If you haven't read this NY Times article from last week about the private biosciences industry, it's a must. I've never really challenged GNOBEDD and LSU/VA boosters' assertions about job creation and economic impact of investing in attracting the industry but the Times seems to indicate that it's not the silver bullet they've made it out to be.
At a recent global biotech convention in Atlanta, 27 states, including Hawaii and Oklahoma, paid as much as $100,000 each to entice companies on the exhibition floor. All this for a highly risky industry that has turned a profit only one year in the past four decades.
Skeptics cite two major problems with the race for biotech. First, the industry is highly concentrated in established epicenters like Boston, San Diego and San Francisco, which offer not just scientific talent but also executives who know how to steer drugs through the arduous approval process.
“Most of these states probably don’t stand much of a chance to develop a viable biotech industry,” said Gary P. Pisano, a Harvard Business School professor and the author of “Science Business: The Promise, the Reality and the Future of Biotech.”
“You can always get a few top people,” Mr. Pisano said, “but you need a lot of critical mass.”
Second, biotech is a relatively tiny industry with a lengthy product-development process, and even in its largest clusters offers only a fraction of the jobs of traditional manufacturing. In the United States, only 43 biotechnology companies employ more than 1,000 people, according to BioAbility, a consulting firm in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.
There is no guarantee that if a blockbuster drug materialized, it would be manufactured and marketed in the same place it was developed and tested.
See also savecharityhospital.com