#PhRMA12: MassBIO CEO Inspires

#PhRMA12: MassBIO CEO Inspires

04.13.12 | By Kate Connors

Kicking off Friday's annual meeting events, MassBIO President and CEO Robert Coughlin talked about the role that the state's government has played in growing the biotechnology community in Massachusetts, saying that "if you can get government, academia and industry to all work together for a common goal, we can solve any problem in the world."

A few bullets about the biotech sector in Massachusetts to consider from his speech:

  • 53 percent growth in employment since 2002 - and climbing
  • One of only three states to grow biotech manufacturing jobs
  • Massachusetts-headquartered companies account for 10 percent of the U.S. drug development pipeline, and 5 percent of the global pipeline
  • Last year, Massachusetts biotech companies paid $4.6 billion in payroll
  • Of the 2.3 million square feet being constructed in the Boston/Cambridge area, 2.2 million of are being built by biotech companies.

Of course, as he also noted, the commonwealth isn't always supportive of the sector, as it has some of the most restrictive marketing laws in the country.

However, the work being done is incredible. The role that Massachusetts biotech companies are playing in the research ecosystem cannot be underscored.

To that end, Coughlin concluded on a personal note, discussing his child who lives with cystic fibrosis. I'm quite certain that all eyes were watery when he discussed a recently approved CF drug that was developed by a Massachusetts company: "Their drug doesn't work for my kid, but the next one will. I'm not going to have to go to my kid's funeral."

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateAtPhRMA.

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