Seattle is a thriving US life sciences cluster. The region has a large number of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies as well as top research institutions. According to JLL Life Sciences Outlook, there are 117 biotech/pharma employers, 86 medtech employers, 67 digital health/ Health IT employers and 66 academic/non-profit research employers.
According to BioSpace, there are 23,922 employees working in Seattle life sciences industry (here). 45% of life sciences jobs in the cluster are in research and development. The average annual wage for life sciences jobs in this cluster is $86,400 (here).
Universities in Seattle include University of Washington, Antioch University Seattle, Seattle Pacific University and Seattle University. University of Washington is building a five-floor, 169,000 square feet Life Sciences Building (LSB) with offices, laboratories, and common-use spaces, which will be completed in 2018.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is located in Seattle, which has funded several major grants to Seattle-based research institutes. Seattle’s major research institutes include the Allen Institute, Benaroya Research Institute, Centre for Infectious Disease Research, the Infectious Disease Research Institute and the institute for Systems Biology.
The Allen Institute is dedicated to answering some of the biggest questions in bioscience and accelerating research worldwide. The Allen Institute encompasses three entities: the Allen Institute for Brain Science; the Allen Institute for Cell Science; and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) is one of the few research institutes in the world dedicated to discovering causes and cures to eliminate autoimmune and immune system diseases. Centre for Infectious Disease Research is the largest independent, non-profit organization in the US focused solely on infectious disease discovery research.
Seattle has a large number of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, such as Juno Therapeutics, LabConnect, Synapse Product Development, Sound Pharmaceuticals, ZymoGenetics, CTI BioPharma, LifeSpan BioSciences, and Seattle Genetics.
The Seattle metro area had four life sciences initial public offerings in 2014, including Juno Therapeutics, Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Acucela and Immune Design.
Juno Therapeutics is ranked the top US life sciences start-up to watch in 2014 by BioSpace (here). The clinical-stage company developing novel cellular immunotherapies based on two distinct and complementary platforms – Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) and T Cell Receptors (TCRs) technologies. The company’s goal is to revolutionize medicine by re-engaging the body’s immune system to treat cancer. In January, Juno acquired AbVitro, a privately held biotechnology company based in Boston, which provides a leading next-generation single cell sequencing platform that will augment Juno’s capabilities to create best-in-class engineered T cells against a broad array of cancer targets( here). In April, Juno formed a partnership with WuXi AppTec, a leading open- access R&D capability and technology platform company in China (here).
Seattle’s Lake Union supports the regions’ growing life sciences business. In December 2015, The Allen Institute launched its new headquarters in South Lake Union with a 270,000 square foot life sciences building (here). However, limited availability of lab space has made growth difficult for tenants. According to JLL, the downward pressure on vacancy has escalated lab rents, with recently completed deals achieving as high as $55 per square foot (here).