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Dec 1, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 21)

Hot Spots for Biotech Jobs Outside the United States

Six Regions Where Things Are Looking Up

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    U.S.-based biotech researchers infected with wanderlust may find opportunities abroad irresistable, especially if they focus on the locations highlighted in this article—six of the liveliest biotech hubs in the world. [Kristy Pargeter/Fotolia]

    After GEN asked readers if they would relocate to another country for work, nearly three in four respondents said “yes” or “maybe.” With these readers in mind, we present this list of six regions outside the United States where biopharma jobs are plentiful.

    The decision to include a region was based on the region’s number of job postings. To determine this number, GEN visited a selection of websites October 21–24. These included LinkedIn as well as websites maintained by international biopharma firms. GEN also considered the size of a candidate region’s biotech cluster.

  • Bavaria (including Munich), Germany

    Bavaria’s 300-plus biotechs have combined annual revenues of €10 billion ($13.58 billion) and employ more than 26,000 people, mostly in Munich. About half of Bavaria’s biotechs (178) are small and medium-sized businesses. They account for about 4,000 jobs.

    In October, Roche said it will spend CHF 350 million ($391.7 million) upgrading its Penzberg plant and adding about 200 jobs as part of company-wide expansion over the next five years. A month earlier, Eli Lilly gained access to the EXO50 nucleic acid extraction kit and other technologies of Munich-based Exosome Diagnostics.

  • East of England, United Kingdom

    This region has three anchors: Cambridge, Oxford, and London. Of the three, Cambridge is the most prominent, accounting for more than half the United Kingdom’s biotech employers. Cambridge’s 1,535 high-tech companies employ some 53,203 people. Last year, these companies generated £12.2 billion ($19.7 billion) in combined revenues.

    To help Cambridge University produce more spinouts, Cambridge Innovation Capital plans to invest £50 million ($80.8 million) over the next two to three years. To encourage funding of biobusinesses, the government allows investors to hold shares of startups publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange within tax-free savings accounts. Another proposal would create a £300 million (around $481.1 million) Citizen’s Innovation Fund.

    AstraZeneca said it intends to keep its headquarters in the region, moving from London to Cambridge, even though it plans to eliminate 3,900 jobs through 2016.

  • Moscow, Russian Federation

    According to a study by Germany’s University of Kassel, Russia’s biotech sector will grow to $8 billion by 2015—double the figure measured in 2009, when Vladimir Putin launched “Bio 2020” with the goal of growing Russia’s share of the global biotech market to 5% by 2020.

    Bayer said in September that it plans to add 800 jobs in Russia over four years, in line with sales, which are expected to jump 80%, reaching to €1.3 billion (about $1.8 billion) by 2017. In October, two Cleveland BioLabs subsidiaries signed contracts with the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, each one valued at RUB 149 million (about $4.7 million). Also in October, NASDAQ and the Moscow Exchange agreed to work jointly to support Russian biotech startups.

  • North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Some of the biggest biopharmas in Germany began as startups, such as Evotec and Qiagen, the latter a 1984 spinout from the University of Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf is one of four major cities that serve as anchors. The other three are Cologne, Dortmund, and Essen. Leverkusen, though smaller, is home to the headquarters of Bayer, which last year inked an up-to-€592 million ($816.9 million) drug-development collaboration with Evotec.

    According to BIO.NRW, this region accounts for 42% of Germany’s total biopharma revenue, generated primarily by two segments: industrial biotech and drug discovery. Yet the tools/tech sector is growing. In April, Cologne-based Miltenyi Biotech acquired U.S.-owned Owl biomedical.

  • Ile-de-France (including Paris), France

    This region accounts for about one-third of France’s biopharma industry, according to France Biotech, and Paris anchors one of Europe’s largest bioclusters. Fast-growing biotechs include Ariana Pharma, which expanded to the United States and Japan over the past 18 months. In September, CRO Cardinal Systems expanded its services into North America via ClinSmart.

    The Paris region stands to gain even as Sanofi plans to cut 207 jobs across France. In July, the company said that while it planned to cut 376 research jobs, it also expected to add 169 new positions, mostly near Paris.

  • Shanghai, China

    China’s biopharma industry is growing especially quickly in and around Shanghai. In September, Boehringer Ingelheim launched a €70 million ($96.6 million) expansion of a manufacturing plant in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, which will also accommodate a BI research lab relocated from Waigaojiao. BI plans to add 350 to the plant’s workforce.

    BI also plans to build a €35 million ($48.3 million) cGMP biopharmaceuticals plant with Zhangjiang Biotech & Pharmaceutical Base Development, creating up to 65 new jobs by early 2016. Amgen said in September it plans to open an R&D center at ShanghaiTech University.



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