The West Coast: Innovation in Areas of Unmet Need

2 Apr

By Lucy Parkinson, Senior Research Manager, LSN

lucy 10*10We’ve previously taken a dive into the LSN Company Platform and the LSN Investor Platform to assess the life science landscape in America’s Northeast and Southwest regions. This week, we will examine current product development and investor activity on the West Coast.

Using the LSN Company Platform, we took a sample of biotech and medtech assets being developed in West Coast states. While the bulk of these assets are in California, the state of Washington also makes a significant contribution to the data, and the LSN Company Platform also tracks several companies based in Oregon and Hawaii. In total, the sample drew from the pipelines of 493 companies, which collectively are developing 187 medtech products and 1529 biotech products. In the case of the biotech assets, we track the specific target indication in 1399 cases, as is shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1

Figure 1 | Source: LSN Company Platform, Data as of Apr 1, 2015

While many of the assets under development on the West Coast are in the cancer sector, we also see significant numbers of pipeline assets in other fields. In addition, although the clinical areas with the most assets—oncology, diseases of the nervous system, and endocrine and metabolic diseases—also have solid pipelines nationwide, the numbers in other indication areas illuminate distinct regional differences. Compared to the Northeast, we see more innovation in blood and immune disorders, but less in the musculoskeletal field.

Beyond this top-level data, we can also look more specifically at the breadth of the assets in each indication area. If we look deeper into the field of oncology, we find that these West Coast-based companies are developing cures for a wide variety of cancers. Figure 2 shows the top 20 subtypes of cancer in terms of the number of assets in development. Several cancers that currently have very high mortality rates, such as pancreatic, lung, and ovarian cancers, are represented in this group. In these areas, scientists are advancing new products that could have a significant impact on patient outcomes in the future.

Figure 2

Figure 2 | Source: LSN Company Platform, Data as of Apr 1, 2015

The West Coast is also a hotbed for life science investors. The LSN Investor Platform tracks investors throughout the region, and Figure 3 provides a breakdown of those that we have discovered have an interest in development stage life science companies:

Figure 3

Figure 3 | Source: LSN Investor Platform, Data as of Apr 1, 2015

In addition to the many life science venture capitalists based on the West Coast, LSN Research has found that there is a significant number of West Coast angel groups that are interested in life science companies. Corporate venture capital is also a major force in the region, with many VC arms of major West Coast tech companies looking for strategic opportunities in the healthcare field.

LSN’S RESI Conference series now includes regular annual stops in three regions of the U.S.: the Northeast, Southwest, and West Coast. All possess significant life science innovation ecosystems and a host of local investors interested in opportunities both locally and globally. As RESI tours these three corners of the U.S. life science universe, we welcome you to join us and connect face-to-face with like-minded individuals who are a match for your product, or for your investment criteria. Meet like-minded individuals who can work alongside you in bringing new cures to market.


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