuals at 614 establishments within the industry in 2011. With Pennsylvania's placement south of the venture capital pool of New York City, east of biotech clusters in Cleveland and Toronto, and north of the regulatory center of Washington D.C., the state serves as a convenient crossroads of industry. Pennsylvania contains the best of both worlds – in its western region, engineering principles are being incorporated into medical device creation, while pharmaceuticals are the emphasis in the southeast.

The number of life sciences firms has increased substantially in recent years, jumping 13 percent from 2,024 in 2008 to more than 2,270 in 2011. This increase was driven by the addition of 300 firms in the research, testing, and medical laboratory category. It is a change that represents an opportunity for future industry growth as these companies develop and employ additional people. Innovated thinking and extensive clinical trials also drive the state's bioscience cluster.

Research & Development

Pennsylvania is an incubator of biological innovation, housing more than 1,800 biotechnology companies, institutes, and research facilities. It currently ranks 4th in the nation for R&D expenditures. Eight Pennsylvania universities are categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as having "Very High" or "High" research activity, and three were ranked in the top 25 in the country by the Center for Measuring University Performance.

Between 2004 and 2009, more than 5,040 bioscience-related patents were issued to individuals and entities in Pennsylvania, with drugs and pharmaceuticals representing the largest category. More than 840 clinical trials were initiated at Pennsylvania institutes in 2009. Fueling the state's commitment to partner universities with businesses to commercialize key technologies, 45 Pennsylvania businesses received National Institutes of Health grants during FY 2011 for the research and development of technologies with potential commercial applications. The NIH awarded a total of $1,152,645,832 in funding to Pennsylvania research projects in 2011, ranking it 4th in the country.


Pennsylvania offers access to capital at every step, from startup to research to commercialization. A powerful blend of life science and business incubators, grant opportunities, low-interest loans, and tax credits, all work together to lower risk and promote growth and technology development. In 2010 and 2011, the Pennsylvania Life Science Greenhouses leveraged $116 million in total early-stage seed funding. Pennsylvania received $47.7 million in NIH funding in FY 2011 to train the next generation of pioneering scientists.

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