Economic Development, Market

The booming Boston/Cambridge biotech hub claims an industry-leading role — nobody beats it at raising record amounts of money

If there’s one thing that the biotech hub crowd in Boston/Cambridge is particularly good at, it’s raising money. After creating one of the biggest concentrations of drug development operations in the world in and around greater Boston, the money-raising side of the business is now humming like a well-oiled machine.

In a new industry hub snapshot out this morning, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council — better known as MassBio — happily boasted about the fact that 48% of all US biotech IPOs occurred inside the state in 2017. In 2016, it was 30%. 

The 15 newly public biotechs from Massachusetts that jumped into Nasdaq this year have already pushed past the full-year mark for all the IPOs completed in 2017. VCs, meanwhile, invested a record $3.1 billion in Massachusetts companies last year, with a $2.7 billion flood in the first 6 months of this year which will soon sweep away the record book.

Underscoring a global trend, rounds are getting bigger fast, with the average deal size growing from $34 million in 2017 to $51 million in the first half of this year.

The full report also underscores how fast things continue to change at the top. Pulling a list of the top industry employers from the Boston Business Journal, this new report highlights Sanofi as the biggest player by staff size in the state — which is what you would expect after the Genzyme acquisition. But two other top-10 players, Takeda and Shire, are in the process of merging.

That could create a new number 1 in the the employment arena, unless Takeda ends up axing its way back to the number 2 slot.

What’s the money and the jobs focused on?

Not surprisingly, cancer grabs the lion’s share of the attention. Here’s their pie chart on the pipeline and the would-be products you’ll find inside:


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Head of Business Development
Wren Therapeutics Boston, MA
Life Sciences Venture Professional
Northpond Ventures Washington, DC
Senior Drug Discovery Oncologist
Schrödinger New York, NY

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