Skip to main content

The Start-ups are coming! The Start-ups are coming!

August – 10, 2023 ~ It’s no secret there’s been a shift in the market since the great COVID boom. We could sit at home in our living rooms and prognosticate over how only AI can save us, or how it will be our likely demise. The truth is, we don’t really know what’s the cause of the incredible swing the pendulum has taken. What we do know is that things are different.

We can no longer look forward to an exciting new and risky indication being funded by Big Brother Pharma, spanning over an insane amount of clinical sites. We can’t look forward to physical breakthroughs that will change the way we look at the human body for good. We can’t even agree on if a vaccine works or not…

Things have certainly changed in the world of Life Sciences and Drug Development. And I for one look forward to exalting new royalty in the development; of what I hope will be breakthroughs that don’t just cure one disease, THEY CAN CURE DISEASE FOR GOOD. New groups are now consistently looking into pathologies like: how do we manipulate this gene, so that family history is no longer a factor. 

The world of drug development has completely shifted, and apparently so have the areas we go to seek these new developments out. Goodbye Bay Bridge! Hello Alamo! Here are a few strangely burgeoning Biotech Hubs that look to become the new Romes of Research & Development.


5. North Carolina 

Okay so maybe this one isn’t THAT new to you. But the home of real barbeque is cooking up something more than just brisket. The Raleigh – Durham area have long been home to all the big hitters in the CRO world. Syneos, ICON, IQVIA – they’ve all got a little piece of the apple pie. You can easily turn and say it’s the cost of living and ease-to-access getting talent to move/stay there. But much like the rest of the industry, something’s changed in the past few years. It isn’t just contract organizations anymore. Research Triangle Park is beginning to dig it’s Tarheels in and becoming a lot more bull-ish(okay I’ll stop) on Drug Discovery. But seriously, Duke and UNC alumni are typically a majority portion of your local executive leadership and difference is now… they’re staying. Gene Therapy research from the aforementioned have spawned groups like Taysha Gene Therapies, Beam Therapeutics, and Biogen. They’ve also ranked third in the US for Pharmaceutical Manufactuing employment in 2022. Next time you think of where to settle your pharma career, think of North Carolina.


4. Tennessee

Nothing says cutting-edge research like a little home-made bourbon and a proper square dance around the lab. Are you seeing there’s a trend here? I first noticed the Tennessee Biopharma Fire when I came across a smaller CRO called Medelis. The niche oncology based group has recently caught the of many M&A and Alliance management players. Once I started looking into them though, I slowly started to unearth the exciting underbelly that is Tennessee’s budding Biotech and contract research scene. But what is a hub without a powerhouse organization? Well once I found out Charles River would be expanding it’s CDMO facility based in the heart of Memphis to better support many of the cell and gene therapy projects they had, I knew that I was the one playing catch up to Tennessee growing and already well established Life Sciences domain.

  1. New York

Nothing beats the big apple right? Well, not quite. The unofficial fashion and food capital still has a long way to go before really calling itself a hub, but it certainly has started to house some interesting research. Hopefully this is just the precursor to a new era.

The greater New Jersey area has long housed champion groups like Merck and J&J; leaving New York’s lack of space to groups like Pfizer and Regeneron to figure out. However, with some of the local universities contributing to recent impactful research, New York City is an area newer Biotechs are glad to plant their flag. Look out for places like upstate and even greater Long Island to start sprouting little startups.

  1. San Diego

That was a close call. The place state that I call home almost didn’t make it on the list. Even with Sacramento and Los Angeles making prodigious amounts of small research groups, they still couldn’t quite cut it. However, this is the year that San Diego has made it’s presence known! The Middle child to LA and The Bay, San Diego has ALWAYS had some semblance of a Biotech (and definitely CDMO) community. Now with the likes of groups like Alterome and Altos Labs stepping on the scene, we should recognize this as a proper hub going forward. Not only is there a strong biotech presence, but San Diego’s housed many CROs and medical groups for decades. Big plots of land, adequate space costs and desirable quality of life make it a top destination for any group looking to grow out their company.

Stay classy San Diego! See you at the top next year.

  1. Texas/Austin

The number one hottest new area for Biotech is without a doubt “Big ol’ Texas”. There’s tons percolating in the 2nd largest state [by landmass] in the greater US. However, no advancement more exciting than the constantly network of pharmaceutical development and research groups within the Lone Star State.

No other state has seen a greater percentage increase in pharma businesses as Texas has over the in recent years.

Cities like Dallas and Austin have continued to drive younger, more transient demographics to their growing metropolitan capitals. Providing eclectic lifestyles for the romantic Microbiologist. *Sigh, I can just smell the ranch from here.

But in all seriousness, Texas is actually the fasting growing job market in the country, and that’s not even mentioning Life Sciences. Here’s a list of companies you should start looking into their Pre IPO,  YESTERDAY!

Top 100 Pharmaceutical Companies in Texas in 2023 – AIPAK (

Jordan Seace

Principal / Director