Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Seattle Biotech at a Turning Point

A recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal (“Biotechs on the Brink” by Clay Houtzman) suggests that 2011 is a turning point for Seattle’s growing biotech and life sciences industries. More optimistically, from my perspective 2010 was the turning point for the positive, and 2011 will put Seattle on the map for this growing industry.

Bristol Myers Squibb’s purchase of Zymogenetics in 2010 led not to the closing of Zymo’s iconic offices in South Lake Union, but instead to a commitment to keep the 280 jobs in Seattle. Dendreon’s continued success as well as that of Seattle Genetics spurs the growth of other companies that support clinical drug trials, including clinical research organizations, biostatistical consultants, data management companies, and independent medical consultants.

Perhaps fostering the growth of the biotech and life science industries in the Puget Sound area is Washington State’s comparatively favorable tort law. Punitive damages are unavailable in Washington, unlike in many other states. Thus, lawsuits seeking damages for adverse drug reactions are relatively rare in this state.

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