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KGI Study Reveals Diverse and Vibrant Regional Bioscience Industry
Date:2/18/2010

CLAREMONT, Calif., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Southern California bioscience industry is robust and diverse, according to a new study by Professor Steven Casper at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), sponsored by Southern California Edison.

"If you read the popular press on where the bioscience industry is centered, you would conclude that it is in San Francisco, San Diego and Boston," says Casper, KGI's Henry E. Riggs Professor of Management and director of the Master of Bioscience program. "Our study cast a wide net over the local industry. We found that Southern California has a really strong biosciences industry -- more vibrant than commonly assumed."

Even Casper, an expert in biotech clusters, says he was surprised by the findings, which documented 240 research-intensive bioscience companies headquartered in the region, along with 29 subsidiaries of major companies located here -- for total industry employment of 42,756. The study focused only on companies that are actively engaged in research and development -- the total Southern California bioscience industry cluster numbers more than 900 companies.

While the region's volume of bioscience activity is noteworthy, the breadth and diversity within subsectors of the industry is even more significant. Other U.S. cities with successful bioscience clusters tend to be heavily specialized in one segment of the industry, such as biotechnology-related drug discovery or medical devices, the study found. Southern California has developed a balanced portfolio of well-established large companies and entrepreneurial start-ups and is diversified across the industry's three major segments: pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices. Highly inventive, these companies have obtained thousands of patents and commercialized dozens of new products, the study found.

The six-county Southern California region covered in the study ("Southern California Region Bioscience Profile: A look at Regional Assets and Market Opportunities") comprises Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Over the course of a year, Casper and his team created a comprehensive and detailed database profiling the region's bioscience industry.

The resulting report has two main sections. The first explores the landscape of companies active within each of the three main industry segments, demonstrating that the region is fertile ground for entrepreneurial start-ups, mature companies and subsidiaries of global-bioscience companies.

The second section focuses on the broader ecology of institutions and resources that local bioscience companies draw upon for support. The study found an ecosystem with a large labor market of scientists and bioscience professionals; a community of world-class universities, medical schools and research hospitals directly linked to the bioscience industry and engaged in robust technology-transfer programs; and an active community of venture capitalists and angel investors with a proven track record of investing in local companies.

The study also uncovered several bioscience "hot spots" throughout the region, including Central and Coastal Orange County, anchored by the University of California Irvine and companies like Allergan, Beckman Coulter and Edwards Life Sciences, as well as the majority of the region's venture capitalists; Pasadena, a leading location for entrepreneurial technology firms, a large percentage of which have been spun off from the California Institute of Technology; the 101 Corridor, anchored by pharmaceutical giant Amgen; and Santa Monica, which is home to numerous small startups in biotech and diagnostics.

KGI BACKGROUND

Educating the future leaders of the bioscience industry, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) offers an interdisciplinary graduate education through its Master of Bioscience (MBS), Postdoctoral Professional Masters in Bioscience Management (PPMBS), PhD programs, and other degrees. Using team-based learning and real-world projects, KGI's innovative curriculum seamlessly combines applied life sciences, bioengineering, bioethics and business management. KGI also has a robust research program concentrating on the translation of basic discoveries in the life sciences into applications that can benefit society.  KGI is a member of The Claremont Colleges, located in Claremont, California.

Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is dedicated to education and research aimed at translating into practice, for the benefit of society, the power and potential of the life sciences.

SOURCE Keck Graduate Institute

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SOURCE Keck Graduate Institute
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