A method by which an observer can see things that are otherwise out of sight

How the Bio-Pharma Industry Chooses the Best U.S. Locations

You cannot pick up a newspaper, click on a website or listen to a podcast these days without learning of another biomedical science breakthrough. New treatments are driving mortality rates downward for diseases such as AIDS/HIV and cancers that just a few years ago would have been considered almost assuredly fatal. And just over the horizon are even more promising therapies for illnesses and chronic afflictions.

Bio-pharma companies find themselves confronting unprecedented new challenges even as they enter an exciting new period of growth and innovation. These include the cost pressures arising out of the Affordable Care Act, revenue constraints imposed by payers and adverse impacts on earnings when blockbuster drugs go off-patent.  The variables governing bio-pharma location decision-making today tend to reflect the sometimes conflicting dynamics of this new reality: accelerate innovation while reducing the time and costs associated with bringing a new drug to market.

Over the years that we have worked with life sciences clients (headquarters, R&D operations, biologics manufacturing facilities, etc.), we have learned that the following critical success factors most often drive their location decisions:

  • Proximity to strong research institutions
  • Availability of a highly skilled and mobile workforce
  • Access to a constantly renewing supply of talent
  • Availability of capital, and
  • The ability to enjoy an attractive quality of life

Depending on the specific activities to be performed, other significant locational variables can include: an inventory of appropriate sites and buildings, a transparent and predictable regulatory environment and available supporting services and effective business incentives.
The best locations are those that help execute corporate strategy by providing the optimal mix of these attributes while also helping to manage costs and risks.

AndrewShapiro is a Managing Director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., one of the largest, most highly regarded site selection and incentives advisory firms in North America. BLS & Co. helps manage the complexities associated with finding optimal location and securing incentives to support new ventures.

Follow Andrew here on LinkedIn or contact him directly at


47 Hulfish Street, Suite 320
Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 924-9775
215 Park Ave South
New York, NY 10003
(646) 652-7555
100 S. State St, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 924-2491
1255 Treat Boulevard, Suite 300
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(925) 239-1711