From the creation of minimally-invasive procedures to the design of the revolutionary transcatheter heart valve, their company is always searching for ways to improve the world around them.
Some of the largest and most influential pharmaceutical-related companies in Southern California include businesses like Amgen, Allergan, Medtronic, and Herbalife. the first of which employs more than 8,000 individuals in the Thousand Oaks area.
Similarly, some of the top diagnostics leaders (for medical testing) who are working to evolve the bioscience industry in Southern California include Beckman Coulter and Siemens Diagnostics, the latter of which focuses on in vitro diagnostics kits. While Edwards Lifesciences is easily the industry leader among medical device companies in and around Orange County, companies like Abbott Medical Optics and Medtronic have also worked hard to transform healthcare in California and across the world. The successes these companies have had in Southern California only serves to make the area more appealing to new bioscience companies searching for a base of operations.
A Booming Industry Spurring Job Creation and Local Investment
While many industries have seen continued success within Orange County and the surrounding Southern California areas, the bioscience industry has been growing at an exponentially quicker rate than most others in the region. There are also just under 300,000 bioscience 1.19 million employees in the life science industry in california. employees throughout all of California, which makes it the second largest tech industry in the state. The life science industry expanded employment by 6 percent, making it increase more rapidly than all other industries in California. Of these employees, the largest bioscience sector in regards to number of employees is the medical devices, instruments, and diagnostics sector, which boasts a total of 77,000 employees in California. As for Orange County specifically, they had a total of 63,684 life science employees in 2022, a four percent increase from the previous year. bioscience employees in 2017, which was an increase of nearly 2,000 employees from 2016.
Along with the fantastic growth in job creation exhibited by Orange County and surrounding areas, the booming bioscience industry has also spurred local investment in startups, which is evident by how much angel investors and venture capital firms invest in Orange County every year. Venture capital investments in California amounted to more than $35 billion in 2017, which increased to nearly $50 billion in 2018. The total amount of investments from venture capitalists in California makes up more than 50 percent of investments across the entire U.S. Most of the investments that are provided to biotech and medical device startups are given in the expansion stage of a startup.
When looking specifically at venture capital investments for digital health, startups in Orange County received $253 million in 2017. These investments have helped to improve the local economy over the past few years. Many of the startups in and around Orange County that have received venture capital investments have gone on to be highly successful, which provides the venture capitalists with fantastic returns. High returns mean that venture capital firms are more likely to continue investing in the bioscience industry around Orange County.
Another sign of health and growth within the bioscience industry is the high number of businesses that have recently been acquired in California. Within the bioscience industry, there were 130 mergers and acquisitions in 2018, the majority of which took place within the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors. These acquisitions indicate that the local bioscience industry is a successful one wherein well-managed startups and smaller companies are being acquired by some of the larger corporations in the area, which helps to fuel the economy. A recent example of this type of acquisition is the acquisition of CASMED by Edwards Lifesciences earlier this year.
Local Efforts to Further the Bioscience Industry
The bioscience industry is thriving in Southern California because of substantial local efforts from businesses, education, non-profits, and the government. . These efforts include everything from hosting regular industry events and networking events to providing academic programs that offer students an easy path into the industry once they've obtained a degree. If you're looking to get involved with the bioscience industry, a great way to get started is by attending local events or following the California Life Sciences Association, a large trade association representing the entire bioscience industry in California.
Their calendar of events will allow you to keep track of local CLSA networking events and workshops to will help you get involved with the bioscience industry. No matter where your interests lie in regards to the bioscience industry, you'll be able to find compelling events to attend.
Among the top universities to offer educational programs and tracks to help you to enter the bioscience field is the University of California Irvine. If you want to get started in biological sciences, they have a school dedicated specifically to the study of bioscience. The best undergraduate programs they offer to students who want to enter this industry include a biological sciences major, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, a human biology major, and a neurobiology major. Additional Masters and PhD programs are available as well.
You should also look into UCI Applied Innovation if you want to enter this industry or start a business of your own. For instance, the Student Startup Fund offers micro-grants to current UCI students engaged in entrepreneurial programs and competitions. The University of California in Irvine is just one of the many local schools making it relatively simple for a student to enter the bioscience industry in any way they see fit.
Ready to Pursue Bioscience? OC is Among the Best Places to Be!
There's no doubt that the bioscience industry is booming in Southern California with no signs of stopping anytime soon. With the increase in job growth, investment, and innovation -- it's safe to say that the industry is here to stay and will only foster further growth for the local economy and industry.
If you're looking to start your life science or bioscience business with a state-of-the-art wet lab facility, apply now for Orange County's first wet lab incubator -- University Lab Partners -- located at the UCI Research Park!