The Life Sciences industry is among the fastest growing in the region, according to the North Bay Life Sciences Alliance annual report.
It identified 94 businesses in Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties involved in global life science markets. But there may be as many as 470 businesses across 20 different life science sub-industries with headquarters or branch offices in the North Bay, the report said.
There were 10,000 employed in life science jobs in the four counties as of mid-2015, the latest data in the April 30 document. That’s up by 100 jobs in life sciences, working out to generate more than $48 million in new-business income.
The multiplier effect of those 10,000 workers is estimated a $4.8 billion, or about 7.3 percent of the $65 billion regional economy. Since 2010, the 30 percent expansion rate of life science workers makes this category among the fastest growing industries in these four counties.
Top industry employers in the region include BioMarin, Medtronic, The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Ultragenyx, Genentech, Raptor Pharmaceuticals and Trivascular Technologies and Steris. Last year, Trivascular merged with Endologix and Steris with Synergy Health.
Life science industries include biomaterials and bioprocesses, medical devices and therapeutics, agricultural biotechnology, animal health and nutrition, and nutraceuticals.The alliance was started in 2012 to monitor trends in employment, financing, commercial space and government support for life sciences businesses in the four counties.
Snapshot: Four-county facts on biotech and life science industry
- Biotechnology is second only to software as a venture capital investment since 2009.
- Marin and San Mateo counties offer the highest life science wages in California.
- Jobs in life science now represent 1.4 percent of total county employment.
- Life science jobs have grown 27 percent since 2010 at the close of the great recession.
- More than half (54.8 percent) of residents older than 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. San Francisco’s average is 52.9 percent.
- Class A office rent stood at $2.86 per square foot per month, with some deals exceeding $4 and $5. Class B space stands at $2.87 in the first quarter.
- BioMarin purchased the San Rafael Corporate Center in 2015 with 315,000 square feet.
- City of Novato secured a tax credit of $2.4 million for Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Inc.
- Solano County has largest number of life science employees in the North Bay due to Genentech.
- Life science jobs represent 3 percent of total employment, up 60 percent since 2010. Health care is another 11 percent of county jobs.
- The office vacancy rate was 18 percent in the fourth quarter. Average asking rent is relatively low at $2.10 per square foot, full service, for Class A space.
- Deal: Simmer Biomet Fagin leased 6,000 square feet of Class B office space in Fairfield in the fourth quarter.
- The medical-device, research-and-development and manufacturing cluster is anchored by Medtronics and TriVascular.
- Life science jobs now represent 2.5 percent of total county employment.
- Class A office space average asking rent was $1.88 per square foot monthly in the first quarter, while Class B asking rent was $1.59.
- Deal: Scott Laboratories leased all of a 86,000-square-foot building in the Cader Corporate Center in Petaluma.
- Napa County is the center of the North Coast wine industry’s supply chain, warehousing and a retail marketplace.
- The former Dey Pharmaceutical Napa County Airport site has 78,000 square feet of flex lab space available.
Sources: North Bay Life Sciences Alliance, Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers International