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In Global Biotech Biz, California is the Spot

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 14 - If biotech, like real estate, is about location, location, location, then California remains the world's Park Avenue.


The US is home to approximately 1,450 public and private biotech companies, more than three times the number in Canada, the closest global competitor, according to a report presented by Ernst & Young at the BioITWorld Conference here this week.


Approximately 412 US companies are based in California, concentrated mainly in the San Francisco bay area, with additional clusters in San Diego and Los Angeles and Orange Counties, according to the report, which analyzed data from 2000 and 2001.


Massachusetts took second place within the States, headquarters to about 220 companies. Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York followed, home to on average of approximately 80 biotechs each. Washington, Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Colorado based about 40 biotech companies apiece.


Following Canada's approximately 400 biotechs are Germany, with 350; the UK, 300; France, 240; Australia, 190; Sweden, 185; Israel, 175; Switzerland, 100; Finland, 100; The Netherlands, 90; and Denmark, 80. Numbers were not provided for the Asia/Pacific region.


The US also leads the world in global biotech revenues for public companies, capturing 72 percent of the pie, giving its companies about $25 billion in revenue, according to the report. Europe gobbled 22 percent, registering approximately $7.5 billion in revenue. Canada and Asia/Pacific regions each took in about $1 billion in revenue accounting for three percent each of the global revenue whole.


A total of 188,703 employees worldwide kept the biotech machine turning in 2000 and 2001, according to the report. Roughly 141,000 of these people worked in the US, with 34,180 based in Europe, 7,005 in Canada, and 6,518 in Asia/Pacific countries.