Monday, October 29, 2012

Portland's Biotech Industry: Challenges and Opportunities

A few recent articles emphasize some positive developments in Portland's emerging biotech industry, as well as a few major barriers.

Andy Giegerich of the Portland Business Journal discusses the seemingly slow growth of biotech in the region, which mainly comes down to the pace of scientific breakthroughs; the FDA approval process of laboratories and production facilities; and the ability to attract investment. But according to the executive director of the Oregon Bioscience Association, once firms decide where to locate, they usually stay put: "It becomes very expensive to move once you start the post-clinical phase." Get more details in the full story. In a related article, Giegerich also reports on the relocation of two biotech firms to Portland, as well as news of a soon-to-open biotech business incubator.

The biotech industry received additional press in Oregon Business. Linda Baker covers a recent bioscience report, which says that Oregon is a leader in biotech job growth: the industry grew 4.3 percent between 2007 and 2011. Funding has come from a variety of sources, including a $125 million donation from Phil Knight, and an agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb. These have resulted in a new cardiovascular institute at OHSU and a research partnership to test new drug therapies, respectively. Federal grants from the National Institutes of Health have also helped. However, the industry has had trouble finding local investors. Learn more about the biotech industry and its impact in the Portland area from the full article.

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