The largest bioscience companies in Los Angeles combined for a nearly 10 percent hike in local employment over the past year, a 12-month stretch marked by major drug approvals and a record $12 billion biotech
business acquisition, according to a Business Journal analysis.
The jump in jobs among the top 50 biopharmaceutical firms, medical device makers and diagnostic service providers with a presence in the L.A. region was accompanied by a 5.3 percent boost in combined revenue to $527 billion.
“We’re seeing so much momentum from all different sides in Los Angeles,” said Dina Lozofsky, executive director of Biocom L.A., an advocacy group for the bioscience business sector. “It’s so great to see the proof in the pudding – the actual numbers going up. The bioscience industry continues to grow.”
The list is based on local employment, and 19 of the 50 companies reported job growth, while 25 were flat or declined to provide information, and six saw job cuts over the past 12 months.
The average employment growth rate for all of the combined firms this year was 9.8 percent from more than 23,900 biosciences workers among the largest firms last year to nearly 26,300 last week.
The growth compared with a 1 percent loss in companywide jobs for the bioscience firms on the list, many of which have plants and offices across the nation and around the world.
The $527.3 billion in total revenue for the group was up from $500.1 billion. Amgen Inc., whose global headquarters is in Thousand Oaks, reported 3.8 percent drop in jobs there to 5,400 local employees, or 216 fewer than last year.
The biopharmaceutical giant, whose total revenue decreased 1 percent to $22.8 billion in 2017, announced last fall it would lay off 200 employees in its research and development division. An Amgen year-end report said its R&D expenses fell 7 percent largely because of lower spending required to support later-stage clinical programs.
“Amgen is well positioned for future growth with the strong volume-driven growth of our recently launched products and robust pipeline,” said Kristen Davis, a spokeswoman for the firm, in a statement. “We are looking forward to the pending approval of our new migraine therapy and advancing new medicines for serious diseases in our pipeline.”
The No. 2 bioscience company was Quest Diagnostics Inc., a $7.8 billion New
Jersey-based medical diagnostic testing company with clinical laboratories in West Hills and Valencia.
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