A 42-page report being released Tuesday afternoon in Harrisburg by the Life Science Leadership Advisory Council outlines five priorities Pennsylvania needs to pursue to grow and expand the state’s life sciences industry.
Those priorities consist of:
- Promoting the industry as a key driver of Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness;
- Creating an engaged public-private life science team with executive-level leadership to focus on growing and expanding the life sciences industry;
- Establishing a long-term strategy for the use of Tobacco Settlement funding and other sources of investment (both public and private) that support life sciences industry growth, including health-related research and commercialization;
- Seeking investment capital to support early and midstage life science companies; and
- Encouraging the creation of a tax system and business climate that provide a supportive environment for life sciences and other technology-based industry job creation.
The council, which worked on the report between October and April, includes more than 40 individuals representing life sciences companies across Pennsylvania, state government, academia, research institutions, private investors and state-supported investment organizations.
“We see this as a road map for long-term growth and leadership for the life sciences industry,” said Christopher Molineaux, president of the Wayne-based Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association. “This is a long-range effort to plan for the future to make Pennsylvania continue to be a global leader in life sciences.”
The report notes Pennsylvania’s life sciences industry—comprised of biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic companies along with an array of academic and private research organizations—is an “economic powerhouse” employing more than 79,000 people directly and generating annual wages of $7.2 billion. The average salary of a life sciences industry employees is $90,267, according to the report, which is double the average annual Pennsylvania private sector wage of $45,348.
Among the challenges companies currently confront arelonger research and development cycles, tougher regulatory and reimbursement environments, constricted capital flow, and state-level budget constraints that have led to a reduction in state-funded initiatives to support the industry.