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New report highlights booming life sciences sector in Texas

With over 116,000 employees across 7,462 businesses, Texas has become a leader in biotechnology and life sciences, a recent report revealed.

“The life science and biotech industry is one of the most significant industries in Texas, creating innovations that improve and often save the lives of Texas patients every day,” said Victoria Ford, President and CEO of the Texas Health & Bioscience Institute (THBI), which produced the report.

The report, Building the Innovations of Tomorrow, highlights the Texas biotech industry, in which employment grew by 15% between 2018 and 2021, “outpacing national industry growth.”

“The state’s success has bred intense competition for specialized talent even as industry demand escalates,” the report noted. “United in purpose, Texas’ life science community can unleash abundant human potential through cooperation on nurturing homegrown talent that chooses to plant roots and grow possibilities.”

Life science industry as the driving economic force in Texas

The Texas life science and biotech industry generates billions of dollars in revenue, creating new job openings constantly. This includes drug developers and manufacturers, biotech companies, medical device companies, research institutions, as well as Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) and Contract Research Organizations (CROs).

Presently, over 116,473 people work in biotech in Texas – earning an average annual salary of $100,000.

As an innovation hub, Texas has also “brought to market thousands of patents, over 5,300 between 2018 and 2021 alone,” the report added. Of those, 2,709 were patents for surgical and medical devices, followed by 1,014 patents for pharmaceuticals and 508 for biochemicals.

Additionally, the Texas life science sector has seen a significant surge in bioscience venture capital investments. According to the report, investments jumped from $622.3 million in 2018 to $2 billion in 2021. The top three segments receiving the most investments were healthcare tech systems, which received $1.2 billion; drug discovery and delivery, which received $914.7 million; and pharma and biotech, which received $892.8 million.

Texas Life Sciences Summit highlights the state’s biotech sector

On April 2, 2024, THBI hosted the first-ever Texas Life Sciences Summit. The Austin event featured 200 leaders and experts from the life science industry, economic development organizations, and academic institutions, as well as state leaders – including Commissioner Harrison Keller of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Commissioner Joe Esparza of the Texas Workforce Commission, and keynote speaker Executive Director Adriana Cruz of the Office of the Governor’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

The Summit was co-hosted by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and presented by Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

“Our summit is designed to bring industry and state leaders together to identify current challenges and to foster partnerships and solutions that will enable this industry to continue to build the innovations of tomorrow,” THBI’s Ford added.

The event focused on the latest biotech innovations and developments, featuring numerous panels and keynote presentations discussing new products on the market, in addition to addressing biotech workforce needs and job training programs.